RF News

Below you'll find all the latest news from Richmond Fellowship.

For comment, interviews, case studies or information on our latest news, journalists can contact Richmond Fellowship’s communications team on communications@richmondfellowship.org.uk or phone 0207 6973 342.

Building work starts on our new Southend supported living scheme

The diggers have moved on site to start building work on our new supported living scheme in Southend-on-Sea, Essex.

The £4.8m development, supported by investment from the Homes and Communities Agency, will include 33 self-contained flats more specialised facilities, as well as one wheelchair standard apartment, communal areas for residents, office space and staff accommodation.

The scheme on Sutton Road is being developed by our partners Sanctuary Group to replace Chalkwell Lodge, our existing supported living scheme in Westcliff-on-Sea.

At a special event to formally mark the start of construction, local ward councillor Margaret Borton dug the first spade into the ground. She was joined by Chalkwell Lodge resident Paul Mills and representatives from Richmond Fellowship, Sanctuary Group, and builders UK Construction Ltd.

Richmond Fellowship locality manager Lesley Brady said: “We’re really excited about this new development as it means our residents will be able to live in self-contained flats rather than the more communal accommodation we’re currently using. This will make it much easier for us to support them to develop the independent living skills they need to be able to move on to their own homes.”

Councillor Lesley Salter, Southend-on-Sea Borough Council’s executive councillor for adult social care, health and housing, said: “This is a very exciting development to give vulnerable residents the vital opportunity to live independently in a safe and supportive environment.”

The Sutton Road scheme is due for completion in Spring 2015.

Richmond Fellowship wins new IAPT contract in Redbridge and Havering

Richmond Fellowship (RF) is proud to announce a new partnership with North East London Foundation Trust (NELFT) and Big White Wall (BWW) to win a new IAPT contract in London.

We will be specialising in employment pathways in partnership with NELFT as clinical lead and BBW, who will be using innovative technology to offer therapy online.  This is our first partnership with new partners and advances the amazing work that locality manager Ros Hatt has undertaken over the last few years to grow our employment services in east London.  Our staff will co-locate with our partners and play a key part in ensuring high quality services that promote self resilience and sustainable pathways to recovery. It’s an exciting first step into the sphere of digital mental health services for RF.

In the coming months we are will also be looking at working on another project with BWW in Waltham Forest and envisage a strong working relationship as we progress in the future.

New non-executive director joins Richmond Fellowship

We’ve appointed Peter Molyneux as a non-executive director on our Board

Peter has considerable experience leading organisations in the health, social care and housing sectors and has undertaken projects for a number of organisations including the Tenant Services Authority, the Welsh Assembly Government and the Department of Health (in England).

He is currently chair at SW London and St George’s Mental Health Trust and managing partner at Common Cause Consulting. He’s previously been chair of NHS Kensington and Chelsea and a director at Health and Housing.

He has wide experience of governance in the private, public and voluntary sectors. He has been chair of Strutton Housing Association, a board member of Hexagon Housing Association, a statutory appointee on the board of Novas Scarman, vice chair of the Housing Association’s Charitable Trust and a trustee of Westway Development Trust.

He is a member of the Homes and Community Agency Advisory Group on Older People and Vulnerable Adults and an expert advisor to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. He is a member of the John Madejski Centre for Reputation Management at Henley Business School and a member of the advisory group for the Board Leadership Programme at the King’s Fund.

We welcome him on board.

New non executive director joins Richmond Fellowship Board

We’ve appointed a new non executive director to join RF’s Board.

Tansi Harper also becomes the new chair of CAN, our substance misuse subsidiary in Northamptonshire.

Tansi’s career was in education. She has been principal of a Leicestershire community college and a college for profoundly disabled young people. She has experience working in leadership roles within the third sector and as regional Consultant for HEFCE for the East Midlands and Northern Ireland. In the later years of her career she also held positions on a variety of health boards.

Since retiring she has continued in those roles and is currently the lay member of Corby CCG responsible for patient and public engagement, taking a particular interest in learning disability and mental health. She is also chair of Northamptonshire Probation Trust and is currently chair of a 4 Probation Trust transformational change programme. She is a former member of the Board of the Probation Association.

We welcome her on board.

Solent Recovery College holds inaugural presentation ceremony

​Friday 28th February was the inaugural certificate presentation ceremony of Solent Recovery College (SRC). SRC began offering 13 recovery-focused courses in September 2013 and 145 students have successfully completed courses.

The event took place at the Highbury College Campus in Portsmouth and was attended by Professor Geoff Shepherd, Senior Policy Adviser of the Recovery Programme at the Centre for Mental Health and programme leader of imRoc. Professor Shepherd took the opportunity to speak about the widespread benefits for organisations, peer trainers and students that recovery colleges can bring, as well as the positive changes in attitudes that they can help create within local communities.

Students were presented with certificates, with many of those receiving awards having completed more than one course since the recovery college opened in September. The ceremony marks the first successes of a project RF Portsmouth has been proud to be a strong partner in, working alongside Highbury College of Further Education and Solent NHS trust.

There are now 18 recovery colleges in the UK but Solent Recovery College is the only one thus far to operate from a full time FE college campus. The initiative has the full support of Portsmouth City Council, who provide funding for peer trainers. It’s also a contributing factor in Richmond Fellowship being the largest employer of peer support staff in the city, and we provide both paid and volunteer peer workers to co-design and co-deliver all the courses alongside mental health professionals from Solent NHS Trust, including a consultant and a local GP as well as staff from CMHTs.

The next year will see further development of SRC, with a programme of courses for the spring term already being delivered and further courses proposed for 2014-15. Courses are open to people who use mental health services in Portsmouth, their carers and supporters and staff from the three partner organisations. Portsmouth City Council have also recently agreed an extension to RF’s support and recovery contract, which will ensure the partnership can continue to thrive and Solent Recovery College can go from strength to strength.

Eamont Terrace gets its contract extended

Eamont Terrace – Richmond Fellowship’s 24-hour supported housing scheme in Hartlepool – has had its contract extended for a further two years. This follows a recent service review process and QAF review, in which the service was awarded a Grade A rating.

Well done to all the staff at Eamont Terrace who have worked incredibly hard over the past eight months to raise standards and secure the longevity of the service.

You can find out more about the service by clicking here.

Richmond Fellowship signs up to Time to Change mental health anti-stigma pledge

Richmond Fellowship has joined the growing number of organisations committing to end the stigma and discrimination against people with experience of mental health problems by signing a pledge with national campaign Time to Change.

The pledge-signing ceremony took place at our annual national managers conference this week, where our chief executive and chair pledged our support to ‘Time to Change’, committing us to promoting a better understanding of mental health problems while offering support and welfare advice to our staff and people who use our services.

Richmond Fellowship, one of the largest voluntary sector providers of mental health services across England, has been championing recovery and social inclusion for more than 50 years.

Chief executive Derek Caren said: “We’re working towards a society that values everyone with mental health problems. By signing the Time to Change pledge, we demonstrate our commitment to champion this vision amongst our own staff, the people who use our services and the wider community.”

Richmond Fellowship joins the wide movement of organisations that have signed up to the Time to Change pledge, including British Gas, Ernst & Young, BT, Transport for London, Citizen’s Advice, Channel 4 and many NHS trusts, universities, and local authorities.

Sue Baker, Director of Time to Change, said: “It’s fantastic that more and more organisations are showing their support in tackling the stigma experienced by people with mental health problems. Employers and their staff can all play a part in helping to stamp out stigma and organisations like Richmond Fellowship are taking a lead.”

Time to Change is England’s biggest anti-stigma programme led by Mind and Rethink Mental Illness and funded by the Department of Health and Comic Relief. Set up to create a positive shift in public attitudes towards mental health problems, Time to Change promotes better understanding to combat discrimination towards people who experience mental health problems.

ENRICH achievement awards winners

Richmond Fellowship’s annual ENRICH achievement awards winners have been announced. This year we received over 100 fantastic nominations and the standard was higher than ever. The judging panel enjoyed hearing about the incredible work individual services were doing to make recovery a reality and in our Hope category, we heard first hand from people using our services how Richmond Fellowship had impacted positively on their lives. Because we had so many impressive entries, the judges decided to add a Highly Commended award to each category.

Enabling – excellence in innovation

Winner: 2Care Derbyshire – Trevayler

For: The work undertaken to create an improved service by refurbishing a cluster house into a five bedroomed crisis house. Last year, it was recognised as a major part of the local crisis team and received their quality mark. A phenomenal amount of positive feedback  has been received from service users and the staff team has now expanded, as a new transitional service is being developed in partnership with the local NHS Trust to help people move on from an inpatient stay. .

Highly Commended: Richmond Fellowship Liverpool – Our Time

For: Piloting a time banking scheme where participants are encouraged to exchange time and skills with others, focusing on their abilities. Through the scheme, service users are able to build up their confidence and social networks, enabling them to integrate with their local communities. Our Time has since received the  quality mark from Timebanking UK.

Networking – excellence in partnership working

Winner: Richmond Fellowship Cheshire East

For: Demonstrating exceptional partnership working with the local LIFT project to secure re-commissioned contracts and lottery funding. The team worked hard on the financial logistics to ensure the viability and success of the service. They developed a new service model that provided support to entire families affected by mental health issues and secured their initial three clients. With a strong foundation for growth in place, the service is set to go from strength to strength.

Highly Commended: Richmond Fellowship Liverpool – Derwent Square

For: Working with Rathbone Hospital in Liverpool to secure supported housing for five long-stay patients. The team faced the challenge of breaking down stigma in the community and met with local neighbours, retailers, community support workers and politicians to help dispel myths and prejudice. All five service users were enabled to take up their tenancies and commence a more independent lifestyle.

Respect – excellence in engagement

Winner: Performance, Quality and Innovation team

For: Driving higher levels of service quality by recognising the need for teams of individuals with different skills, knowledge and experience to review our services. The job description of peer assessors was developed as a result, with payment for their work and substantial support throughout the process. This increased their self-esteem, confidence and communication skills whilst PQI received improved service user feedback.

Highly Commended: Richmond Fellowship Cambridge Employment Service

For: The work carried out to develop the Inspirational Leaves art project facilitated by two service users. With support from an employment advisor, they established a project that aimed to encompass artistic techniques alongside employment related skills including teamwork, negotiation skills, time-keeping, motivation and confidence. Participants have since gone on to gain voluntary and paid employment.

Inclusion – excellence in inclusion

Winner: Richmond Fellowship Suffolk Recovery Support

For: Developing new and innovative ways to strengthen communications and provide engaging community-based activities that increased social inclusion and confidence. These included creating social media accounts to keep people informed about goings on and activities at the service, working in partnership with a befriending service to provide monthly social meetings, and securing an allotment for staff and service users to cultivate together. Additionally, the ‘Get Going’ group was established to provide social support to service users both past and present, enabling people to meet up with their friends and maintain a strong social support network.

Highly Commended: Richmond Fellowship North West Surrey – Croft House

For: Recognising the need for increased service user integration within the local community and organising a successful community ‘diversity day’. The day raised the profile of RF and increased understanding about mental health. Additionally, Croft House established a number of weekly activities including meditation, an art group, a communal cooking session, outings to the cinema and swimming, all of which helped to increase a sense of social inclusion and build up support networks. Nine service users were able to move on in the last year, with one person gaining paid employment as an IT consultant and one long-term service user finally moving out.

Community – excellence in social responsibility

Winner: Richmond Fellowship Milton Keynes and Northants – Repton House

For: Establishing a conservation group where service users benefitted the local community whilst simultaneously  helping themselves through the increased physical and mental wellbeing that engaging in a focussed group activity brought. The group was attended by ten service users across three services and two members have since gone on to do further voluntary conservation work for the Parks Trust at Stony Stratford. The group created a strong sense of community spirit and inclusion.

Highly Commended: Blackpool Community Development Worker

For: Reducing stigma surrounding mental health within the wider community through the organisation of a ‘pop-up village’ event. The event was organised in partnership with over 40 community groups and comprised of multiple activities that everyone could get involved and have fun with. Both service users and staff were involved in organising the event, which received a significant amount of media attention. Ultimately the event brought communities together and Liverpool Council signed the Time to Change pledge soon afterwards.

Hope

Nominated by people using our services for the team that has made the most difference in supporting them on their recovery journey. Please visit our ENRICH blog post to read the nominations in full. Below we have included extracts from the winning nominations.

Winner: Richmond Fellowship Colindale

“When I came to Colindale I was very vulnerable… I wasn’t coping well.
My key worker Sandra informed me that I was going to make decisions on the support I wanted… Staff supported me to do a risk assessment and to ask for permission for me to keep my cat which was allowed. This was the first time anyone had ever given me the chance to say what I wanted to do…
I have not self harmed for over a year now and I attend an arts group, horse riding and do voluntary work helping disabled children to ride horses and groom them. After doing these activities for a year, I gained more confidence and for the first time I am in a relationship. My boyfriend is really supportive and we became engaged in April last year. I am getting married in November this year and I recently found out that I am pregnant with my first child.
I thank staff at Colindale who helped me to gain my skills and to become independent and have enough confidence to move on into the community”.

Highly Commended: Richmond Fellowship Bletchley and Bucks Employment Service

“I was referred to Richmond Fellowship to help me look into voluntary work three years ago, due to very low self esteem, secondary to my mental health problems. I was very low and had little hope of working in my life.
Working with the service I became a strong, more confident person with a sense of direction.
I felt important and heard – a person, not an illness.
After my experiments with voluntary work I realised I was sitting in the place that could offer me exactly what I was wishing for all that time – a friendly, understanding, patient, passionate environment. I became Bletchley Employment Service volunteer administrator.
Over my time here I’ve become unrecognisable. I have so much more confidence and I’ve rediscovered my passion for the countryside and outdoors. Even now I am in disbelief that I will be attending college to study Countryside Management this coming September.
Thank you Richmond Fellowship Bletchley. You will always be part of my heart and I’ll never forget what you’ve done for me”’.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Congratulations to all of our winners and thank you to everyone who nominated.

 

 

Mental health and Mindful Employer headlines at Swindon CIPD gathering

The Swindon branch of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development will host an awareness session at New College in March for its local membership on the issues of mental health in the workplace.

Organised in association with the Swindon Mindful Employer Network, which is co-ordinated by Richmond Fellowship, the event looks at managing stress at work, identifying stress in ourselves and colleagues and explores the benefits of being a Mindful Employer. Guest speakers include Melanie Richens, Chair of the Swindon Mindful Employer Network, Geoff Windle of Lift Psychology and Adrian Embling of  Mindset Wessex.

David Latham, who manages the Swindon Mindful Employer Network for Richmond Fellowship, said: “We’re grateful to the Swindon CIPD for inviting us back to speak to their membership on the important matters relating to mental health in the workplace.  I’m particularly pleased that we’re joined by some accomplished and highly knowledgeable guest speakers who can provide advice to HR professionals. We realise that mental health – particularly stress – is of growing concern to the business community.”

Jules Goddard, Swindon and North Wilts CIPD events co-ordinator, feels these types of awareness sessions are becoming more popular: “HR professionals are facing increasing issues and problems involving mental health and the possible sickness absence associated with them. The truth is that we can’t ignore or dismiss the problems caused by stress and the damage it is doing to individuals and businesses everywhere.  I’m delighted the Swindon Mindful Employer Network, Lift Psychology and Mindset Wessex are able to join us for this eagerly anticipated event.”

Sickness absence statistics over the last decade show an alarming increase in employees taking time away from the workplace for mental health reasons and in particular stress.  This session will explore the issues around managing stress at work and how we identify the signs of mental illness in our colleagues and ourselves. We shall also explore the benefits of businesses being positive on mental health matters and developing resilience – and transforming into a mindful employer.

This event takes place at New College, Swindon on Thursday March 20th. Booking is essential through the CIPD swindon-events@cipdbranch.co.uk.

Find out more about our Swindon employment services.