Organiser – Footsteps Festival 2021
Lived experience of persistent pain, organiser of peer-to-peer support network, Lived Experience Partner with NHS.
Having suffered a neck injury playing sport at school, Mark went on to develop very long-term persistent neuropathic pain. This has had a major impact on his life, affecting his ability to engage in activity, work or lead a ‘normal’ life. He is still severely impacted by this.
Having had to stop working due to intensified symptoms, Mark took a pain management programme with local NHS services in 2017. This gave him the management techniques and impetus to begin to make changes to his life. He co-founded and organised a patient-led chronic pain support group in Camden, London (CamPain). This led to opportunities to engage as a lived experience partner with the public health service both locally and then nationally with NHS England and Improvement
Mark is particularly concerned with developing the autonomy of people with pain in the treatment and management of pain – both their own and in the coproduction of services. He believes patient-led groups are important in providing peer support and working with healthcare professionals to improve pain management.
Footsteps Festival is an expression of this and Mark has been delighted to be involved from an early-stage. He has participated as a lived experience partner in a number of Festival projects, mostly those concerned with Mindfulness but also in the 10 footsteps Programme.