Zoe Botten Communities Officer

I just wanted to thank you for all the work you have been a part of with East Suffolk Council. Your contribution, honesty and sharing of your experience regarding your mental health journey has been incredible. I know that your frank discussions with the young people have helped them enormously, by giving them advise, support, strategies and above all hope. I very much look forward to working with you again and delivering the invaluable project of Crucial Crew Plus.

Laura Drysdale Restoration trust Director

The Restoration Trust has been collaborating with John Durrant for several years now, and he is a member of our Expert Board. John is an incredibly gifted communicator who can connect with all kinds of people. He helps to break down barriers that stop people from enjoying life and experiencing good mental health.

Beth Stephens Access Community Trust

To have experienced what he has and be so passionate and determined to use these experiences to help others makes John one of those people you really want to know. I’ve had the pleasure of working alongside John a number of times, and witnessed him first hand commit too stepping outside of his comfort zone, developing his skills and confidence and using his expertise in his experience to help, support and educate others. He has worked with Access in to engage young people in schools, delivering workshops and supporting them in understanding and seeking support for their mental health, aswell as delivering training sessions to new members of staff at Access to embed understanding of how best to work with people experiencing mental health challenges.  John’s ability to engage with people from a place of truth and authenticity is both inspiring and necessary if we are to ensure the voice of lived experience is heard, valued and acted upon.

Emma Ratzer MBE Chief Executive Officer Access Community trust

John has supported Access for many years with a variety of projects ranging from delivering Crucial Crew training to young people, sitting on interview panels and guest speaking at large events. John is an amazing advocate for lived experience and provides honest and genuine reflections that educate us all. Proud to include John as part of Access #wearefamily.

Tess from a restoration trust group I lead

Hi John,

Thank you for your talk today.  I haven’t often had the opportunity to see you and talk to you,  it was good hearing your story this morning. A better way to know more about you.

I don’t generally listen to podcasts (am shamefully useless with technology- also have concentration problems). 

Your story was hard hitting and real. It was also refreshing to see how the other men in the group responded to what you were saying 🙂.  Guys generally aren’t always open with regards to talking about mental health issues,  and you were really good getting them so interested and involved 👍. That is a very good SKILL that you have. 

You were open and honest,  which made it easier to touch our hearts, and also identify with many different things that you spoke about. For example,  frustration at not being listened to; an indifferent “system” that often lets us down.  Inconsistencies in all the different agencies. Self-harming,  feeling suicidal, ME,  all that stuff that many of us in the group would have felt or even experienced. 

You have the gift of being straightforward, and you kept all of us interested in what you were saying 🙂.  

 Vicky’s dad died just over 2 weeks ago 😢,  and the funeral is next Monday.  We both have had a shitty chest infection and a load of grief.  Your talk lifted both of us ✨️ 😌 🙌.  It took our minds away from our heartache.

Thank you for such a successful talk, and I hope that these few words here to you will be helpful for your testimonial/CV.

Keep well and strong, and once again,  thank you. 



Sophie Couling Heritage Link worker Restoration Trust

“John came to support our Heritage for Wellbeing Groups during a visit with Rethink Mental Illness. John’s honesty in discussing his own experiences created an atmosphere of openness, and encouraged our participants to share their stories in a safe and respectful environment. Similarly, his knowledge of local mental health and wellbeing services helped people to contextualise their experiences and provided excellent information about how to access help when it is needed.”