Blog

We love sharing with our amazing members and supporters what we’ve been up to and how their feedback is helping shape the future of mental health and drug and alcohol services, so we’ve started a SUN Network blog! Each week one member of our small team will write about what’s been happening over here and every now and again we’ll have a guest post, so stay tuned!

Charlottes Week!

Hello everyone, How are we in July? I think back to what I was doing in January this year and it seems like years ago. Let’s be positive and hopeful for what July will bring us. This week I started a new project on our social media’s. I’m doing to be posting regularly about what […]

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Vickie’s Week and InnerHour App Review!

Hello everyone, it feels like a lot has happened since I last wrote a blog post, so this week I’m going to give you a rundown of what’s happened this week and review another app I’ve been trying out! This week myself and the rest of the SUN Network team met up for another socially […]

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KC’s Blog: worry, is it always unhelpful & SMART Recovery

“Worry is a way for your brain to handle problems in order to keep you safe..” from this SMART Recovery article.  Have you ever given yourself time to worry?  Seemed odd and wrong the first time I heard it, but by scheduling it and putting time limits it means I don’t keep worrying and worrying […]

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Lois’ Week!

Hello, I hope everyone is keeping safe and well. If you have read any of my blogs, you will notice that I love animals and nature. So it’s no surprise that my blog will be about nature again. I really feel the benefits from being out and about, regardless of the weather. There is always […]

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Anne’s Week!

Hello. I hope everyone is safe and managing to keep well, even when exploring and testing the water with the new rules. I had a week’s annual leave last week. Despite being at home and very limited to what I was able to do, I found it relaxing and beneficial to have a break and […]

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Guest Blogger Grace Reviews QWell.io

The Good Life Service from CPSL Mind has linked with Qwell, an online counselling and wellbeing support platform for adults to offer more accessible support options, especially during this difficult and uncertain time we find ourselves in. Qwell is easy to join and easy to use, with everything set out clearly and simple to navigate. […]

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Charlotte’s Week!

Hello everyone, I trust you are staying well, and being careful in this lovely weather we are having at the moment? As more news is being announced daily it seems we can almost see the light at the end of the tunnel, which brings me hope. I’ve found lockdown quite hard. While I am safe, […]

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Vickie Reviews the Pocketcoach App

Hello everyone. It feels like it’s been a long time since I gave you an update on what I’ve been up to here at the SUN Network. So, what have I been doing? Well, part of my job here is running the all ages part of Keep Your Head, and over the last few weeks […]

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KC’s Blog: Learning & Caring about Intravenous Drug Use

KC’s Blog: Learning & Caring about Intravenous Drug Use I was privileged to listen to a local expert on harm minimization tell me some of what he’s learned in several decades working in this field. As someone new to this part of the addiction world, this was a harrowing for me.  The technicalities of how […]

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Anne’s Week!

Hello everyone. It has been a while since I have written and I have missed sharing what I have been up to with everyone. Everyone’s focus at the moment is on covid-19 and that is understandable as it has caused such disruption and has affected every single persons’ life in the UK and millions around […]

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Kim Reviews Mental Health Apps

The SUN Network asked Kim Laidler to share her reviews of mental health apps and services that she had recently accessed so that we could share those views to help others that may be thinking about using these apps. Kim (pictured) kindly shared the following reviews on Feeling Good, Calm Harm, Blurt, Qwell and the […]

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KC’s Week: dopamine & addiction

Learning about addiction, I found a video that explains how our brains and dopamine work together to repeat behaviours.   Some of these are needed (like eating and procreating) but one way to see addiction is when this perfectly normal neurological process has been hijacked.   The video below names the specific parts of the brain, […]

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Charlotte’s week!

Charlottes Blog WC 13th April 2020 Hello all, what lovely weather we are being blessed with these past few weeks. Hopefully, you have all been able to safely enjoy the weather in your gardens or during your exercise. I am fair skinned, so I have to be careful in the sun, but it makes me […]

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Lois’ Week!

Hello there. I hope everyone is keeping safe and well in these very surreal times. This can be a real test of how self-motivated we can be. The SUN Network team are having weekly meetings on a video link and checking in with our wellbeing. We are looking to improve our professional development with some […]

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Our Ebulletin!

What’s New? We’ve been busy! After much discussion, we have decided to create an ebulletin that we can send out to you so you can keep up to date with all of the different involvement opportunities you can take part in. This month, the way the world operates has been affected by Coronavirus so the […]

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Anne’s Blog!

Wow, well what a couple of weeks it has been. What can I say…It is hard to comprehend all that is going on and the seriousness of the situation we all find ourselves in. It is going to be a very difficult and challenging time for everyone, for all different reasons. The SUN Network team […]

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Charlottes Weekly Blog!

Hello all, I hope you are staying well. During this time of uncertainty we must remember to look after ourselves. At the SUN Network, we have taken the precaution of working from home. Luckily technology supports us in this decision. Working from home is one of the things we are all doing to help us […]

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Vickie’s Week!

So what have I been up to since my last blog post? Well, lots of things have happened and a lot is going on over here at the SUN Network; one of those things is that we have decided to give our website a complete revamp and update! We’re hoping to have a more interactive […]

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KC’s Blog: Mysteries of Addiction Recovery

Do you know anyone with a serious addiction problem?  Do you struggle to stop something that’s destroying you? In my job as a addiction engagement worker, almost every day I talk to people trying to recover.  It’s such a privilege hearing people’s experiences and an honour when someone decides to let me in to hear […]

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Love Your Pet Day!

This week is the perfect blog week for me. I am a massive animal lover an it is National Love you Pet Day today and as any animal lover knows, your pets love is such an unconditional and trusting love. No matter how hard my day has been or how busy I am, I know […]

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Charlottes weekly blog

Hello everyone, I don’t know about you, but it feels that after January that seemed to be never ending, February is flying by. Suppose that is a good thing, bring on the longer brighter days I say! It has been a while since I did a blog, just over 3 months to be precise and […]

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Vickie’s Week – Celebrating Our Successes!

Hello again! So, it’s my week to give you an update on what’s been happening over here at the SUN Network and what I’ve been up to. To start, at the beginning of the week we were able to share all of our photos from our ‘Not so blue Monday’ event! You can check them […]

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Lois’s Week!

Hello, I hope everyone is keeping well and making the most of the milder weather that we are having. The days are finally staying lighter longer, and this makes me feel happy as I love spring and summer. There is something about nature that both amazes me and fills me with hope. About this time […]

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Lisa Addiction & Recovery Story

Addiction & Recovery Stories

When talking to people about addiction, there’s a lot of stigma and misunderstandings.  There are many studies and insights into addiction and recovery, but I think there’s nothing quite like storytelling.  So we are going to profile and make available a number of people’s stories of addiction and recovery. The aim is to bring hope, […]

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Outdoors! 12th Day of Christmas

Outdoors: A good tradition during the holidays is going for a walk.  What better way to fight the guilt of overeating?   Walking off the Christmas pudding or to feel good after that extra portion of stuffing. When I my lifelong partner and I first met, my idea of a holiday was to lie on a […]

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Perseverance: 11th Day of Christmas

On the 11th day of Christmas, I choose to give myself the gift of perseverance.  It’s not the sexiest sounding thing, but it makes a big difference to happiness, contentment and satisfaction–something I’m sure we’d all like for Christmas. I was raised with a saying, ‘If something seems too good to be true, then it […]

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Distractions: 10th Day of Christmas

This article is about a very specific and simple technique we can use to try to stop doing things we don’t want to do.  Anything from going onto our phone and wasting too much time on social media, to staying away from that last piece of Christmas cake or festive chocolate treat.  And, yes, we […]

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Honesty: 9th Day of Christmas

On the 9th Day of Christmas, I will give myself (more) honesty. The first time I heard that addicts sometimes agree to have a lie detector test as a way to reassure their partners that they are being honest, I balked.  How ridiculous!  But the idea is that for years, maybe decades, addiction habits fuel […]

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Connecting: 8th Day of Christmas

It can be particularly painful facing loneliness at Christmastime.  Adverts and media show idyllic scenes of family and friends eating and drinking together.  I try to remember these perfect images, whether on social media or television, are there to sell me something, so I try to not take them seriously. So what can we do […]

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KCs December Blog: Emmaus

Emmaus started in Paris, not long after the end of World War II. One night, a man called Georges was brought to Abbé Pierre after a failed suicide attempt. Georges had been released after 20 years in prison, only to find his family unable to cope with his return home, leaving him with nowhere to […]

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Giving to Self: 7th Day of Christmas

At this time of year, there’s plenty of adverts saying you deserve to take care of yourself.  I agree with that.  But I’m writing here about giving to ourselves in ways that don’t need to cost money.  Do you know you’re worth a priceless and scarce resource?  time!  Yes, you are worth taking time to […]

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Thankfulness: 6th Day of Christmas

Happy Christmas!  We hope you are doing well this holiday season.  To set a festive mood, here’s a crackling fire below.  I think there’s something relaxing about staring into the flames of a warm fire.  But the loud cracking on this clip interrupts my peace.  I’ll keep the sound turned down on this one: Here’s […]

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Physical Selfcare 101: 5th Day Of Christmas

Today it’s my turn to talk to you about something I’ve gradually learnt to work into my everyday life. And that something is what I like to call ‘Physical Selfcare’. In this post I’ll be talking you through how I manage my physical selfcare, how you can implement it in your everyday life and why […]

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Give: 4th Day of Christmas

“‘Tis the Season to Give”  There’s an old saying that goes something like, ‘Giving is even better than getting’.  I think that makes a lot of sense, although it’s not always my first choice.  Getting is easier and requires less of me.  Giving involves effort.  Sometimes it’s hard to find that generosity (it’s in there […]

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Hope: 3rd Day of Christmas

On the Third day of Christmas, I choose to give myself… hope!  This is a tough one when we are struggling.  On a good day I can see hope everywhere and I can be optimistic about all sorts of things.  On a tougher day, even the things that are brilliant can seem tainted and grey. […]

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Learn: 2nd Day of Christmas

On the Second Day of Christmas, I will give myself the gift of… Learning something new Research shows that learning new skills can also improve your mental wellbeing by: boosting self-confidence and raising self-esteem. helping you to build a sense of purpose. helping you to connect with others. That’s number three of Five Steps to […]

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We are excited about our Winding Road report. Read it here to get a taste of mental health journeys within Cambridgeshire

The SUN Network have been working together with Rethink Cambridgeshire to follow the mental health journeys of service users and carers across a year to see exactly what the experience is like for them. Can they access mental health services at a time when it is needed? Are unpaid carers filling in the gaps between […]

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Humour: First Day of Christmas Recovery

This article is a holiday gift for you and your mental wellbeing.  Everyone has different taste, so some might like the ideas and links about how academics are finding helpfulness of humour.  But, it’s Christmas time, so I’m putting short clips of some of humour that I hope will put a smile on your face. When […]

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Work – Life Balance with Vickie!

Hi everyone! I can’t believe we’re in December already, where has this year gone?! Since we’re now in the festive season, more and more events, jobs and to-do’s start cropping up which means we can be left feeling a bit frazzled, stressed and like there isn’t enough hours in the day. And this is why […]

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Anne’s Week!

Hello Everyone. Well, it has been an incredibly busy month for me here at the SUN Network. Firstly I participated in some training on offering emotional Support over the phone or by email. Delivered by Rape Crisis, it was an excellent course covering listening skills, empathy, counselling skills, empowerment, email communication and self care. A […]

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KCs November Blog: Owning Recovery

It was the first few months of my new job, and I was trying to learn about recovery in my favourite way: talking and listening.  A recovery worker was bemoaning about service users who don’t seem to want to work for their recovery.  Another worker walked in, and so I pulled him into the conversation, […]

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Charlotte’s Week!

Hello to our SUN Network readers. I do hope your week has been brighter than the weather, although it does get me excited for, dare I say, the festive season! This week is Alcohol Awareness week, so KC and I went along to help with Everybody Health and CGL at the drop-in van that today […]

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Anne's October

Anne’s Month!

Hello everyone! Yes, it is that time again, time to hear all about what I have been up to. In my last blog I talked about self-care. I even admitted that it was something I struggle to do and maintain. So…this month I have actually managed some self-care!! Yay!! I went away for a weekend […]

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Awards ceremony

Apprentice Of The Year Award!

Vickie’s week to blog: It feels like it’s been a while since I’ve blogged about what’s been going on over the last few weeks here. So, what’s been going on for me over the last few weeks? Well, to start I’ll tell you about an exciting opportunity we gave all of our members the chance […]

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KC October Blog

KCs Blog October – Woebot and Emotional Reasoning

Woebot is free app that asks your name then starts a conversation with you.  The ‘friend’ is armed with knowledge of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), addiction and many tools based on sound psychology.  This can help some of us coach ourselves toward overcoming some ‘stinking thinking’.  Here’s a review that’s an easy read and gives […]

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Our September Newsletter Is Here!

Here is the latest news on what everyone here at The SUN Network have been up to since our last newsletter. If you like to keep in the loop and love to catch up on our latest whereabouts then get yourself a nice warm beverage, relax and enjoy reading our newsletter. You will find out […]

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Getting Support.

It’s Charlottes Week To Blog!

A big hello to everyone, Its been a while since I did my last blog post so let me catch you up with what I’ve been up to. I was away in September on the holiday of a lifetime in America and I loved every second. Its so important to take time out of our […]

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Getting Support.

KC’s September Blog – Online Support

Have you thought about getting help online? Many believe a big issue found with many mental health problems (not just addiction) is isolation. Does connecting online count or does only face to face support work? Maybe we can do both. Live CBT in Cambridgeshire/Peterborough: Self Referral instructions and form for Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) are here. […]

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Breaking The Stigma – Personality Disorders

We’ve got a new series of posts coming! Here at the SUN Network we help maintain the Keep Your Head All Ages website, and over the last few months we’ve been posting on their blog with our ‘Break The Stigma!’ series, so we thought we’d bring it here for you! Myths and Truths Only medication […]

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Selfcare With Anne.

Hello everyone again. It is great for me to have this opportunity to share information about mental health with you. Mental health effects everyone, everyday of our lives. Our days can be full of different moments and situations that can instantly change from happiness to stress and anxiety and back to happiness. It can feel […]

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What’s been happening this week?

Last weeks bank holiday has made this week fly by! So, what’s been going on? Well, this up coming Saturday is Overdose Awareness Day, so we’ve been doing a lot of work to promote the good work that several organisations do within drug and alcohol services. There’s several events happening over the next few days […]

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Overdose Awareness 2019

Overdose awareness day is Saturday 31st August.  Cambridge Drug & Alcohol Services will be hosting live events where people in our county can hear stories and talk to people with first hand experience and professional expertise in drug and alcohol addiction recovery. Do you know what #Naloxone is? It's what you can use in the case […]

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Charlottes Weekly Blog!

Charlottes Weekly Blog Hello again, feels like a long time since I did my last blog so let me catch you all up with what I’ve been up too. The team had our staff away day which was so much fun! We got trapped in our escape room and have a lovely afternoon tea. It […]

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The Winding Road Project

The Winding Road Project We’re looking to invite people who have experience with mental health challenges who would be happy to have us follow their journey as they go through services across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, so we can see what went well and any gaps and barriers that are faced along the way. Introduction In […]

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Lois’s week!

Hey. How has your week been? Have you had any time off recently to enjoy our beautiful summer? I have a holiday booked for September so am counting down to a break. It’s so important to switch off and relax at regular intervals and just check in with yourself and how you are feeling. It’s […]

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Vickie’s Blog week!

I can’t believe we’re in August already, this year is flying by. How’s everyone’s summer going so far? Remember, if you need some advice on how to keep your wellbeing up in this busy time, you can always visit Keep Your Head! What’s been happening here? Well, a week or two ago we went on […]

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What’s Anne been up to in July?

Hello all. Well a month has flown by since my last blog and I have to say it has been a fun and busy month, full of lots of exciting new projects which I am looking forward to sharing with you. Cambridge County Council (CCC) have asked us to speak to individuals who will be […]

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KCs July blog

KC’s week! Since I’ve been involved  in addiction recovery, I’ve been able to get closer to, and learn a little more about, some holistic treatments.  In this blog I’ll pass on some of what I’ve heard and give you one person’s real life experience–mine. Acupuncture (auricular acupuncture, to be specific using the posh name) is […]

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Read about Charlotte’s week and find out how you can have your say

Have a read about Charlotte’s week and see the latest involvement opportunities where just by having your say, you can really influence mental health services: Although we have a weekly blog its been a month since my last blog, so I’ll catch you all up with what I’ve been doing. KC and I had a […]

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Welcome to Lois’ Week!

Firstly, a happy 4th of July to anyone celebrating today. Absolutely loving this sunshine, I find it so uplifting, really makes me feel happy. I have just come back to work this week after a month of working from home and I have to say, I was surprised at how isolated and left out I […]

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Vickie’s week so far..

It’s been a pretty busy week for me here! I started my week by doing some work on my college assignments for my apprenticeship (which is at City College Peterborough) focusing on marketing planning and researching digital marketing. This involved writing up the marketing plan and strategies for The SUN Network and discussing ideas on […]

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Anne’s Week

Hi my name is Anne and this is the my first blog for the SUN Network website. I am the Engagement Facilitator for adult mental health. Basically, that means that I work with people who have experienced challenges with mental health to ensure their experiences, thoughts, ideas and knowledge is amplified to help shape and […]

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KC June Blog

K.C’s week One thing about this job that’s great is meeting lots of people.  What a privilege to hear people tell their stories.  I realised to do this job I’m going to need to work on a big weakness of mine: I’m rubbish at learning names!  Often, when someone is introduced to me, all my […]

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What’s Happened This Week?

What’s Charlotte been up to this week ? My week started with taking part in the Children & Young People Suicide and Self Harm Learning Event at Newmarket Racecourse. It was great meeting other charities, organisations and service users and discussing the changes or implementations going on around such an important subject. It was great […]

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A Week With Vickie

I’m Vickie, I’m the Social Media and Marketing Manager Apprentice here at The SUN Network. This is my second year with The SUN Network, and it’s been an absolute pleasure working here, like everyone else on our team I have my own lived experiences with mental health and/or substance misuse which has given me a […]

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Working Well Together Positive Practice

The working well together to enable co-production within mental health commissioning evidence and tools document has been published! By setting out the evidence, including examples of positive practice, this document aims to improve local strategic decisions about, and the provision of, current and future mental health services for children, young people, adults and older adults. […]

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Lois’s First Blog Post!

Hi, I’m Lois Sidney, the Executive Director of The SUN network. I’ve been with the SUN Network for 6 years. I am also a qualified counsellor. Prior to that I worked in the prison service for 15 years. Working in the prisons gave me some insight into mental health and sparked an interest in me […]

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The SUN Network Newsletter – May 2019

Please do have a read of our newsletter. We have kept it short and interesting, and there is a chance to win in our competition and also information on how to join us free as a member and receive our goody bag. Lastly there are opportunities to be involved in our work or have your […]

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K.C’s first month!

I’m KC and I joined the SUN Network team in April. My role is to help amplify the voice of services users in our county, especially regarding drug, alcohol and mental health services. I’ve been an engagement facilitator a month. So far, I’ve met people at the Access Surgery and The Edge Café in Cambridge, […]

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Our First Blog Post!

It’s our first blog post!  Charlottes Blog – W/C 2nd May 2019 As my first month working with The SUN Network almost ends, I can safely say it’s been incredible. This week we invited a lovely service user along with us to attend the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Suicide Prevention Implementation Group. It was great to […]

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