Photo of two people interacting with a ladder poster being held by a facilitator of training

We are here to empower you to take your seat at the table with decision makers.

By using your lived experience equally alongside professionals, you can help develop, change and influence mental health and drug and alcohol support services for the better.

We are here to empower you to take your seat at the table with decision makers.

By using your lived experience equally alongside professionals, you can help develop, change and influence mental health and drug and alcohol support services for the better.

We are here to empower you to take your seat at the table with decision makers.

By using your lived experience equally alongside professionals, you can help develop, change and influence mental health and drug and alcohol support services for the better.

The SUN Network are seeking a new Chair of Directors!

Does this sound like something you’d be interested in? To find out more about this exciting opportunity, please contact Jonathan directly on jfgwells57@gmail.com or 07342 691 768. Please click here for more information.

Where can you make a difference?

By sharing your voice you can make a difference for yourself and others in:

  • Community mental health care
  • Mental health wards
  • Mental health crisis support
  • Suicide and self-harm prevention
  • Eating Disorder services
  • Drug and alcohol support

You can influence services delivered by NHS, GP surgeries, hospitals, local charities, Public Health, police, ambulance services and local councils.

Megaphone with the words 'Hear Me' on it

What ways can I be involved?

The SUN Network's friendly team will support you to feel empowered to share as much or as little of your experience as you feel comfortable doing.

Stack of books with 'your story matters' written on them
Give feedback on support you've received or tried to receive.​
Group of people at a meeting
Join in with one off projects - we have a variety of projects that may interest you working alongside GP's and other mental health and drug and alcohol professionals.​
Online meeting with four people attending
Represent the voice of people with lived experience like yourself at meetings or workshops.​
Graphic of a man telling his story on youtube on a laptop
Write a guest blog post or make videos of your journey.​
Booklets mockup
Get creative. Be a part of designing or delivering training, or creating leaflets and posters.​
Share your ideas and experiences.​

What others have said about working with us

KimFeedback from working on creating eating disorder literature
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"I think the real experience we have all had really shows through in all we have achieved. Charlotte and Vickie were brilliant. Hearing the real lived story, alongside quality materials is changing professionals’ attitudes to co-production. They can see that it works for patients and parent/carers. Thank you again to everyone. This work really does make a difference. I've not seen the carers website yet, you had me in tears thinking about how different my life would have been with that resource being available. So many people are going to have easier journeys. A really serious from the bottom of my heart thank you."
JillBeing a part of our group that created eating disorder resources
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"I have been working with Charlotte and Victoria developing a leaflet and website. I have also taken part in a video. During the time we all worked together, I found both Charlotte and Victoria very professional They were sympathetic to our journeys, and no time did I ever feel judged. I felt they took all of our idea's on board, and if anything we put forward could be used they used it. Sharing my experience with others was very liberating. If the time we spent developing these projects, helps just one person every moment was worth it. Thank you ladies."
Police recruitHearing lived experience stories at training
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"It was invaluable for our policing career to engage with recovered addicts. Without this opportunity I think our experience would be clouded by our seeing the worst of drug addiction and the crimes addicts commit. This input shows the humanity of every addict and the respect we should show them. It is an antidote to prejudice. Hearing their stories really stuck with me and their courage to speak about it and admit their mistakes was very admirable...."
ChristyOn sharing their story
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"The SUN Network helped me clarify that I want to be involved in this area (addiction recovery & criminal justice) and they helped me meet people in the sector. Sharing my story boosted my confidence so I can work to make change - in the real world. The SUN Network has given me a place back in society, a chance to start life again."
BethBeing a part of our group that created eating disorder resources
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"From meeting the group, discussing our stories, to creating the leaflet and now creating the website, it has been such a rewarding and special experience. I feel so at ease to share and feel honoured to be part of the development of what could be such a crucial and important part of someone else’s road/start of recovery. Contributing to something that could help prevent someone from falling into a full blown ED or support that person who is struggling now is such a rewarding thing to do. I come away from every session with such a warm heart. I just hope our words of encouragement gets to everyone who needs to hear them! Thank you to Charlotte and Vickie, they are so kind and cherish all opinions and ideas, so nothing you say feels irrelevant, it’s such an open and honest forum. I am so glad I got asked and signed up to assist, it’s been so worthwhile."
KeithBeing a part of our group that created eating disorder resources
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"Working with Charlotte, Vickie and The SUN Network on the adult eating disorders carers support materials has been a very positive and productive experience. The sessions were well organised, purposeful and ran to time. The meeting programme was set up well in advance and helpful reminders were sent out a few days beforehand - this is always helpful to volunteers who have so many plates to keep spinning. Charlotte and Vickie facilitated the sessions really well. Their respect for lived experience was 100%. They listened carefully, summarised to make sure that they had understood and were extremely patient when we changed our minds! Their roles were different but complementary with Charlotte providing form and structure and Vickie doing some really whizzy things with design and graphics. What a wonderful tree illustration! Charlotte and Vickie provided some good challenges and were not afraid to contribute their own ideas. Most importantly they were really encouraging, they would always help us to get the ideas down and you never needed to worry that you might be saying something that didn’t make sense. The SUN Network really understands co-production. We were an integral part of the process. Charlotte and Vickie have brought our ideas to life, which I am confident will be of great help and support to parent/carers. Thank you!"
MeganOn working with The SUN Network
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"People who have helped me, who believed in me made all the difference to my mental health and addiction recovery and sharing. My story used to be traumatic, but now that I'm doing better sharing my story and knowing I'm helping others helps me."
TomFeedback on our Dual Diagnosis Workshop
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"I feel valued, included, heard. I felt comfortable, learned some useful things, and I really enjoyed it. I'm usually quiet, but felt happy enough to contribute. I feel like I’ve been a part of the project for ages and I hope I’m able to help others avoid going through some of what I had to experience.“
HannahOn sharing her story with us
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"I really enjoyed sharing my story. I was nervous about being at a police facility and talking to them, but it went really well. I'm glad I did it. I'm glad to have raised some awareness, and I'm keen to do it again!"
Paul KOn working with The SUN Network
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"What you're doing is amazing work. The involvement in such work is so rewarding on so many levels. It makes all the struggles worthwhile and not something to be ashamed of and hidden away but used for positive things which turns all the bad into positive, which also puts us in a positive mindset."
KarimOn coming along to a Cambridge City rough sleeping/substance misuse project meeting
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"I love hearing about all the inner workings, the other agencies, and I want to do more. Thank you so much for involving me!"
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