Big White Wall: New name, continued support

We are excited to announce that our partners at Big White Wall are re-naming.

The service, which is available for free to all of our staff, people we support and volunteers provides a safe online community to support your mental health, 24/7.

Big White Wall has undergone significant transformation in past few years, and they feel that it is the right time to move the brand forward. Through research and open conversation, they have chosen a name that truly represents the company and their values of inclusivity, positivity and belonging, regardless of gender, ethnicity, sexuality or religion.

What’s next?

At the beginning of August the new name will be announced, and you will start seeing communications from the service that look different, including an updated URL and logo. Up until the beginning of August the service will continue to operate as Big White Wall.

The service name is changing, but the commitment to providing safe and accessible mental health support remains consistent.

If you aren’t yet a member, and you feel like you need a place to talk visit www.bigwhitewall.com today to find out more.

Gender Pay Gap Reporting 2019-2020

Richmond Fellowship’s gender pay gap currently stands at 0.7%. This is well below the UK gender pay gap of 8% for our sector.

Read the statement here.

Along with other companies in the UK, Richmond Fellowship’s gender pay gap has seen a decrease every year.

The table below shows the median pay gap for Richmond Fellowship for 2018 and 2019.

Median Gender Pay Gap
Hourly Pay 2018 4.54%
Hourly Pay 2019 0.70%

The ‘gender pay gap’ is a percentage which shows the difference between the full time equivalent average (median) earnings of men and women. Often there is a gender pay gap in companies because there are fewer women in senior positions.

There are many reasons for this but importantly figures show an increased gender pay gap over the age of 40 which indicate that life events such as having a child may negatively impact progression.

Women returning to work after leave are paid 4% less than their counterparts. Societal and political changes are required to combat these causes.

Gender Pay Gap vs Equal Pay

The Gender Pay Gap as a measure can be criticised as it does not account for age, experience or difference in job roles. It is not a comparison of like for like jobs and may not provide the information people need to challenge unequal pay.

Equal pay, on the other hand, is a measure where like for like jobs are compared. This can usually only be done within a company and not across companies. In Iceland, they have implemented a legal equal pay standard whereby each job is analysed for education requirements, physical strain, mental stress, and responsibility and given an overall score. Time in position or time out of work impacts the measure less.

Although the gender pay gap may not be the best measure it certainly provides a basis for organisations to identify the reasons for their pay gap and develop action plans to combat it such as Richmond Fellowship has done.

Coronavirus update (23 March 2020)

As a mental health and recovery focussed group of charities, we know how vital it is for people to look after their mental health during the current coronavirus pandemic.

We’ve put robust measures and contingency plans in place at both national and local level to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all staff and people we support during this time of uncertainty.

As of Monday 23 March, all our mental health services remain operational across England, but we are anticipating some disruption to our services over the coming weeks. We’re reviewing the situation on a constant basis in line with government advice and will publish any updates on our website accordingly.

In the meantime, we ask all individuals visiting our services to observe government and Public Health England advice and guidance, including:

– washing hands thoroughly for 20 seconds when arriving and leaving our services
– practicing the distancing measures of 2 metres between individuals
– not to attend face to face appointments if they’re showing signs of coronavirus and to self isolate.

We also ask if they’re unable to make an appointment, to let their Recovery Worker or Employment Advisor know.

Derek Caren, Chief Executive of Richmond Fellowship said:

‘As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to change rapidly, I’d like to pay tribute to our staff that are providing such an important service for people we support at the moment. The safety of both clients and staff remains our number one priority and we’re continually reviewing the situation in line with government recommendations. I’d also like to take the opportunity to remind both staff and people we support that they have access to Big White Wall, the online 24/7 mental health resource and to sign up if they haven’t done so already’.

Old Moat Garden Centre scoops Good Retail Award

Richmond Fellowship’s Old Moat Garden Centre in Surrey has won another prestigious award, this time competing against a range of retail organisations from all over the UK.

The Good Retail Awards are presented every year at the retail trade show Spring Fair at Birmingham NEC and celebrate retailers making a positive impact in the industry.

The Old Moat won the Community Award for companies who have gone above and beyond to transform and enhance the lives of others.

Judges commended the garden centre for its “lasting impact in the local community”.

The Old Moat is a hugely successful garden centre that provides a work-based program for local people living with mental health challenges, giving them the confidence and skills to get back into employment.

Each year the centre’s work impacts directly on about 150 people living with mental ill health, but the ripple effect touches hundreds more as their families and friends gain peace of mind, waiting lists in doctors’ surgeries and hospitals are reduced, employers gain qualified confident staff, and the community is enriched by their increased participation in it.

A person we supported said on his last day:

“It’s like a community here, everyone knows each other, I’ve had a lot of fun, and it’s really helped me out”.

To find out more about The Old Moat Garden Centre, visit www.theoldmoatgardencentre.org.uk.

On air with Radio Sparky!

We’re always looking for innovative ways to tell stories at Richmond Fellowship – so welcome to Radio Sparky, a new podcast pilot showcasing some of the great things happening at our services across the country.

In this first edition, Matt Webb from the Communications and Marketing team catches up with Olivia Green, Activities and Wellbeing Support Worker at Winston House, Richmond Fellowship’s Residential Care Home in Cambridge and a couple of the people they support to find out more about their play ‘Cleanarella’ which they staged on the run up to Christmas.

“I was good at drama at school, I got an A level in it. It brought back memories. I’m a recovering drug addict and alcoholic. It was an opportunity for me to shine.” – Andy, person we support.

Tameside service group enjoy Lakes challenge

A group of individuals from Richmond Fellowship’s supported housing service in Tameside recently enjoyed a fantastic 5 day outdoor challenge holiday in the Lake District, thanks to a grant provided by the National Lottery.

People using the service had the chance to participate in an array of different challenges including caving, scrambling, zip-wiring as well as piloting a boat.

After exploring the outdoors, the group enjoyed cooking together and showing off their talent in an impromptu song and dance.

They ended each day relaxing by Lake Windermere and a wonderful starlit sky.

All those who attended are currently receiving support from the service in Tameside to manage their own mental ill health.

Garry, one of the participants said:

“It was great to be in a team encouraging each other and relying on each other. It was hard pushing myself but very worthwhile. I know I can do more now.”

Chris Delderfield, Registered Manager at Richmond Fellowship’s Tameside supported housing service said:

“This was a fantastic opportunity for the people we support giving them the opportunity to experience a range of outdoor activities and spend 5 days in a very rural setting which, for most people, was a completely new experience. This holiday was only possible thanks to the generous grant that we received from the Big Lottery Fund.”

Developing our Tameside Supported Housing service

1 in 4 people in the UK experience mental health issues each year, and incredible work is being done across the country to tackle mental health stigma. Richmond Fellowship supports tens of thousands of people across the country every year, providing tailored support to tie in with each person’s needs, interests and aspirations – and we are proud that 97% of people who use our services feel that Richmond Fellowship has improved their quality of life, and 93% feel safe and secure in our services.  

Supported housing is one of the key models of support we offer. As well as offering a safe, welcoming place for people to live, the support provided helps people along their path of recovery to independent living. We are proud to have run supported housing services in Tameside for many years, and have never had any problems with the local community in that time. We are committed to continually improving the quality of the properties we provide. Our new property would replace ageing accommodation, and will be a modern, self-contained flat complex with support staff on-site 24/7 in order to provide the best recovery environment for the people we support. 

We will be talking to local people in order to hear any concerns and promote understanding of our work and services.

Sudbury service receives donation of £1,700 from local Rotary Club

Tony Platt (left) presenting the cheque to Jenna Keenan (middle) and Sue Capstaff (right)

Richmond Fellowship’s Sudbury supported housing and community service in Suffolk has received a cheque for £1,700 as part of their charity of the year status with the local Rotary Club.

Tony Platt, President of the Sudbury Rotary Club selected Richmond Fellowship, the Suffolk Befriending Scheme and East Anglian Air Ambulance as his chosen charities for his 2018-2019 ‘Rotary Year’.

Various fundraising events took place over the last 12 months and proceeds split between the three charities. Events included the town’s annual Christmas Tree Festival in St Peter’s Church in December, a Valentines Day collection in Sudbury Town Centre during February, the Rotary Club’s annual charity gala dinner with special guest speaker BBC News presenter Huw Edwards and a Sudbury Last Night of the Proms music event in June.

The cheque was presented to the service’s new Community Link Worker, Jenna Keenan and Recovery Worker Sue Capstaff at the Rotary Club’s AGM in July.

The money will be spent locally, providing even more recovery based activities and trips for those using the service.

Kerry Stiles, Area Manager for Richmond Fellowship’s East Anglia services said:

‘This is wonderful news for our team and those using our services in Sudbury. The service is a bastion and champion for fundraising and it’s lovely to see their work in the local community rewarded. I’d like to pay tribute to Tony Platt for selecting Richmond Fellowship as one of his chosen charities and to all those involved in the Sudbury Rotary Club for their fundraising efforts during the past year’.

The news comes as part of a bumper fundraising year for service, which was recognised as Great Cornard Coop’s charity partner of the year, receiving £2,800 back in March.

Richmond Fellowship’s Leicestershire Life Links service is Mayor’s Charity of the Year

Richmond Fellowship’s Leicestershire Life Links service has been chosen as Braunstone Mayor’s fundraising charity for the year.

Parminder Basra, Mayor for Braunstone, selected the service because she’s seen the impact that mental ill health can have on the local community.

Mayor Basra said:

“I have lived in Braunstone town for 23 years and amhonoured to be representing the community as Mayor. Prior to becoming mayor, I worked closely with disadvantaged communities to help improve their life chances, hence why I feel so passionate about helping others, as I know that with the right support, time and guidance people can achieve their goals and future aspirations and become active citizens in society.

“It is my great pleasure as Mayor to support our local charity Leicestershire Life Links, part of national mental health charity Richmond Fellowship as my fundraising charity of the year. I chose Life Links because through working in the community I have witnessed first hand the widespread effects of mental ill health, both on the individual themselves and also their  family and friends. I therefore want people to know that support is available to them and to know how they can find it – not just for their own mental health and wellbeing but also to help  support somebody close to them who may be suffering.

“Supporting Life Links also resonates with me on a personal level as I sadly lost my father to a lung disease. Being diagnosed with this illness  had a significant impact on him, as prior to his illness he was such an independent and active person and sadly his diagnosis led him to become withdrawn and feel low. I know if my father had had access to a service like Life Links it would have really helped him mentally and may have also given him the strength to fight his illness and live longer.

“We often talk about physical health and keeping fit, but it is crucial that we also raise awareness to the benefits and importance of maintaining our mental health. The more we talk about mental health, the more it will help to break down barriers to accessing support and thus reduce the stigma that many people still face.

“Mental Health is an illness that can affect anyone at any time in their life and if we continue to talk more about how it affects people, it will help educate us all in how we can help those suffering so they do not feel embarrassed or alone”.

To find out more about Richmond Fellowship’s Leicestershire Life Links service, visit their dedicated website at www.rflifelinks.co.uk.

Old Moat Garden Centre scoops Garden Centre Outlet of the Year

Richmond Fellowship’s Old Moat Garden Centre and Cafe in Surrey has won the Garden Centre Outlet of the Year Award at the Horticulture Week Business Awards, beating off competition from garden centres right across the UK.

And if that wasn’t enough of an achievement, they also won second prize, highly commended, in the category of Best New Build, Refurbishment, Refit or Extension.

A small team from The Old Moat attended the awards event on Thursday 27 June at a top London hotel to hear the results announced. They were “over the moon” with the awards, which they hadn’t dared hope they would win!

Garden Centre Manager Jack Shilley said:

“We’re absolutely thrilled. This is a massive achievement for all our incredibly hard working, talented staff, our wonderful volunteers, and of course we wouldn’t be here without the people we support – a massive thank you to everyone involved. We are also so grateful to our loyal customers and those who support us at our events – without them we couldn’t keep going.”

The Horticulture Week Business Awards are the most prestigious and respected in the UK horticulture industry. They are not just an accolade in themselves but come with a year-round package of media opportunities that will enable the garden centre to further raise its profile, so helping secure the service’s future.

The Old Moat supports individuals to gain confidence and skills by working alongside staff and volunteers in the garden centre, shop and café in a safe, supportive environment.