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.

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