All Party Parliamentary Group Complex Needs & Dual Diagnosis – Social Action

The All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) is working with the Office for Civil Society looking for evidence around how social action (e.g. peer support, community-led initiatives, involving people with lived experience in service design) can drive better services for people with complex needs e.g. by improving outcomes, preventing crisis, reducing stigma or developing more responsive joined up services. In May 2017 the group put out for a ‘Call for Evidence’ on social action. As a central pillar of delivery across the Fulfilling Lives: Multiple Needs programme, funded by the Big Lottery Fund, it was clear that funded projects would have valuable evidence to contribute. Over half the projects centralised their evidence and it was submitted to the group. The paper is available here:

Following the submission of the evidence to the APPG the NECG were invited to present oral evidence to the group. Andy Wilding is a GROW trainee at Inspiring Change Manchester. GROW stands for ‘Getting Real Opportunities for Work’ and enables individuals with lived experience of multiple and complex needs to access education, training and employment. Andy received the paid employment position of GROW trainee having previously been a peer mentor at Inspiring Change. Andy attended the APPG with the NECG facilitator and here is what he had to say about the experience.

“It all started when I went to a meeting in Nottingham with Ben, and to be honest I didn’t really know what we was going there for. Once I was there I just sat and listened to what was going on and what it was all about. It then got on to talking about going to do a talk about lived experience, so I said I would do it, and to be honest I didn’t really know where it was or who to, but because of my lived experience I wanted to do it. Once we had finished the meeting I said to Ben where am I talking and he said to mp’s and so on and although my nerves went through the roof I still wanted to do it.

On the day of going I was so nervous, although talking is not normally a problem for me, talking to people like that was one of the most nerve racking things I have experienced. Once I got to London and see where I was talking I calmed down a little, once it came time for me to talk I just got on with it and told people about my experiences. They was all really interested and seem to really like what I said and then they proceeded to ask me questions which I found easier than speaking. I also got to meet some really cool people although all was great I must admit [my favourite part was] meeting Lord Victor Adebowale and he was also very interested in what I said and was a very down to earth person. All in all the trip was a great experience and would love to do again and would also recommend for any one in my position to do the same.”

Following the APPG Andy was invited to speak at other organisations and share his experiences as both a Peer Mentor and Grow Trainee.