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Croydon Service User Network (SUN)

How our service can help you

What is SUN?

Croydon Service User Network (SUN) is a community-based support group for adults aimed at helping people cope with distressing thoughts and feelings in a safe way. SUN aims to empower people to problem solve their current struggles whether emotional, relational, social, or practical.

Who can join SUN?

You can refer yourself to Croydon SUN Project if you are an adult 18-65 years old registered with a Croydon GP. We welcome people from all sorts of backgrounds to learn from each other’s experiences.

How does the group work?

We offer three groups a week; two in the community and one group a week online via Microsoft Teams. Each group runs for two-and-a-half hours with two breaks.

You can attend Croydon SUN groups as often as you wish. SUN groups offer peer support and members both offer, and receive, support. Two mental health professionals facilitate the group.

All of the support provided by Croydon SUN Project happens within the groups themselves in a confidential and safe space. New members are helped to complete a Crisis and Support Plan (CASP) in their first group. A CASP sets out the steps you take to cope with stress and any challenges in life, so that the group knows how best to support you in times of crisis.

  • Service Type: 2 Service Borough Covers: Croydon
  • Contact the service

    Site Location: Services at other sites Email: Phone Number: 020 3228 8541
  • Disabled Access: Yes
  • Address: BME Forum,
    56a Mitcham Road,
    CR0 3RG
  • Business Hours/Visiting Hours:
    Monday: 2:15-4:45,
    Wednesday: 2:15-4:45,
    Friday (online): 10:00-12:30
  • Other essential information

  • Conditions: depression

Frequently Asked Questions

Who can benefit from SUN?

Any adult experiencing difficulties with emotional needs, including challenges with relationships, stress, and impulsivity and difficulty managing this in a safe way. This may or may not have led to a formal diagnosis. We also welcome people from all sorts of backgrounds to learn from each other’s experiences.

Why do people join SUN?

SUN has been used in other parts of the UK, and members report:

  • Better ability to problem solve difficulties and things causing stress
  • Feeling understood and accepted
  • Less contact with crisis or emergency services
  • To get ideas about how to cope
  • Less risky or destructive behaviours
  • Feeling less alone and isolated

What happens at a SUN group?

Each group meeting is two-and-a-half hours, and follows the same three stage format with breaks in between each stage:

  1. Check In: people say what support they want from the group, and/or whether they can offer support to others
  2. Main discussion: depending on what topics or themes are raised at the check in, the group negotiate an agenda (always prioritising risk) and offer support and advice to each other, including alternative ways of coping.
  3. Check Out: closing the group and making sure people are OK to leave.

What is expected of me?

You will always be asked to check in and check out. You will be encouraged to tell us whether you have any concerns about your safety and that of others. In the main discussion, you will be encouraged to give support and receive support, and generally be part of the group. You need to be able to work within a group and follow the group model and structure.

How long can I join SUN for?

Once you have completed your CaSP, the ticket of entry into SUN then you can attend as many or as few groups as you choose. If you have not attended a group for three months or more we will need to update your CaSP in the group when you next attend.

Is SUN like a Community Mental Health Team?

No, all the work in SUN is done within the group as the peer support element is key. The facilitators do not spend individual time with members. Whilst attending SUN, you can still be open to another mental health team and in crisis you would be signposted to relevant services.

Can I invite someone to the SUN group?

To attend a SUN group, a person has to register with the SUN team. If they have not done this, they will not be able to attend any groups.

What if professional visitors attend SUN groups?

Occasionally professional visitors may ask to observe a SUN group to understand the model of support. If a visit is expected, members of that group will be notified in advance.

Will you collect my information?

We only collect the personal data required to ensure a person receives the support they need. For more information about how data is held, please go to our information sharing webpage -

Are the groups confidential?

Everyone attending the group is asked to respect each other's confidentiality and to not disclose anything discussed within the group outside of the group. There may be times when group facilitators need to share information with other professionals. They will always aim to discuss this with you within the group and come to an agreement about what action is needed.

Can I meet up or speak to other group members outside of SUN?

We do not encourage people to meet outside of SUN, as it may disrupt the group process e.g. people feeling left out. We also discourage communicating on social media.

What if I want to leave SUN?

To stop being a member, you will need to inform the SUN team.


If you are interested in joining one of our upcoming Croydon SUN groups, please complete our registration form.

Once you have completed this, a member of the SUN Project team will contact you by telephone to explain more about how the groups work and book you into your first group. You will have an opportunity at that point to ask any questions you might have for us.

Please note we only accept self-referrals*. Health and social care professionals are not able to refer clients/patients on their behalf, but they may choose to signpost clients/patients to our website or give them one of our downloadable flyers.

* If you have communication needs which make it difficult to self-refer, please speak to another professional for support in completing the form or you can contact us directly by telephone.

Group Timetable 


2:15 to 4:45 pm in person at BME Forum, Croydon


2:15 to 4:45 pm in person at BME Forum, Croydon


10am to 12:30 pm online via Microsoft Teams

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