Mental health services doing an important job in Cambridge


Mental health services in Cambridgeshire are ‘doing a very important job in a very effective way’
according to a leading service user network.

Services from national mental health charity Richmond Fellowship, part of Recovery Focus, in Wisbeth, March and Godmanchester were visited and independently appraised by the SUN Network. Read more

Liverpool comedy event tackles mental health stigma

Comedy trustPeople living with mental health problems have been given the chance to take to the stage and talk about their experiences as part of an evening of comedy to raise awareness for World Mental Health day.

Richmond Fellowship, the national charity making mental health recovery reality, has teamed up with the organisers of the annual Liverpool Comedy Festival to run the event tackling mental health stigma.

Feeling Funny, an evening of comedy held in the city on Thursday 8th October, is the culmination of a project where people living with mental health problems have undertaken work shops in writing and performing comedy.

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Charity staff sleep rough for homelessness

Grazina, Angela and Beth sleeping rough to raise awareness for homelessness

Grazina, Angela and Beth sleeping rough to raise awareness for homelessness

Richmond Fellowship staff braved the cold to sleep rough at an event in Birmingham to raise awareness of homelessness.

Recovery worker Beth Mason from Richmond Fellowship’s Brendan House supported intervention service in Cannock was joined by Grazina Berry, Director of Performance, Quality and Innovation and Angela Williams, Director of People and Organisation Development at the CEO Sleepout held at Villa Park in Birmingham, the home of Aston Villa Football club.

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Charity scheme tackles mental health and homelessness

People living with mental health problems are increasingly becoming homeless

People living with mental health problems are increasingly becoming homeless

A national mental health charity is launching a new service alongside Wiltshire Council to prevent people with mental health issues in Wiltshire becoming homeless.

The Community Housing Support Service is a joint project between Richmond Fellowship, the national charity making mental health recovery a reality, and Wiltshire Council with the aim of preventing people with mental health issues losing their homes.

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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.

Bereavement and suicide themes at special session of the Swindon Employers Network

Swindon Mindful Employers Network, which is managed by RF, is staging a one-off awareness session on the subjects of bereavement and suicide.

This special event will be chaired by the former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey of Clifton, who was also formerly vice patron of Richmond Fellowship. He said: “I’m pleased to return to the town and look forward to joining the Swindon Mindful Employer Network once again and hearing from guest speakers about these very difficult matters. We urge local businesses to take the opportunity to come along and find out more.”

The event, on 13 June, aims to provide much needed support and advice to businesses which may have employees experiencing bereavement. It will also focus on suicide and the impact this has on family members, friends and work colleagues and consider the resources there are available in Swindon to provide support.

Guest speakers will include Frances Mayes of Public Health Swindon, Mandy Rutter of Validium, Mary Mooney of Lift Psychology, Linda Morgan of The Samaritans and Jacqueline Parry of SOBS (Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide). Cormac MacMahon, news editor of Heart FM, will present an interview and Q&A session with the guest speakers.

David Latham, who manages the network at Richmond Fellowship, said: “Everyone experiences tragedy and bereavement at some point in their lives – it’s simply unavoidable. At these extremely difficult times, work colleagues can play such an important role.  People experiencing bereavement may possibly feel very isolated and suffer from mental health issues. Managers need professional guidance during these periods – and considerable patience and understanding.”

Frances Mayes of Public Health Swindon, who is speaking about suicide at the event, said: “Employers may be surprised at the number of people bereaved by suicide and the particular impact that has on their life. Sadly since 2007 we’ve seen an increase in the number of suicides nationally and locally. Many people attribute this to the financial impact of the recession.

“There are actions that employers and particularly line managers can take to support those affected that will make a significant difference. This session will help explore some of these issues and help employers become more aware of the risk factors and support available.”

he event will be held at Jurys Inn Swindon Hotel on 13 June and attendance is free to local employers.

Booking is essential on

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.

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