Vinny Cowling

Advocate of peer support and Chair of the People Focussed Group (PFG)

Vinny lives with multiple mental health disorders and is a provider of peer support within his local town with the help of the People Focussed Group (PFG). Vinny is also the Chair of PFG. 

The PFG is a community group that provides a vital service to the residents of Doncaster and provides such services as; Peer to Peer support, WRAP and Talk for Health training along with a good 'old cuppa and chat' service for any community member who experience any form of poor mental health. Vinny also advocates for the group at his local University Centre, where he is at present a student and student representative on a BA (hons) Applied Social Science degree course. 

Vinny is a firm believer in strong, equal and effective working partnerships between all communities, local authorities and central government. He believes that without such partnerships there will be no such thing as communities, only those that you would see in a museum. 

However, Vinny's biggest passion, hate and life path lies in mental health. His personal experience of living with poor mental health not only nearly took his life, it has also saved his life too. Despite the odds being stacked against him, with each step Vinny takes he is surviving. The fact is is that there are many others who may not and too many have not survived. 

Vinny feels very lucky to be a member of the PFG; it's the family he never had and it's not built at the cost of the taxpayer or capitalistic corporations waiting to line there pockets. The power of peer support is greatly underestimated and undermined, at the point of crisis, when all other services have 'given up'. Vinny would not be alive if it wasn't for his peers supporting him and saving his life. 

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