Getting involved

Getting involved means playing an active role in the work we do. AWP and NHS BSW (BANES, Swindon or Wiltshire) Talking Therapies values diversity and welcomes people who identify with different protected groups getting involved. Your experiences help us to ensure that our services are fair, inclusive and meet your needs.

We need to listen to people who have used our services, so that we can listen to feedback, understand what works well and make plans for improvements.

We welcome involvement from service users who have previously used our services within the last 2 years. It is a requirement that you have been discharged from NHS Talking Therapies and The Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership (AWP).

We value everyone’s experience and will treat you as an individual whatever your background, abilities or needs.

Getting involved in the work we do will give you the chance to make a real difference. You don’t need any previous experience other than having accessed NHS BSW Talking Therapies. Your involvement can also help you:

  • Meet new people.
  • Connect with your local communities.
  • Develop new skills.
  • Raise your self-esteem and confidence.
  • Enhance your CV.

There are many ways you can become involved in the activities of NHS BSW Talking Therapies, and the wider AWP. Involvement can include:

  • Reviewing services and providing feedback.
  • Recruiting new staff, staff training and inductions.
  • Chairing and taking part in groups or meetings.
  • Coming to AWP conferences, events or supporting fundraising activities.
  • Projects and tasks, such as reviewing literature and helping organise events.
  • Helping to plan, develop and design better policies and services for the future.
  • Mental health awareness talks.

If you would like to be involved, your valued help can make a big difference to our understanding of different group's needs. This means we can improve our services more effectively.

Involvement means:

  • Making a difference by being actively involved (could you spare an hour of your time for our quarterly forums to start with?)
  • Having your views listened to, and feeding in ideas that may help with service planning, delivery and evaluation.
  • Working together with different members of staff.
  • Using your experience as a service user to improve mental health services.
  • Having an opportunity to use your personal skills and experience.

January 2024:

We were delighted to start off the new year in January with our seventh service user involvement meeting. We were so pleased that we were joined by 4 involvees (people who have previously accessed treatment with us and are now well). We are working hard to attract more people into our involvement work and are very grateful to our Assistant Wellbeing Practitioners Max and Connor for their help with this. We updated the group on the new content that has been uploaded to the frequently asked questions section of the website. There was a discussion about co-production of patient questionnaires which we will explore further. We received a number of useful suggestions about how the patient experience questionnaire could be adapted to make it more user friendly. Theresa Bridges (AWP Involvement co-ordinator, North Wiltshire) spoke about other opportunities for people to get involved in service user involvement including co-production of materials, interviewing of new staff and board level planning. We also reviewed the ways in which we support involvees and keep them informed of developments.

November 2023:

At the November forum, the attendees that were present expressed that they felt involved and comfortable with a high ratio of involvees to staff being present.

An involvee had previously suggested that a speaker providing a male perspective might be useful as she felt men can be reluctant to share their feelings. An involvee used to run a men’s stress course and said he’d be happy to do this.

There will be a Christmas coffee morning on the 14 December 2023 10:00am - 12pm at Green Lane Hospital Conference Room, Marshal Road, Devizes, SN10 5DS to say hello to Teresa Bridges (South Wiltshire Involvement Coordinator) and the Wiltshire Involvees.

Wiltshire Mental Health Open forum (Healthwatch) is an online meeting where service users, staff and charities meet up. Involvees are welcome: Dates of future meetings – all 14:00 – 16:00pm with the next meeting being held on the 7 February 2024. Please contact Catharine Symington if you are interested in attending via MS Teams. Catherine can be contacted on:

September 2023:

We were very pleased to hold our fifth service user involvement forum on the 13 September 2023. We received really useful feedback on our draft answers to some of the frequently asked questions that were submitted. In addition, we shared that we had received further contributions to the frequently asked questions section that we will continue to develop and present for helpful review. We were also provided with feedback on the changes that have been made to the Service User Involvement website. This has all contributed to the improved accessibility of the site so a huge thank you to all involved. Discussion was also given to having guest speakers at future forums both from our in service champions and more widely. We are currently putting together a programme for this and will be excited to share further updates over the coming months. Another focus was on how we can maximise our use of the information provided by Client Evaluation Questionnaires to inform service provision. Our next meeting is planned to take place on the 22 November 2023.

July 2023: 

We were pleased to welcome services users to our fourth forum meeting. Service users reviewed the new SUI website and gave useful feedback on how it can be adapted further. The role of the Talking Therapy (IAPT) manual was also discussed in the provision of services. Thanks to our involvees, our service user involvement forum is going from strength to strength! Our next forum is booked for 3.30pm - 5pm on Wednesday 26 July 2023. We have been looking at ways of developing interest and activity across the Trust in service user involvement. Our Communications team have created a short video on what involvement means and how ex-service users can contribute. This has been reviewed by our involvees and can be viewed at the top of this page.

June 2023:

We were very pleased to welcome four potential involvees to our first service user involvement forum of 2023! We discussed the aims of the forum and how it could be run, including starting discussion of how we can make involvement accessible for all who have previously accessed Talking Therapies services. The enthusiasm for sharing experiences and ideas was inspiring. We were very pleased to receive our first contribution to our ‘you said, we did’ section. We set the date for the next forum to be: Wednesday 28 June 2023, 3.30pm - 5pm. Forums will be online for now, we hope to include face to face forums in the future.

Here you will find regular updates of what we have done as a response to your feedback and involvement so you can see the real changes that are being made within the services…

You said: The Service User Involvement video was running a little fast.

We did: The video has been updated and slowed down and is now live. Watch it here:

You said: It would be useful to have an area on the website for frequently asked questions.

We did: We have received a number of contributions from staff for frequently asked questions and we are currently working on the development of a frequently asked questions section of the AWP website, which we aim to publish soon.

If you would like to get involved in the work we do at NHS BSW Talking Therapies, please contact your local Service User Champions below to discuss ways in which you can become involved.


Meg photo.jpg Meg Burch (Wiltshire & BaNES): 01380 731335

Dan photo.jpgDan Thornton (Wiltshire & BaNES): 01380 731335

Claire photo.jpgClaire Potter (Swindon): 01793 836836

As we value your time and commitment, we will pay you back for any expenses incurred during your involvement with AWP.