(we are updating our “hire us” page. Last update: 9.10.19)
Want to hold your activity or group at the Bridge Collective?
We are pleased to support local community groups in providing an informal space to meet when we can. We are developing a system of volunteer pairs to host room hire at the Bridge Collective. We like this way of partnership working, meeting new people and connecting with local community organisations.
For more information and to request a room booking email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please note: New room bookings currently closed. Please check back for updates to this section.
Want to bring the Bridge Collective to your organisation or community? We enjoy meeting new people and building relationships.
The length and content of our workshops, talks and discussion spaces are very flexible. Each workshop we do is unique to the requestor(s) and what is meaningful to the people taking part. Workshop length ranges from 1 hour, to a day, to a repeating series of workshops.
We plan our workshops in a collective way and invite you to take part in shaping the workshop we deliver. We often find that the conversations involved in planning the sessions are as valuable as the workshops themselves. When we come to the day of the workshop, we really like it if you can be there to introduce us to your team or group.
We find that making meals and cooking on a fire in a woodland clearing, telling stories, making music and making things by hand from natural materials we collect ourselves, all allow us to see and experience life in a new healing way.
“The Greenwood Project has always been an amazing resource for us, offering unique and innovative activities in wild and beautiful locations, and something different (and seasonal) every time.”
“The Greenwood Project’s are fabulous. Soothing, safe places in nature. They help me so much to reconnect with the land, nature and the elements in a positive and safe way.”
For more information and to request a Greenwood Project workshop click here: Greenwood Project
We deliver workshops about our experiences, beliefs and feelings that have sometimes been labelled as mental illness as well as experience supporting family and friends.
“I have seen a couple of talks by your team now and they are so unique and valuable, I would love for all medical students (and beyond) to be able to listen to your speakers stories and gain a better insight into living with a mental health condition. The talks completely changed my preconceptions and attitudes.”
For more information and to request an Experts by Experience workshop click on the links below:
- “Opening doors, opening minds, exercising the experiential…”
- We deliver workshops about our experiences, beliefs and feelings that have sometimes been labelled as mental illness as well as experience of supporting family and friends.
- Experts by Experience provides opportunities for communication with people with a wide range of lived experience. We create dialogic spaces with people such as trainee doctors, psychologists, student mental health nurses, masters psychology students, people interested in becoming psychiatrists, supporters, friends, family and people interested in mental health in general.
- We can offer experiential expertise in topics including self harm, hearing voices and seeing visions, psychosis, recovery, communication, peer support, mood, supported housing and medication side-effects. We design workshops tailored to the training needs of our clients.
- Experts by Experience is a Bridge Collective project. It offers inclusive opportunities for people to process their experiences in a supportive environment. We take a collective approach, working as a team to challenge perceptions of mental health and mental illness. We encourage people to participate in ways that support their own wellbeing. People can contribute in many forms, from planned talks to shared art-work, music, writing, video.
- We are open to learning new ways to explore and share our lived experience.
- The Experts by Experience team is a group of people who come together at different times of the year to take part in workshops together. We speak about topics from our own lived experience. We aim to have at least two people sharing personal experience at each workshop. Experts by Experience work is something we participate in as part of the things we do in our lives. This means we vary in the people in the team and in the experiences people are available to talk about during the year. We create each workshop anew.
- Self-definition is an important part of the Bridge Collective so our workshop topics tend to use experiences, beliefs and feelings as a starting point rather than a mental health diagnosis.
Below are examples of workshop topics we have spoken about recently:
- “Conversations across the divide” – talking about experience of assessment under the mental health act, co-produced workshop with Devon AMPH social work teams (approved mental health professional)
- Communication: small things that make a big difference
- Emergency care: talking about experiences of being assessed with accident & emergency staff, paramedics and custody nurses
- Housing support: talking about experience of living in supported accommodation
- Making meaning: self definition, diagnosis and me
- Mental health: losses, gains and hopes for future generations
- Navigating crisis: supporting a friend or family member
- Perspectives on mental health: “Open Spaces for Dialogue and Enquiry” discussion space
- Records of experience: medical records and our own words and writing
- Recovery: what does it mean to me and to you?
- Talking about experience of suicidal thoughts and suicide
- Trauma: impact, awareness and confidence
- Voices and visions: seeing hearing or sensing things other’s don’t
- Self Harm: coping and survival strategies
- Self management, self help and peer support
- “Startle, Organize, Stability”: a journey through first “out of our depth” experiences to finding our feet
- What makes a - good psychiatrist? - good psychologist? - good housing support worker?
- Why stories? - challenges and benefits of sharing our stories
- Whole day (up to 6 hours) £525
- Half day (up to 3 hours) £315
- Up to 2 hours £210
- Speaker and facilitator: training, planning, preparation, attendance, debrief, supervision, learning, feedback
- Workshop development time
- Bridge Collective community development time – to support our Experts by Experience project
- Participatory approaches in Experts by Experience team work
- Resources for creative and accessible ways of taking part
- Peer support, discussion and reflective space
- In Experts by Experience a community approach is really important in valuing the breadth and richness that comes from many voices.
- “It’s the community of support that makes sharing experiences possible”.
- Over many years, we have grown a flexible way of working. We use an adaptive structure which includes reserve alternative workshop content if a member of the team is not able to or prefers not to speak on the day. People can choose whether or not to speak right up to the moment it is their turn. People take part in a ‘what you can, when you can’ way. Speakers are able to take part in a no pressure way that honours the importance of connecting with ourselves on a moment by moment basis. People have told us that one of the things that has struck them about our experts by experience work is how supportively we work as a team.
- The length and content of our workshops, talks and discussion spaces are very flexible. Each workshop we do is unique to the requestor(s) and what is meaningful to the people talking part.
- Workshop length ranges from 1 hour, to a day, to a repeat series of workshops.
- We plan our workshops in a collective way and invite you to take part in shaping the workshop we deliver. We often find that the conversations involved in planning the sessions are as valuable as the workshops themselves.
- When we come to the day of the workshop, we really like it if you can be there to introduce us to your team or group.
- For more information please contact Gill and Sarah on:
- Email: email@example.com (Messages picked up weekly)
- Tel: Gill - 07939 991035, Sarah - 07939 991051
- “ I am a third year student nurse, studying mental health. I was fortunate enough to be at a recent talk by the Bridge Collective, where we had the opportunity to learn about the lived experience of its members. I can honestly say that this was the first time I had ever witnessed such brave and frank conversation about mental health. Having a diagnosis of emotionally unstable personality disorder myself, this talk changed the trajectory of my whole career. It gave me the confidence to be open about my own mental health journey, and inspired a group of us down here in Cornwall to start our own service users group, which is still in infancy, but very much aspires to achieve the success that the Bridge Collective managed. (And by success, I mean ability to influence attitudes, values and behaviours of healthcare staff.) I have become active in talking about my diagnosis, and how I came back from that to build a full and fulfilling life. I now deliver educational sessions to workers at all levels in the NHS, and very much seek to replicate the Bridge Collective session that was so formative for me in my career. Indeed, if we can - even in some small way - be as influential and inspirational as they are and were in the session they delivered to us as students, we will have surpassed all expectations for ourselves.”
- “I have particularly appreciated the events and guest speakers that have been organised by the Bridge Collective. Not only has there been a good range of topics and interesting speakers but the Bridge Collective is able to attract a much more diverse audience with a much broader range of expertise than other groups. This make these events much richer and more valuable both to people working in services, those experiencing services and those not in contact with services. I have also really appreciated the work of Experts by Experience in providing extremely high quality and valid training. In my experience the training they provide to formal professional clinical training programmes locally is second to none.”
- “I think it is fantastic the way you provide a safe place where we can share our experiences. I attended the Bridge to be part of their team of Experts by Experience and found it very empowering.”
Please check back for updates to this section.