Richmond Fellowship celebrates ENRICH achievement awards
Richmond Fellowship has released the winners of its annual Enrich awards, recognising successes in providing outstanding mental health services across the country.
The ENRICH awards stand for Enabling, Networking, Respect, Inclusion, Community and Hope, with each category representing one of Richmond Fellowship’s organisational values or an important aspect of the way they make mental health recovery a reality.
The Hope category gave the people supported by Richmond Fellowship the opportunity to nominate the team that has had the most impact on their lives.
This year’s judging panel – comprised of two people who use services and two members of staff – enjoyed reading all of the nominations but had the tough task of deciding which teams would make the shortlist, and who would win the award for each category.
The competition was so high that the judges agreed to award two winners for the Community category, and give an honorable mention to everyone who was nominated for the Hope award.
Enabling – Excellence in innovation
Winner: Selby Floating Support Service
The team, both staff and the people they support, worked together to overcome the challenge of a small budget to find a venue and agree the content for new group discussion sessions. The sessions were facilitated by staff and individuals who use the service together and were designed to encourage discussion around a topic, but also involved a social element such as a quiz which people found to be just as important and valuable.
There’s now a plan for 14 further sessions for 2015 based on what had worked well and feedback about topics that people would like to see. The team has just been given the go-ahead to offer the sessions to the community mental health team, meaning that they will be able to support more people and have a positive impact of their wellbeing.
Liz, support worker, described the sessions: “People talk to each other, discover alternative ways of doing things that are not necessarily textbook, and are open-minded to different perspectives. It has raised confidence, broken down social barriers and helped people to relate and empathise with each other… We laugh, we learn, we sometimes disagree and we are humbled.”
Highly commended: Lancashire Supported Housing Service
For developing films as a way of reflecting on the team’s strengths and interests, as well as the service users’ voluntary work and activities, to help to promote the service.
Networking: Excellence in partnership working
The team decided to hold a local networking event to create an opportunity to strengthen ties and showcase the work that the team does at Rueben’s Court. Staff and individuals who use the service worked together to make the day a success. Everyone was involved in manning the RF stall, catering, photography, or welcoming visitors on the day.
The team at Reuben’s Court has now planned quarterly open days in partnership with Leigh CMHT and organised 10-week programmes of recovery-focused group sessions to support individuals working towards leaving support services which tie in with this schedule.
Through this work, the team have developed fantastic partnership working to increase training and volunteering opportunities. They have also organised a two week exhibition in March 2015 to exhibit artwork that individuals using the service have created with a local organisation, and Wigan Athletic community football team is also providing football-themed fitness weekly sessions, where attendees will receive a Wigan athletic football shirt presented by a member of the squad.
The range of opportunities resulting from effective partnership working has enhanced the service offered at Rueben’s Court and increased referrals. It has led to higher levels of engagement, and improved recovery through support with physical health, voluntary work, and training. Staff have felt more motivated, and increased access to training has encouraged a desire for further learning and development opportunities, allowing for personal growth and increased confidence.
Highly commended: Stockport Home Support Service
For: establishing meetings with local organisations to organise referrals (e.g. to foodbanks, free legal advice, older people), avoid duplication and co-deliver training and courses.
Respect: Excellence in engagement
Winner: Sparky’s Café
The locality team wanted to co-produce a new social enterprise, a café, and advertised this opportunity to individuals using services in Blackpool and Lancashire. They ran a workshop about the aim of the service, the nature of social enterprises and what co-production means.
The team co-designed and agreed the job descriptions and the competency-based interview questions, and individuals who use RF services took part in the recruitment and induction of the whole team. They have also co-produced the menu offer and branding decisions to influence the future of the café.
Sparky’s is still at an early stage of development, but the project has successfully demonstrated the importance of critical involvement from the earliest stage to make co-production real. The team has established process, culture and aims together from the outset.
Highly commended: Portsmouth Support and Recovery Service
For: developing the Solent Recovery College, co-producing and co-delivering training at a main stream education facility.
Inclusion: Excellence in inclusion
The teams in Dorset, Bournemouth and Poole wanted to address stigma and discrimination in the community. Using a grant from Time to Change, they have run a project which aims to provide an art activity for the general public, creating an opportunity to discuss mental health issues with volunteers who have lived experience of mental health problems. Research has shown that this kind of contact is one of the most effective ways of combating stigmatising attitudes and beliefs.
Doug, locality manager, described what they did: “Our target was to achieve 1000 social contacts in the operating year. We have had a presence at 25 events so far and achieved our 1000th contact just after Christmas, and the project continues until the end of March. The volunteers, largely service users from Richmond Fellowship’s Poole community based service, have shown remarkable resilience, motivation and persistence to complete this project which has presented a number of challenges. The project will culminate in a celebratory festival of art, music, performance and wellbeing in the centre of Poole on 28th March 2015.”
Recent surveys by Time to Change have shown that their campaign and projects like Face 2 Face have had a significant effect on improving attitudes, and that over the past few years there has been “marked improvements in people’s willingness to live with, work with, live nearby and continue a relationship with someone with a mental health problem”.
Highly commended: Liverpool locality
For: developing a digital inclusion project based on the skills and knowledge within the team to increase understanding and use of ICT to promote confidence and independence.
Community: Excellence in social responsibility
Many of the individuals the service supports are initially socially isolated, without any sense of community identity or responsibility, and so the team has worked hard to ensure that, as well as meeting digital inclusion targets, they are also promoting both social and community inclusion.
The team has offered training to clients in a variety of establishments in the community, introducing individuals to a range of resources which helps people to feel more comfortable in exploring opportunities that are available to them locally. The team also introduced a session looking at ‘citizenship and community inclusion’, which encouraged people to understand more about their social rights and responsibilities. Staff and individuals using the service worked together, in partnership with a local community hub, to achieve the John Muir Level 1 Award, an environmental award that encourages people of all backgrounds to connect, enjoy and care for wild places. As well as learning about the local environment, the award requires some voluntary community work. The group were also required to put together a presentation to detail some of the work, which they did using PowerPoint for the first time.
Gail, team leader, described the impact that their work has had: “Many of our attendees of the groups have now gone on to use other facilities in their local area, such as art classes, gardening, exercise, walking or cycling groups, and cafés. Not only has this had a positive impact on the individuals’ social life, confidence and self-esteem, but has also facilitated an increase in successful move-on from the service and improved levels of meeting outcomes targets. Undertaking the award has had a notable impact on people’s levels of confidence and social skills, with group interaction improving as the award went on. People have learnt more about working as a team, and have had the opportunity to identify strengths in themselves, such as leadership skills or problem solving.”
Winner (joint): Greenacres and Wiltshire Outreach
The team have successfully established partnerships across the county that allowed them to engage with their local communities while providing vocational activities for the people they support. These partnership projects range from blacksmithing, monitoring bio-diversity, managing footpaths, and a labyrinth which is a social enterprise for a previous client in his landscaping business and a material resource for visitors and schools.
The team have also made their facilities available to youth and community groups, including their porta-cabin for training and as a community cinema, beekeeping, school or public visits to the observatory in Greenacre gardens, and the cabin in the woods for the local scout group. The team also utilised the Buildings in Bloom initiative as an opportunity to refurbish their kitchen and craft room to enable the delivery of an additional range of vocational activities for clients, such as the production of jams and preserves for sale in the farm shop.
By working collaboratively, the team has been highly successful in building lasting partnerships that benefit individuals and organisations inside and out of the mental health field, and added a great deal of social capital to the communities in which they work.
Highly commended: North West Surrey Employment and Wellbeing Service
For: delivering a workshop for staff at the company about mental health and wellbeing at work, as well as developing a work experience programme with a local company for service users to regain confidence, skills and employability.
Hope: Nominated by service users
Winner: East Surrey Core and Work Programme Employment Services
“The team were welcoming, caring and had a genuine enthusiasm in wanting to advise and help as much as they could. Jan really listened to what my problems were, she was truly emphatic to my emotional condition, and she gave me great advice with a sound common sense approach… as I near the end of my journey of recovery I now look forward to an exciting future with an improved financial outcome, a new job and stronger mentality. I will, without a doubt, recommend Richmond Fellowship for anyone who falls on similar difficult times.”
“When I first visited Jan I lacked confidence due to constant bullying by the Job centre, as well as a very tough home life. Since our first meeting she has always been very welcoming and supportive, whilst giving me good advice. It keeps me very focused in trying to find employment when I know Jan is just a phone call away. Without her excellent support I don’t think I would be sitting at the computer now, expressing my thanks to her.”
“The staff have been extremely helpful, much more than I could have imagined. Olive, Barbara and Ian have helped and supported me with everything needed to keep my sanity through this traumatic situation and experience. I had lost my place to live and as a result was unable to return back to work which led to me losing my job.
The team helped me with shopping and money so I could eat and get around. They assisted me in finding shelter from the bitterly cold weather, and getting my property from the house I had been evicted from. Ian did all he could to find my sister to let her know about my homelessness and is still a great help.
Each and every one of the staff have played a fantastic role in my recovery process and are all very professional and positive in their conduct. I feel they have bent over backward to do what they could, from their help I have kept my strength up.
I cannot put into words how truly grateful I am to all the staff for what they do”.
Highly commended: Northampton Supported Housing
“On arrival to William Tarry house I came with a lot of problems such as debt, alcohol misuse, and unable to manage everyday skills and budget my money, however I am now able to not only manager debt, but am working towards being debt free, I continue to be abstinent from alcohol, and are working towards having a stable independent life.”
“My first house holiday was with Richmond Fellowship. We played pool and table football. It was nice to get away from the community to go to another place and to meet new people. Sometimes I am quiet and I could come out of my shell. I thought the BBQ went well, I liked the burgers and donner kebab sticks.”
The following teams and individuals have been awarded an honourable mention for receiving a nomination for the Hope category:
Blackpool Supported Housing
Foxlands House, Colindale
Lancashire Supported Housing
Learning and Development
Liverpool Visiting Support
Fenland Employment Service
Richmond Fellowship Suffolk
YPWED – Rotherham
Each winning service was presented with a certificate and award commemorating the hard work and innovation that their service has put into mental health recovery.
Download our ENRICH award winners booklet 2015 to find out more about the award winners