Face 2 Face is going for one thousand chats by Christmas!

The innovative Face 2 Face project, funded by ‘Time to Change’ to tackle mental health stigma and discrimination in Dorset, Bournemouth and Poole, is pulling out all the stops to make contact with its one thousandth member of the public before Christmas Day.

Face 2 Face is calling on the public to get involved to end mental health stigma and discrimination and has been running a number of pop-up shops for people to visit where the team has been offering free drop-in arts activities and encouraging people to make their own Christmas decorations.

Face 2 Face provides arts-based activities that bring people without a mental health problem 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 suffered by those experiencing a mental health problem.Over the past seven months the Face 2 Face team has been tackling discrimination by having meaningful and open conversations with members of the public. So far the team has reached 875 people.

Spokesman Doug Low said: “The volunteers are doing a fantastic job at talking to people in our community and helping transform the way they see mental health problems. Just a few small words can make a big difference to someone with a mental health problem. Talking about the issue can really help to break down stigma and discrimination. We hope to get to a 1,000 conversations very soon!”

The Face 2 Face project is managed by Richmond Fellowship in partnership with community interest company ZooFish Arts and the Borough of Poole Arts Service.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: doug.low@richmondfellowship.org.uk

Richmond Fellowship to run new community cafe in Blackpool hospital

The running of a new community café based at The Harbour, Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust’s new state of the art mental health inpatient development located in Blackpool has been awarded to the Richmond Fellowship.

The Richmond Fellowship, a charity that provides advice and support for people with mental health issues, will be managing and running the café when the Harbour opens in Spring 2015. Their vision for the café is that it will provide a community hub where people can go for a relaxing chat with friends, as well as providing people with health and wellbeing advice ranging from healthy eating to dementia awareness sessions. The Richmond Fellowship will also be working with local colleges to provide apprenticeships and employment opportunities for individuals with lived experience of mental health problems.

Alistair Rose, Project Director for The Harbour at Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust said: “We are very pleased to announce that the café at The Harbour will be run by the Richmond Fellowship. The charity does some outstanding work supporting people with mental health issues and we really feel this partnership will provide a positive environment for people in the community to not only come and enjoy the refreshments, but also have an opportunity to work together to help reduce stigma around mental health issues.

“We look forward to working with the charity and setting the foundations for what will be a promising and successful partnership.”

Richmond Fellowship regional manager Wendy Baylis-Wareing said: “We’re really excited to be working with the local NHS to provide this community café in their major new hospital development. It’s an opportunity to truly put the wellbeing of our staff and customers at the heart of running a successful enterprise. We want the simple act of having ‘a snack and chat’ to be a way to challenge mental health stigma and help people feel a valued part of their community.”

The Harbour will provide a total of 154 beds and building work is due to be completed in November with occupation due in early 2015. The development is part of the Trust’s on-going commitment to modernise inpatient mental health services and improve the quality of care it delivers. The new unit will achieve a more therapeutic environment for the people who use the service and better working conditions for staff.

You can find out more information about The Harbour by visiting www.lancashirecare.nhs.uk/TheHarbour.

Popular Bailey’s café saved thanks to new partnership

We’re joining forces with the Water Lily Project to give the popular Bailey’s café a new lease of life and save it from closure.

The Water Lily Project (WLP) is a Christchurch based charity which offers outreach support to local and vulnerable women to help them cope with and overcome whatever difficult situations they find themselves in.

WLP will be taking over the running of Bailey’s Café from Richmond Fellowship’s East Dorset Community Service.  Due to a change in the contract to provide services from the premises in Barrack Road, Richmond Fellowship needed to find a partner who could take the café on.

WLP project manager Lynn Chisadza said: “In addition to this venture that we have taken up, WLP is also pleased to have the opportunity of opening its first residential home in early 2015. We’re so excited about the potential that running the café will bring. This will enable the project to give training opportunities and provide a useful resource for local residents.

“We are so grateful for the support we have received thus far from Dorset County Community Fund, Round Table, Seedbed Christian Community Trust, local churches, local people and the local borough council who share our dream.”

Richmond Fellowship will continue to run its mental health community services from the Barrack Road offices and will be extending the groups and activities it runs in the Christchuch, Purbeck and Wimborne areas, under the terms of its new three year contract with Dorset County Council.

RF locality manager Doug Low said: “We’re delighted to be working with the Water Lily Project to keep the café open to the general public, including those people with mental health issues, and to be taking our services out to local people through our new community service contract.”

We launch new services in Leicestershire and Bristol

Today we launch two new services which means we’re able to help make recovery a reality for even more individuals.

Our new Leicestershire Life Links community based service will provide drop-in, inreach and peer support services across the county.

And our new Bristol Mental Health Employment Service has also gone live as part of an innovative new integrated mental health system in the city.

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

Our employment service is one of the first elements of the new system to go live. We’re 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.

 

Volunteering with wildlife helps turn lives around

Volunteers from Richmond Fellowship’s services in Dorset have taken part in conservation tasks with Dorset Wildlife Trust, to help aid their recovery from mental health problems.

A group of service users from our Dorset community-based scheme worked on an area of land recently acquired by The Erica Trust, as an extension to the ‘Happy Bottom’ nature reserve in Corfe Mullen.  The volunteering activity, which is part of the Great Heath Living Landscape project, helped to clear Himalayan Balsam – an invasive species which smothers native plants.

Eric Longworth, who has anxiety and depression, has been volunteering with Dorset Wildlife Trust through our scheme for six months.  He said: “Doing this work outside gives me peace of mind and clarity.  It helps lift my worries.  I would recommend it to anyone trying to overcome anxiety – it’s hard to make the first jump, but works well alongside my medication and it’s a distraction from the things that worry me.  Every time I come out, I learn something different – I saw a bee orchid the other day, which I had never seen before.”

In 2011 Richmond Fellowship volunteers were awarded Dorset Wildlife Trust’s ‘Helen Brotherton’ group volunteering award, in recognition of their commitment and enthusiasm towards wildlife.

Sally Wright, community conservation officer for The Great Heath Living Landscape Project, said: “It’s a real pleasure working with the volunteers from Richmond Fellowship. some are starting our Wildlife Champions award scheme, to recognise their hard work and give them confidence to share their new skills with others in the community.”

Neil Gibson, a Richmond Fellowship community link worker, said: “Volunteering outside is a way to make new friends, socialise and develop an interest in wildlife.  We don’t talk about mental health whilst on volunteering tasks, as spending time outdoors is a good distraction, which can help with recovery.  We like working as a team to help each other out, and are very grateful to the Dorset Wildlife Trust wardens, who are always very accommodating.”

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
E: info@eclipsebarnet.org.uk
www.eclipsebarnet.org,uk
Facebook | Twitter

Time banking scheme gets quality mark

Our Time, Richmond Fellowship’s time banking scheme in Liverpool, has been awarded a national quality mark by Timebanking UK.

The quality mark demonstrates our service is meeting Timebanking UK’s recommended best practices and has been awarded to us for the next three years.

Time banking is an exchange and sharing of skills and the only currency is time. The time bank is made up of members who receive one credit for every hour they give to the bank. The members earn their credits by providing services to members and spend their credits by buying services from other members.

Time banking promotes social inclusion and empowers individuals by making the members feel valued as they are able to share their skills with others and learn new skills themselves. Find out more about our service.