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Together gets a helping hand through Vodafone World of Difference programme

Posted on 18, April 2013

Winner of this year’s Vodafone World of Difference programme, Julie Billsborough has begun her placement with her chosen charity Together, to develop a mental health information website for people in her local area of Lancaster.

Julie wants to develop a local online directory for service users, carers and health practitioners that provides details of local projects and services, meetings and events and service user led groups and forums.

Working within Together’s Service User Involvement Directorate, Julie will develop the new website in conjunction with local people experiencing mental health problems to find out what they want from the resource. She specifically wants the directory to provide individuals with information on how to get involved in the delivery of their local services.

Julie is a former member of the Lancaster and Morecambe Mental Health Service User Forum previously run by Together. She went on to work for the charity as an Engagement and Involvement officer – running the forum and supporting local service users to be involved in the design, delivery, monitoring and evaluation of Lancaster’s mental health services. It was during this time that she came up with the idea of developing an online resource having found that information about some local projects and services was difficult to find.

World of Difference winner and Together project worker Julie said:  want to work with Together because they empower individuals who access mental health services and give them control of the support they receive. I enjoy working with them partly because their ideals closely match my own and also because they are 100 per cent committed to service user involvement. 

“Together aims to create links between individuals and groups to influence local, regional and national decisions about mental health support.  My aim is for this website to contain information that will make it easier for service users to link up with local organisations and to have a voice in the provision of local services”.

Julie will be on placement at Together for four months and you can catch up on her progress and experiences by reading her blog here