I Love Routine …

Can you record your ATOS interview?

by Disabled People against Cuts (DPAC), Black Triangle and Social Welfare Union (SWU)

In an answer to a parliamentary question on Atos from Frank Field (lab) Chris Grayling said:

“Based on the results of a trial during 2011, we have not implemented universal recording for claimants going through the work capability assessment (WCA).
We have asked Atos Healthcare to accommodate requests for audio recording, where a claimant makes a request in advance of their assessment.
This approach began in late 2011 and we will monitor take up during 2012 before making a decision on the requirement for recording assessments, taking into account factors such as value for money and the value it adds to the WCA process. As part of this process we are also reviewing Atos capacity to provide recordings for those claimants who currently request one”.

We at Disabled People against Cuts (DPAC), Black Triangle and Social Welfare Union (SWU) want to make sure that we gather the REAL facts on what people are experiencing. We suspect that the government will try to pull the option for recordings of WCA completely due to what they will say is a lack of demand, so we have put together a short survey to gather information on the demand for recordings and on other issues on the WCA.

Go to survey https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/FGKJBSQ

Please pass this survey on to as many people as possible. If you know someone who would like a printed paper copy of this survey please send their details to mail@dpac.net.uk.


CoolTan Arts Community Legacy Walks – a unique perspective on the Olympic Boroughs

Arts and mental health charity CoolTan Arts are to deliver an exciting programme of high profile Community Legacy walks around East London, during and after the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

These free guided cultural walks, run by and for people with mental distress, will celebrate the legacy of London 2012 throughout the Olympic Boroughs, allowing local people to rediscover their local area, and share stories old and new.

The project, which started in March 2012 and runs until December, will celebrate the legacy of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games by empowering local people to enjoy and reclaim their local spaces and take walks in the local area, (the walks start at Hackney Museum and end at Hackney Wick).  CoolTan Arts has been awarded a Transformers grant, funded by The National Lottery, through the Olympic Lottery Distributor, and managed by the East London Business Alliance.

The walks are devised and led by volunteers, Researchers on the project will be uncovering the hidden history, art, culture and mental health history of the area. As the research develops, the aim is to tell the history of the Olympic and Paralympic Games from a unique perspective.

Project volunteer Ishmail said about participating in the project:-  “I have really enjoyed looking behind the official historical records and unpicking the rich tapestry of local voices in the area”

So far researchers have looked at various local landmarks and stories, including: – Hackney’s oldest building – St Augustine’s Tower, the story of Hackney’s least successful theatre, the history of Hackney Workhouse and psychiatric hospitals, a memorial to Blind Fred – a match seller, the hidden river of Hackney Brook, the open spaces of Victoria Park (the “people’s park”), Hackney Marshes and the river Lea and the rich history of non conformism in Hackney. As far as we know, this is the only accessible walk project to look at these themes in the area.

Melissa Bliss, who facilitates the project said: -, “The project has brought together such an variety of friendly people keen to uncover local history.  Even though I have lived in East London a long time there are so many new facts I have discovered about the area, its streets and neighbourhoods, architecture and people hold a wealth of fascinating stories”.

CoolTan Arts, an arts centre run by and for people with mental distress, successfully runs a similar walk in South London, the ‘CoolTan Arts  Largactyl shuffle’ and hopes these East London walks, run in partnership with Hackney Museum and Centre for Better health will be just as popular. Mental distress has been described as an ‘invisible disability’ and the aim of the walks is to break down stigma and start conversations.

If you would like to join a walk please meet at 12 noon outside Hackney Museum main entrance. Please wear sensible footwear, bring a bottle for water and some sandwiches. Walks end at Hackney Wick. Walks last approx 3.5 hours. Contact Clara Jones at CoolTan arts to sign up or find out more. 0207 701 2696 or clara@cooltanarts.org.uk, or check our website www.cooltanarts.org.uk.

Upcoming dates during the Olympic and Paralympic period are Sunday 29th July , Tuesday 7th August, Tuesday 14th August, Saturday 18th August Tuesday 28th August, Sunday 2nd September and Friday 7th September.

The project is also recruiting and training new volunteers. CoolTan Arts welcomes volunteers with disabilities, or without disabilities. Volunteers will get training in First aid, storytelling, mental health first aid, and Walk Leader training. The group meets at various locations in Hackney on a Tuesday 12 noon to 3pm. Contact Clara Jones at CoolTan Arts for more details. 0207 701 2696, clara@cooltanarts.org.uk

Mind photoshoot

Mind is holding a photo shoot to produce imagery that it can use in its leaflets and booklets and on its website, to raise awareness of mental health problems.


We want real people

You do not need any modelling experience – just a desire to be willing to help us on the day.

We’re looking for people with expereince of mental health problems from all walks of life, regardless of age, ethnicity, class, gender, disability or any other factor.

We will select up to 18 people to work with, but we may not be able to choose everyone who applies.




Monday 21 May 2012.


We will need you for up to 4 hours.

Thank you

To say thank you, we can pay your travel expenses and give you £50 to cover your time.

What’s involved?

We will be producing a range of pictures that will help us to talk about mental health and the work that Mind does. This may include individual portraits, shots of two or more people talking, or taking part in everyday activities. We won’t ask you to do anything you’re not comfortable with.


We’ve had some great feedback from people who’ve taken part in our previous photo shoots.

I feel proud to be associated with Mind and I hope my contribution has been valuable. Being involved in the photo shoot gave me a feeling of self worth and made me realise that I don’t need to feel ashamed of my illness because there are many, many people who really do understand.

I have to say thank you to all of you for being that nice and professional. I really enjoyed my time.  It will be great to have the chance to do it again.

I really enjoyed Saturday, in particular meeting people in the same boat, which has made me feel a lot more positive.

Take part

If you would like to take part, please:

We look forward to receiving your application.

New Involvement Poster

Please see our lovely new A4 poster here: Slam twig poster

Written, designed and made by Service Users.

Please feel free to print out and put up.

We can supply small amounts of these, printed in full colour, for stalls, information packs etc: please get in touch if you would like us to send you some: help us spread the word about the value of Involvement :-).

Film about recovery funded by SLaM charitable trustees



Please follow these two links to a fantastic two part film about Recovery and Mental Health, made by Michelle McNary, funded by SLaM’s charitable trustees.

If you wish to commission Michelle, or to use her film, you can post a comment below, which we won’t publish if you prefer, but will forward to her.

Have you or a family member been treated at SLaM?

We would like to hear your stories about how the condition impacted on your lives and how SLaM has helped you and/or your family member.

Your story may be told on a new fundraising website which is being developed for the Maudsley charity.

If you are interested, please contact Mark Hazlewood, Digital and Print Communications Manager, mark.hazlewood@kcl.ac.uk , 020 7848 2597

Your story could help us raise vital funds to enable us to support more individuals and families like you.

Art2Print Graphic Design Services Open for Business – Fantastic Stuff

Art2Print – Social enterprise open for business!

Art2Print graphic design social enterprise delivers high quality graphic design services whilst providing work experience and work opportunities in graphic design and related jobs for people with mental health problems.

View the advert for this enterprise CLICK HERE:Art2Print Graphic Design Services Flyer
(Contains examples of the fantastic art that A2P produce)

Talk to A2P. Even if you can’t find the service you need in the flyer A2P are an innovative organisation and may still be able to help you.

Contact Info:
Tel: 020 7928 9521 or Email: a2padmin@blackfriars-settlement.org.uk
and let them know about your design requirement…

The TWIG blog provides links to other organisations for information and convenience only. Links to external websites have been checked, however TWIG is not responsible for the content of these third party websites. The views and opinions expressed on the third party sites or expressed by groups related to the third party sites do not necessarily reflect that of TWIG.

Why Involve? Poster

Why involve poster

This is a printable A4 poster.

Please feel to print and distribute.

We welcome any feedback on how useful you find this, and how it might be improved.

An Easy Guide to Joining the Involvement Register (leaflet)

Take a look at this two-sided printable A4 leaflet, tri-folded.
It is a simple guide for people wishing to join the involvement register!

CLICK HERE:Involvement Register Leaflet – All you need to know!
New updated leaflet!

Please feel to print and distribute.

We welcome any feedback on how useful you find this, and how it might be improved.