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.

Eclipse Barnet celebrates a successful first year

Eclipse Barnet recently celebrated its one-year anniversary.

Providing support to approximately 155 transitioned service users and 176 new service users, the service has already achieved a great deal since its transition from RF Barnet and Mind in Barnet to become the new look Eclipse.

The scheme offers a wide range of courses, including confidence building and stress management, and around 15 weekly social groups such as creative writing and music groups.  There is also one-to-one support through key advising sessions, training and peer groups.

The team has developed excellent relationships with local services to ensure we can provide  the highest level of support possible  to service users.

Plans for the coming year include working closely with service users to get feedback and suggestions for how our courses and groups can be improved further. Other aims include developing more relationships with other local organisations, recruiting more peer volunteers and mentors to support others on their recovery journey, and to continue work raising awareness and reducing stigma surrounding mental health within the community.

Eclipse is aiming to expand its social media following as an online community support network, and you can follow the service on Twitter and Facebook.

For more information about Eclipse Barnet:
T: 020 8359 4999
Facebook | Twitter

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.