Kirklees Employment Support awarded grant

We’re very pleased to announce that our Kirklees employment service has won a grant of £95,095 through the Job Centre Plus as part of the DWP Flexible Support Fund.

The grant will fund a one year programme working with pre-Work Programme claimants presenting with mental health issues. The service will offer a focused programme of activity over a 12 week period to support people into paid or voluntary work or other provision, such as education.  The project will work with people in Kirklees and Calderdale and it’s a great opportunity for us to extend our employment services into Calderdale where there is currently no service at all. It will be a way for us to begin building relationships with other agencies and further develop conversations with Calderdale mental health commissioners about the need for a full service in the area, which we will be well placed to deliver.

Well done to everyone who played a part in securing this vital funding.

For further information about employment services in the Kirklees area please click here.

Mayor opens our new employment service in Dewsbury

The Mayor is officially opening our new employment service in Dewsbury today.

Our new office is an exciting expansion of our existing Kirklees employment service. It means we’ll be more accessible so we can help more local people develop the skills they need to manage their mental health problems and return to work or training.

Team leader Paul Moulding said: “We’re delighted to be opening this new office which will allow us to expand our coverage in Kirklees  and help more people with mental problems on their recovery journey back to work.”

Our Kirklees service currently works with around 80 clients a month and last year about 88% of the people we supported said we met their needs and helped them achieve their goals. 

Our team of experienced employment advisors already has an excellent track record of supporting people in Kirklees into paid employment, voluntary work and education.

A recent service user said: “Whilst on the RF Work Skills course I got help with my CV, application forms, job searching and investigating training and career opportunities. 

“The facilitators also gave me advice and tips on how to talk about my health issues with employers which was very helpful. I now feel like my confidence and self-esteem has improved and I have a better outlook on life. I have interviews lined up for volunteering work.”

The Mayor is officially launching our Dewsbury service at 11am at our new office on Daisy Hill.

Find out more about our services.

New local project tackles mental health discrimination head on

Our innovative Face 2 Face project in Dorset, Bournemouth and Poole has been awarded a grant of £39,950 to to help tackle mental health stigma and discrimination by national campaign Time to Change.

Face 2 Face is managed by Richmond Fellowship in partnership with community interest company ZooFish Arts and the Borough of Poole Arts Service and will be led by people with mental health problems. The project will aim to establish meaningful and open conversations with others in the local area, bringing people who don’t have mental health problems into social contact with those who do. Evidence suggests that this kind of contact is one of the most effective ways of breaking down stigma and discrimination.

Face 2 Face will use creative activities to draw in members of the public and create opportunities for one-to-one conversations. Trained volunteers will attend festivals and community events across Dorset and run simple arts based activities and workshops. These will lead to discussions on mental health and chances for volunteers to share their own experiences of mental health problems.

Doug Low, Richmond Fellowship locality manager, said: “We’re hoping to recruit up to 30 volunteers to work on the Face 2 Face project who have lived experience of mental ill-health.”
Time to Change is England’s mental health anti-stigma programme run by the charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness and funded by the Department of Health, Comic Relief and the Big Lottery Fund.  The programme is distributing grants to local community-led projects as part of its drive to improve public attitudes and behaviour in relation to mental health.

For information about the grants please visit

For more information about the project or to enquire about becoming a Face 2 Face volunteer please contact Doug Low on 07786 191192 or email

New provider relaunches services to improve wellbeing of people living in Wakefield

Two services have been re-launched to give people in Wakefield better access to support for their mental health or learning disability needs.

From April 2014 Richmond Fellowship takes over as the new provider of the Wakefield Mental Health Support Service and will provide a range of support options for people with mental health needs to access in their local community.

The Wakefield Mental Health Support Service is made up of three elements:

  • Drop-in – we’re providing a safe space at a variety of local venues for people to drop in for a cuppa, catch up with others and get a range of information and advice to solve practical problems, access other services and deal with crises. There will also be a dedicated drop-in service for young people.
  • 12 week support programme – we’re running tailored programmes of one-to-one support for individuals and a series of group-based workshops on topics such as anxiety management, challenging unhelpful thinking, assertiveness, anger and stress management, relaxation techniques, sleep management, maintaining mental health through physical activity and healthy eating.
  • Peer support – we’re helping set up a peer support network so that people can get help from individuals who have lived experience of mental health problems and can understand what they’re going through.

Richmond Fellowship is also working in partnership with Mencap to provide an employment support service to help individuals with mental health problems, learning disabilities, autism and other hidden impairments get back in to work, volunteering, training or education.

The Wakefield Employment Service provides one-to-one pre-employment advice and support, work trials and placements, training opportunities, support to find paid work, and job coaching and in-work support.

Tina Warne, locality manager for Richmond Fellowship, said: “We’re really pleased to be working with Mencap to provide opportunities for local people with mental health problems or learning disabilities to make positive steps in their lives. And it’s great that we’re able to give local people greater access to support through our new community-based schemes.”

Michelle Clark, service manager for Mencap, said: “We’re looking forward to starting the new service alongside Richmond Fellowship and supporting people to find and sustain paid employment.’ 

The two mental health services have been commissioned by Wakefield Council.

Innovative new partnership will strengthen our support for people with mental health problems

Richmond Fellowship and innovative Midlands-based community mental health social enterprise My Time CIC are joining forces.

The two organisations are entering into a formal partnership which will enable them to strengthen and improve the services they can offer to support people with mental health problems.

Richmond Fellowship has pioneered and practised social inclusion and recovery for more than 50 years and is now one of the biggest voluntary sector providers of mental health care in England. It offers a wide range of housing, care, employment and community support, helping more than 9,000 people every year.

My Time CIC is an award-winning, innovative service user-led multi-lingual community mental health provider working in the West Midlands. In 12 years it has developed community based solutions to increasing levels of depression, anxiety, low self-esteem and long-term mental health issues.

Richmond Fellowship chief executive Derek Caren said: “We’re really excited about the potential innovation and community-based solutions that My Time can bring to Richmond Fellowship. We’ve been proactively seeking out formal partnerships with like-minded, successful organisations to help us achieve our mission of making recovery reality for the thousands of people we support each year.”

My Time chief executive Michael Lilley said: “We’re delighted to be forming this partnership.  The philosophical approaches of My Time and Richmond Fellowship are closely aligned, both being service user led.  With the needs of service users right at the heart of everything we do, we believe we can build on our philosophy and our complementary services to continue to fully support individuals suffering with mental ill health.  My Time will also benefit from the financial strength provided by the much larger Richmond Fellowship.”

My Time will remain a community interest company in its own right and continue to provide and manage its own services. for more information about My Time visit its website:

Three more years for our Middlesbrough supported housing scheme

We’ve had our contract to provide supported housing in Middlesbrough extended for another three years.

Our North Ormesby Road scheme provides one to one support, helping people to identify their own goals to empower them to achieve a better, more meaningful lifestyle via their chosen recovery Journey.

Support may include :

  • daily living skills such as paying bills, budgeting, assisted shopping and/or cooking
  • self care advice and advocacy
  • meeting new people, developing self confidence, social inclusion
  • further education, training, voluntary or paid work,
  • peer support

Find out more about the scheme.