The participation of adult service users, including older people, in developing social care

Practice example 8: Hafal

Characteristics of service users involved

National voluntary organisation for mental health service users and their families and carers in Wales.   (Hafal means 'equal’ in Welsh.)

How service user participation within the organisation is ensured

Hafal is a service user led organisation managed by trustees who are themselves mainly service users and carers. A programme, led by the Empowerment/Recovery Co-ordinator, works with clients, volunteers, staff and trustees in identifying practical ways to achieve a better quality of life by opening up greater opportunities for self-determination.

What policies on service user participation has the organisation formulated?

These can be found in Hafal’s Recovery Programme. Services are expected to hold meetings with service users at least monthly. All services are expected to involve service users but the level of involvement may vary according to the type of programme.

How are service users supported?

Hafal has developed a Partnership Compact which outlines its commitment to working with service users and the standards that service users can expect.

How are the effects of participation monitored, audited, and evaluated?

Hafal has produced a report, You’re the Expert, based on questionnaires returned by over 300 service users and carers living in Wales.  Other means of appraisal include Hafal’s annual operational audit, a complaints and comments system, and informal talking and listening by the Recovery Co-ordinator and the Hafal Trustees.

What makes organisations succeed in participation?

Hafal encourages engagement at every level, from their own course of recovery, to the running and management of the local Hafal service, taking part in local consultation, and the wider activities of the Wales-wide activities of the charity, through to campaigning on major mental health issues.

Contact details

Alun Thomas (Deputy Chief Executive) Suite C2, William Knox House, Britannic Way, Llandarcy, Neath, SA10 6EL 01792 816600 hafal@hafal.org