Emergency grant scheme opens doors for mental health

Richmond Fellowship has praised an emergency grant scheme after a new report highlighted the benefits it brings to people with mental health problems experiencing extreme poverty or disadvantage.

The Open Doors report released this week showed that emergency grants provided by Family Action helped people, especially those with mental health problems, recover their independence while providing them with safety and stability in their home.

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Sparky's-cafe-recruitment-fair

Mental health café sparks excitement at NHS recruitment day

NHS staff were treated to a taste of Sparky’s on Saturday as the café opened its doors for the first time to prospective hospital staff during a recruitment event in Blackpool.

Sparky’s, the new community café from Richmond Fellowship, is being set up to challenge mental health stigma by providing a space for health and well being advice, social inclusion as well as quality food and drink.

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New year, new employment service launched in Havering

Richmond Fellowship has launched a new employment service to support people in Havering.

We’re here to help anyone with a mental health problem get into training, volunteering or work and maintain and sustain their employment.

We’re developing a new service that puts our clients at the centre of the support we offer. Our aim is to be as flexible, easy to access and convenient as possible for anyone living anywhere in Havering.

If you’ve been out of work for a long time due to your mental health and are keen to get back into employment then we can help you succeed. If you’re experiencing a common mental health problem such as stress, anxiety, or depression, and are worried that this is affecting your job then we can support you to stay in work. If you’re an employer we can work with you to improve your workplace wellbeing and to support any employees with mental health problems you may have.

Our service is available to people over the age of 18 with a mental health problem who live within the borough of Havering. You can contact us directly or we accept referrals from employers, (including occupational health, human resources and line managers), community mental health teams, GPs and any other agencies supporting you. Referrals can be made 24 hours a day through our open referral pathway.

Contact us on 01708 727726 or email: HaveringES@richmondfellowship.org.uk

Face-2-Face-Dorset-chats

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 retains its Matrix Standard accreditation

Richmond Fellowship has retained its Matrix Standard accreditation, which we have now achieved for 12 years running.Matrix-standard-logo

The Matrix Standard is the unique outcomes-based quality standard for organisations to assess and measure their advice and support services, which ultimately supports individuals in their choice of career, learning, work and life goals.

We were required to provide the assessors with detailed evidence of our work and how we’re developing, so a big ‘thank you’ to all the staff who helped us to put this information together.

Find out more about the standard at http://matrixstandard.com/

Minister of State for Disabled People to speak at Swindon Mindful Employers conference

The Minister of State for Disabled People, Mark Harper MP, will speak at the annual conference of the Swindon Mindful Employers network.

Since it was formed in 2008, the Swindon Mindful Employer Network has attracted top speakers and excellent attendance at its annual conferences.

David Latham, who manages the network at Richmond Fellowship, said: “There is a lot of interest in mental health and wellbeing in the workplace and the network has been pivotal in providing an engaging forum for businesses to meet and discuss these important matters.”

Other speakers taking part include Dr Sabir Giga, director of PhD programmes and a senior lecturer in organisational health and wellbeing at the Faculty of Health and Medicine, Lancaster University. His presentation will explore ‘presenteeism’ which is the term given to employees who are suffering mental or physical illness but still attend a place of work.

Successful businesswoman Fiona Bowman, senior manager in the City of London and member of the Worshipful Company of Security Professionals, a City Liveried Company, will talk about her journey from the horrors of 10 years of domestic abuse to the success of her current position. She will powerfully reflect on what it feels like to be an employee and a victim of domestic violence and will stress the importance of employers in the lives of victims.

Richard Frost, the UK lead of Mindful Employer which is celebrating 10 years of growth and success around the country, will be taking part in an interview session with Heart FM which also features Adrian Embling of Mindset Wessex and Geoff Windle of Lift Psychology.

Chair of the Swindon Mindful Employer Network Melanie Richens will host the conference and introduce guest speakers and there will also be a contribution from Mike Godfrey who chairs both The Swindon Initiative and the Swindon Employment and Skills Advisory Board.

This year’s conference takes place at Nationwide House, courtesy of the Nationwide Building Society and Baxter Storey, on 6 November.

More details from smen@richmondfellowship.org.uk

 

Richmond Fellowship to be part of Home Office trial to reduce the use of police cells as a place of safety

We’re to take part in a Home Office scheme to trial alternative ‘places of safety’ to police custody for individuals in mental distress.

Home secretary Theresa May announced the pilot during her speech at the Police and Mental Health Summit today.

She told delegates of the plans to provide a number of alternative places of safety over the course of the three month pilot to give a better experience for people who are detained pending a mental health assessment and to save police time and resources.

As part of the pilot, Richmond Fellowship will be exploring options with Sussex Police and Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust to use alternative accommodation to police custody as a ‘place of safety’ to take someone in distress to for a mental health assessment.

Richmond Fellowship chief executive Derek Caren said: “The evidence shows that a police cell is not the best place to take someone to if they’re in mental distress. As a voluntary sector organisation we’re keen to explore what part we can play in providing alternative ‘places of safety’ for individuals in crisis when they’re at their most vulnerable.”

Richmond Fellowship is already signed up as a supporter of the Mental Health Crisis Care Concordat. It already runs a number of crisis services across England, providing support for people in the community as either an alternative option to an admission to hospital or as a step-down between an inpatient stay and returning home.

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’re named as provider of new crisis services in Leicestershire

Richmond Fellowship has been awarded the contract by Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust (LPT) to provide mental health crisis services to support people in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.

The service will provide short-term intensive support for individuals who need additional help during times of mental health crisis.

Service user and members of the public were consulted in shaping the specification for the new service which will provide:

  • Access to telephone and face-to-face support in times of crisis
  • Facilities to accommodate short residential stays for people who might otherwise be admitted to hospital because no alternative is available.

Our crisis support will enhance the NHS Trust’s existing acute mental health care pathway and forms part of wider service development plans to increase access to timely and effective care in the community, and help avoid unnecessary hospital admissions.

LPT project manager Zayba Joondan said: “The evaluation panel was very impressed with the submission from Richmond Fellowship. Their organisational commitment to recovery and inclusion and the innovative ways in which these values will underpin their model of service delivery for the crisis house stood out in their bid.”

Richmond Fellowship locality manager Christine Lawrence said:”We’re really excited to be working with Leicestership Partnership NHS Trust to provide this new crisis service. We’re commited to playing our part in creating joined-up services that can truly provide the best possible care to people with mental health problems, especially in a crisis situation when individuals ae at their most vulnerable.”

The new service is due to launch in January 2015.