LES NEWINGTON BCAv
Les has for four years been a member of Survivors Unite peer support group. He first used the group to overcome his own challenges, after an upbringing in which he was failed by friends, family, professionals and the system. But in 2014, it became apparent that Les was also a capable public speaker, enabling him to advocate for the needs of survivors in many different settings. Les became more aware of his want and need to support other survivors in the Borders and since has been dedicated to this essential work.
Les has become a supportive friend to group members many of whom will call on him when times are hard. Additionally, Les and his wife Christine have gone ‘over and beyond’ in support of one group member, who nearly died through self-harm.
Les also contributed to the consultation around the development of the Scottish Borders Mental Health Strategy over a two-year period. Through this process Les has raised awareness of the needs of survivors, particularly the need for trauma informed practice at all levels of public and voluntary service.
The biggest impact Les has made is undoubtedly to have the words ‘Childhood Trauma’ included in the Scottish Borders Mental Health Strategy and identified as an unmet need within current mental health provision.
Nominated by: Amanda Erskine