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Together project in Southwark wins innovation award

Posted on 05, July 2013

Together’s Southwark Your Way service has won the Mental Health Providers Forum’s (MHPF) award for best design of a flexible new service.

The service in the south London borough was the result of an eight-day transformation and design programme delivered last year to 33 service users by people with lived experience of mental distress. Together had operated a resource centre in Southwark since 2006 and the transformed service replaced the old model of building-based support with flexible support in the community, free from limitations.

Your Way now operates at 19 sites across the UK, and is built upon user-leadership, personalisation, open-mindedness, customer service, peer support and healthy living. Individuals identify their own goals, having choice and control over their support, and every Your Way journey is different.

These principles underpin Southwark Your Way, but the service is uniquely designed for Southwark, a large urban area with a high prevalence of severe mental health problems.

Sarah Thompson Turvey, Operations and Development Manager at Together, said:

“We’re thrilled that Southwark Your Way won in the ‘best design of a flexible new service’ category. We worked hard to create a service that is solution-focused and adaptable to changing demands and funding constraints, whilst ensuring those using the service are at the centre of the support they receive.

We believe that every individual is an expert in their own recovery, so by using their wants and needs as a starting point when designing and delivering services, we can be sure our service lets them lead their own journey to wellbeing.”

The MHPF Best Practice Awards were created this year to recognise the great work going on within the mental health sector, and to highlight the contribution that projects and services have made, both to the sector as a whole and to the people they are having a real impact on.

The first ever winners of the awards – which were allocated in nine categories across key areas in service provision – were announced at MHPF’s annual conference on 2nd July. Members of the judging panel were:

Dr Geraldine Strathdee – National Clinical Director for Mental Health

Gregor Henderson – Director of Wellbeing and Mental Health at Public Health England

Dr Ian McPherson – Director, Improving Health and Wellbeing UK

Mary O’Hara – Freelance writer and former Mind Journalist of the Year