• How to Join

    Before you join our groups, you'll need to speak to one of the team to make sure that we are able to support you. You can find an application form here. Or you can contact us directly here

    Ground Rules

    Please take a look at the ground rules for all of the different groups that we run by following the link below.

    SpeakUpCIC Ground Rules


    All sorts of groups to meet the needs of all sorts of people! The list below gives you a general idea of the types of groups and services that we are able to offer. More detailed information about specific groups, interest and friendship groups can be found on our Forums pages.

    General User Forums:

    Open meetings where Users can discuss any issue relating to their mental health services. These views can then be taken to the service commissioners and providers.

    Speakers' Forums:

    On a regular basis the Forum invites a professional to speak on a certain issue and listen to users views. These meetings enable service users and providers to talk together openly and listen to each others concerns. They provide a valuable opportunity for users and professionals to work together to make practical changes to improve the mental health services.

    LGBTQ Forum:

    Friendly, self-help group for people who experience depression. Meets regularly in various venues in Thanet for informal chat and discussion.

    Women's Forums:

    Friendly groups that meet monthly for women and for men of all ages to share information and support each other, find out useful information and assess the help available.

    Walk and Talk Group:

    An informal group where Users and professionals can 'walk and talk' together. Meets once a week.

    Peer Support Groups:

    These groups, made up of Drop-ins and mental health workshops, are mainly available in Thanet, Sandwich and Ashford areas. The Peer Support Groups offer an opportunity to find support and friendship for people who are socially isolated as a result of mental health difficulties.

    As well as holding various types of User Forum groups we also offer the following services:

    • Publish quarterly User's Newsletter.
    • Carry out regular User's surveys.
    • Attend and represent the Forum at various meetings, such as with managers of the local hospitals, day services, GP commissioning groups, and secondary services.
    • Respond to consultations from the government on changes to the mental health service.
    • Offer User Representative Training Courses.
    • Refer users to other services if we are unable to meet their needs.
  • Thanet Users' Forums
    When & Where
    • The St John's Group meets weekly with a formal meeting the last Monday of the month at 12:30 - 2:30pm
    • St John's Community Centre, Victoria Road, Margate, CT9 1LN.
    • The Beacon Forum meets every 3rd Thursday of the month at 11:00am
    • The Beacon, Manston Road, Ramsgate, CT12 6NT.

    We welcome comments and views on all issues concerning your mental health care provided by mental health services. Service users can discuss these issues together highlighting gaps in services and establishing new services. Come along and join us for a cup of tea or coffee.

    Thanet Speakers' Forum
    When & Where
    • Meets at least once a month at 12.30 - 2.30pm
    • St John's Community Centre, Victoria Road, Margate, CT9 1LN.
    Walk & Talk Group
    When & Where
    • Meets once a week on a Tuesday at 1:00pm
    • Margate Clock Tower.
    LGBTQ Forum
    When & Where

    The LGBTQ Forum is a peer support group that meets on a monthly basis This is an opportunity to meet new people in a warm and friendly atmosphere.

    Margate Women's Group
    When & Where
    • Meets weekly at Media Centre
    • 11-13 King Street, Margate, Kent, CT9 1DD.
    Ramsgate Women's Group
    When & Where
    • Meets monthly on the third Thursday of the month at 12:30pm - 2:30pm
    • The Goose, 34-38 Harbour Street, Ramsgate, CT11 8HA.
    The 'John Baker' Art Group
    When & Where
    • Meets fortnightly
    • Media Centre, 11-13 King Street, Margate, Kent, CT9 1DD.

    Come along and try your hand at art making. Beginners welcome. Led by volunteer Cary.

    Gardening Wellbeing Group
    When & Where
    • Meets every Friday of the month at 10:00am - 2:00pm
    • The Windmill Community Allotment Project, Dane Valley Road, CT9 3RU.

    Come along and take part in this local community gardening project. Led by David.
    Their site

    Tea and Chat
    When & Where
    • Meets every Wednesday 11:30am - 1:30pm
    • Media Centre, 11-13 King Street, Margate, Kent, CT9 1DD.
    Music Appreciation Group
    When & Where
    • Meets every Thursday at 4:00pm
    • Druid's Social Club, Cliftonville, Margate, Kent.

    If you are interested in joining any of the groups or forum activities listed above, simply complete our application form and return it to us. Alternatively if you have any questions about our forum or its activities call us for a chat on : 01843 448 384

    Update for Thanet Forum

    Thanet con1nues to grow and develop as a service. We’re also on the lookout for people to suggest changes and improvements to the service that we provide. We’re a service user led organisation at our core and we do what we can to provide the services that you want. Recently, some of our members started talking about board groups and their desire to have a group centred around that, specifically chess. Games of strategy, like chess, are proven to aid in brain power and improve cognitive functions. Especially in old age, it’s important to do activities to keep your mind sharp. So we now have a chess group that meets fortnightly. We’re also still doing our work as the Service User Forum for Thanet. We hold regular, minuted meetings where we keep everyone abreast of any new service developments in the area and take any service user issues that are raised forward to the relevant bodies. If you have any suggestions or comments, we’re always keen to hear them. You can call us on 01843 448 384 or you can email us on admin@speakupcic.co.uk.

    Peer Support

    We to strive to continue offering a wide range of activities and peer support groups for our members, our new bipolar support group, run by volunteer Brian, has grown considerably over the last year and now has over 10 members. New groups include; computer group; creative writing group; relaxation group; welbeing and recovery group: Our other groups, such as Walk and Talk, Art Group and Womens Groups continue to be popular and grow.

  • Deal Users' Forums
    When & Where
    • Meets every Friday at 1:30pm
    • Golf Road Centre, 28 Golf Road, Deal, CT14 6PY

    Come along and air your views on local mental health services.

    Dover Users' Forum
    When & Where
    • Meets every Friday at 10:30am - 12.30pm
    • Dover Big Local, 18 Charlton Shopping Centre, High Street, Dover, CT16 1DL

    Come along and make your voice heard in a friendly and informal atmoshphere.

    If you are interested in joining any of the groups or forum activities listed above, simply complete our application form and return it to us. Alternatively if you have any questions about our forum or its activities call us for a chat on : 01843 448 384

    Update for Deal & Dover Forum

    We are continuing to run Service User Forums in the above areas on a monthly basis. These forums have been well attended by mental health service users. The forums have proved very successful in supporting vulnerable people through a period of considerable change and reorganization in local mental health services over the last year. Service users have taken the opportunity to voice their concerns and worries about these changes, which we, as an organization, have taken forward to local MHAGs. We have also helped service users pursue individual service issues with statutory providers. We have recently “officially” re-launched our peer support groups in Dover, Deal and Sandwich. We aEracted local dignitaries to these events, and they were covered widely in the local press. Attendance at these groups has grown steadily since mid 2016, and we have noted a marked increase in the number of people interested in joining our new Deal group in recent weeks! Additionally, we have been fortunate to have been awarded a generous grant from The Big Lottery for our Sandwich group, which now allows us to remain at The Phoenix Community Centre venue for at least another year. This is in addition to money received from the KCC Members’ Fund, courtesy of Cllr. Leyland Ridings. The group, which contains a number of people with serious long term mental health problems with poor social support networks, will now be able to engage in a range of therapeutic activities and ou1ngs to promote and maintain their mental health. Both in Deal and Sandwich we will be arranging courses to help manage the effects of Anxiety, Stress and Depression. Such a course, running fortnightly for a period of 8 weeks, will commence in Deal on Friday, 24th March 2017. It is being facilitated by Zetta Thomelin, a registered and fully qualified hypnotherapist, who is Chair of the Bri1sh Associa1on of Therapeutic Hypnotherapists and Neuro-Linguistic Practioners. Zetta plans to introduce and demonstrate a range of useful techniques to help manage and control adverse symptoms. She is also able to provide digital aids to course members, so that beneficial therapies can be practiced at home!
    In Deal and Sandwich we have also managed to engage the services of a local reflexologist, Ann Farrington, who has offered to provide “taster” sessions to members at our weekly mee1ngs. There has been considerable interest shown in the aforementioned course, and the planned reflexology sessions, so anybody interested in par1cipa1ng in future courses, or wanting to try reflexology, should register their interest by contacting either Maggie Gallant or John Childs on tel. 01843 448384, or by e-mailing: admin@speakupcic.co.uk
    I would like to express how grateful I am to our volunteers in Deal and Sandwich: Jenny King; Stephanie Downer; Jack Trice and Adrian Payne for their continued support and enthusiasm. Without them my job would be extremely difficult, and we wouldn’t have so much fun!
    John Childs

    More recently one of our members from Dover, Jamie, has written to the local MP Charlie Elphike to invite him to our forum to give members the opportunity to raise issues relating to welfare benefits and housing. We eager ly wait to see if he will attend. SpeakUpCIC have been working with members of the Forum in Deal who attend the MCCHpathways to wellbeing group at the Ability Centre. The service there has changes with some upheavalto members. However with the Forum helping to facilitate the changes members have expressed satisfaction with the new Service they are receiving. SpeakUpCIC has also been working with a new independent group called Talk it Out (see article 'SpeakUpCIC joins up with Talk it Out - below').

    In the local community we have set up a drop-in information desk at the Dover Gateway in order to raise awareness ofthe Stigma of Mental Health, give out information and signpost the public to local services that are available to sufferers.

    We also aim to hold this year's World Mental Health Day event in Dover Discovery Centre so watch this space for news of the event in our next newsletter SpeakUpCIC joins upwith Talk it Out.

  • Ashford Users' Forum
    When & Where
    • Meets first Tuesday of the month at 11:00am
    • Live-it-Well Centre, Canterbury Road, Ashford. TN24 8QF.

    Come along and air your views on local mental health services.

    Ashford Peer Support Group
    When & Where
    • Meets every Tuesday at 11:00am - 12:00pm
    • Scout Hut, Forge Lane, Ashford
    Ashford Peer Support Group
    When & Where
    • Drop-In meets every Tuesday at 1:30pm - 3:30pm
    • By The Tank Cafe, 8 New Street, Ashford, TN24 8TT

    If you are interested in joining any of the groups or forum activities listed above, simply complete our application form and return it to us. Alternatively if you have any questions about our forum or its activities call us for a chat on : 01843 448 384

    Update Ashford Forums Winter 2014

    Hello all! Since the last update things have been busy in Ashford as usual with SpeakUpCIC being involved with a new peer support project at Soll Leisure Park Club. This project is the Active Bodies and Mind Project that supports people with Mental Health Issues to access and use the gym and attend a weekly ac1vity class at the gym. The class exercises are designed by personal trainer Craig Coggle who is very responsive to those with physical disabili1es of any sort. Suppor1ng Craig is Jess Hunt who is lovely to work with and very welcoming and enthused by the work being done. This has been a very exciting and valuable project that we look forward to continue being involved with in the coming months. We have a new volunteer, Richard Beck, running the lunch club in Ashford at the By the Tank alongside James Bailey who is very supportive of the weekly group. James manages some of the administra1on of the Forum adver1sing far and wide locally getting our voice out there and giving people the opportunity of being involved. James also arranges the refreshments for the forum which is always very welcome. Additionally, since our last update we have had a forum visit to see the local MP, Mr. Damien Green who is also the minister for the department of work and pensions. Members had much to say to Mr. Green who followed up this mee1ng with a letter to the CEO of Shaw Trust, who are currently commissioning Wellbeing services on behalf of KCC in the Ashford area amongst others. The Art Group, Creative Writing Group and Depression Support Group con1nue to run at the Ashford Scouts Hut and has seen a steady stream of members attending. We hope that with the Spring arriving that numbers will continue to swell and bring people out again more consistently.
    If you or anyone you know would like to be involved in the activities in Ashford please contact Amanda@speakupcic.co.uk or ring Amanda on 01843 448 384

    We have been pro-active in advertising our program of events far and wide and have seen interest from the local mental health team as well as the job centre plus who we hope to be receiving referrals from. Speakers at our discussion group that runs as part of our drop-in have included Rethink Mental Illness and Activmob this last quarter.

    Currently running alongside this work are campaigns for better secondary mental health services, in which we expect to be involving our local MP Damien Green, and an on-line campaign for government and KCC to put more resources into helping people with mental health issues. Additionally due to popular demand we are very happy to be unveiling our FREE new out-of-hours support group that will run on a SUNDAY 11:00am - 1:00pm at Crooksfoot Tesco starting in the New Year starting with a Launch on January 11th 2015.

    This is just a snap-shot of the things we have been up to in Ashford so if you or someone you know would like to get involved in this exciting project in Ashford please contact : amanda@speakupcic.co.uk.