Mental health charity teams up with county council to expand services

A national mental health charity has teamed up with Durham County Council to expand its supported housing services in Bishop Auckland.

Richmond Fellowship, the national charity making mental health recovery reality, operates supported housing services throughout the country to help people living with mental health problems gain the skills and confidence they need to move onto independent living.

The charity already operates a service in Durham and is now expanding to Bishop Auckland after teaming up with the county council as well as Auckland Home Solutions, who own and manage the building.

Andy Rowe, locality manager for Richmond Fellowship in Durham, said: “We’re very pleased to be expanding our supported housing services in the county and helping make mental health recovery reality for more people.

“The new site at Langholm Place will help more people learn the key skills and gain the confidence they need to move onto independent living in the community and make progress along their recovery journey. It’s a very exciting time for everyone.”

Richmond Fellowship’s supported housing services offer a safe and comfortable environment for people living with mental health problems. The charity’s team of support workers help residents move on to more independent living through a structured programme of courses that teach skills and build confidence.

Richmond Fellowship’s helped 89% of the people who used their supported housing services between 2014/15 to move on to independent living.

David Shipman, strategic commissioning manager for children and adult services at Durham County Council, said: “Langholm Place will offer a modern alternative to traditional residential care, enabling residents to live as tenants in their own self-contained apartments and enjoy greater independence while still receiving the help and support they need.

“By helping people gain the skills and confidence to live independently, it will provide a suitable stepping stone for people to move into their own homes.”

Chris Tague, managing partner from Auckland Home Solutions, said: “Langholm Place is the culmination of all of our hard work to bring a much needed scheme into operation. Its impact for those recovering from mental ill-health in the area is already evident. Its something we can all be proud of.”

Langholm Place is holding an open day on 10 July to showcase the new service and raise awareness of mental health in the area.

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