Guildford Daisyfest chance for us to showcase our art

Guildford Daisyfest gave us a chance to showcase the talents of our artists.

The event earlier this month was an opportunity for our community arts scheme Art Matters to show new work and run workshops.

The team showcased ‘Heads Up’ – ‘Who are you looking at?’, an art response to the media’s obsession with ‘perfect’ looks and questions how images from fashion magazines and celebrity media impacts on people with disabilities. Art Matters used collage to create images, changing faces and subverting identities to explore beauty and conformity and asks ‘Who are you looking at?’

They also exhibited ‘A Question of Balance’ print – a recent collaborative work with East Surrey College and the interactive work ‘The Creativity Tree’.

Daisy – Disability Arts in Surrey, organised the two day festival to showcase local talent alongside some of the country’s leading disabled artists.

Find out more about Art Matters.

Richmond Fellowship named as part of visionary new mental health system in Bristol

Richmond Fellowship has been named as the new provider for specialist employment and wellbeing services as part of an innovative new integrated mental health system in Bristol.

Subject to a 10 day cooling off period, the contract will be formally agreed with Bristol Clinical Commissioning Group. This follows a rigorous three year tendering process.

A broad range of integrated services will be provided by nearly 20 organisations with specialist expertise and experience, coming under the umbrella of Bristol Mental Health. This will include community mental health (including assessment and recovery, crisis support, early intervention in psychosis and complex psychological interventions), community rehabilitation, dementia wellbeing and assertive engagement.

We will be working in partnership with Mental Health Matters, Windmill Hill City Farm and the Bristol Somali Resource Centre to provide specialist employment support to people with a mental health problem that is affecting their ability to retain, or seek, employment.

Stephen Smith-Trask, assistant director for operations at Richmond Fellowship, said: “We’re delighted to be given this opportunity to make a real difference to people living in Bristol. Having a mental health problem doesn’t have to be a barrier to employment and getting back into work can be a really positive step in someone’s recovery journey.”

Jill Shepherd, chief officer of Bristol CCG, said: “We’re excited that our vision for a different, modern and Bristol based mental health service is finally about to begin.”

We have a strong track record of providing specialist mental health employment support. We already run around 20 employment services across England. In 2013/14, 72% of people who used our services were successfully helped into employment, training, further education or retained their job.

The new look Bristol Employment and Wellbeing Service will launch in October 2014.