Service users & carers

Recovery College course
The library service has worked with experts by experience (service users with a lived experience of mental health issues) to deliver the Reading and Research for Recovery course at the Recovery College. Evaluations have shown that attendees have found this useful to signpost them to good quality information sources to help them find relevant information to help them with their recovery. If you are a member of staff, carer or service user, you can attend this recovery college course. Further information can be found here

Uffculme Library 

An open access computer has been set up at the Uffculme Library for use by those attending the recovery college courses, including service users and carers. Some service users have started using the library as a base to do reading and research while attending recovery college courses.

You can download a short guide about library services that are available for Service users and Carers attending the Recovery College.


Books on Wards

The library service has been working with Birmingham City Council’s ‘Library Services at Home’ team to facilitate the provision of a regular book collection for interested inpatient services – two services currently using this service are Cilantro at the Barberry and Ardenleigh.

The library team have also helped with setting up a service user-led library service at Ardenleigh and will soon be working with the occupational therapy team at Reaside Clinic to develop a similar service.

If you would like the team to help your unit, please contact us.

Reading initiatives

The Reading Agency hold a reading challenge every year (currently named ‘Reading Ahead’) in which people are encouraged to read at least six books, poems or articles. They can complete a reading diary and enter a prize draw. For a number of years the library service has offered packs of quick read books and reading diaries to wards and units so that service users have the opportunity to participate. Staff have also participated in these reading challenges.   You can read more about the 2017 Summer Reading challenge here

Picture of Martina Cole


Popular crime fiction author Martina Cole spoke to service users and staff about her books at the Barberry. This event was well attended and created a shared sense of excitement among both service users and staff who enjoy reading her books.

Wellbeing-themed reading collection for staff, service users and carers


A small group of dedicated readers within the Trust have created an online collection of poems, fiction, true life stories and short stories for adults and children, which could help improve your wellbeing. In early 2014, Pravir Sharma, Consultant Psychiatrist, and Anita Phul, Librarian, began working together on the Many Roads to Wellbeing reading project after Dr Sharma started thinking about how he could help his patients to get better and if reading can support them. Many people enjoy reading and this relaxing activity can have a very positive effect on our wellbeing. It can inspire hope and may give us motivation to move forward and overcome challenges.

Anita says: “The reading resources that may appeal to you will depend on your own preferences and experiences that may be influenced by where you are on your personal life journey. The Many Roads to Wellbeing website allows people to search by themes including acceptance, maintaining hope and cultivating mindfulness.”

To view the collection of reading resources, please visit manyroadstowellbeing.wordpress. com or enter in the Google search bar ‘many roads to wellbeing reading’.

An accompanying paper booklet is available from our Trust’s Library Services, which contains a few examples of full poems and short stories from the collection. To obtain copies of the booklet for yourself, or to distribute to others, please email:

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