Post lockdown tour of our services

Since lockdown has started to ease, Jo Schofield, our Head of Operations in the North, has taken the opportunity to visit several services and see for herself how staff and people we support have been getting on.

In this blog, she tells us more about these visits and what they tell us about our staff’s commitment to Making Recovery Reality, and how proud she is of how well staff and people we support adapted to the COVID-19 pandemic

Moor View (Care Home)

Yesterday was a great day for me. As Head of Operations for the North, I have always been out and about visiting our services but due to Covid-19 that hasn’t been possible since March 2020. However, yesterday I ventured out to my first service visit since lockdown. I visited Moor View our registered care home in Halifax with 24-hour nursing. Upon arrival, I was temperature checked and offered disposable PPE.

Even though I was at Moor View for a meeting with colleagues, I took in the environment and was impressed with the cleanliness of the building. I introduced myself to two staff who I haven’t met before and they told me that they felt safe in the workplace, they felt well informed and supported. Whilst I have heard daily about the good work that is happening in services, there is nothing quite like seeing it for yourself!

Our frontline workers have continued to go into their workplace and adapted their home life to ensure they are as safe as they can be to continue to support the people that use our services.

Today I really felt such pride for everyone I met at Moor View. Not only our frontline staff for their awareness and alertness around Covid-19 but also the people living in our services. It was obvious to me that a lot of work had taken place to educate some of our residents about keeping themselves safe and respecting personal space and maintaining a safe distance with our staff and other residents and visitors to the service.

Trevayler (Crisis House)

Continuing on my visits to services to see how things are going on the frontline during the pandemic, last week took me to Trevayler. Trevayler has two elements; a transitional unit for people moving from a hospital setting and also a crisis house for people experiencing a mental health crisis that require some interventions to prevent a further relapse in their mental health.

As I walked down the drive, I could see what has now become a familiar sight when visiting Richmond Fellowship services; the colourful rainbows in the window that residents and guests had coloured to represent “hope” during the pandemic.

On arrival I was told that I was entering a Covid-19 free zone and asked if I had had any of the identified symptoms, which I confirmed that I had not. I spent time walking around the building and viewing an area of the building that will be transformed into a Crisis Haven over the coming weeks.

There were six staff in handover and I talked to them about how they felt coming into work on the frontline during the pandemic. They collectively told me that this was their job and that they did what they do. At this point, they felt very supported and said that  Richmond Fellowship had done everything possible to make sure they were safe.

As a senior leader in the organisation, I came away feeling proud of the staff working at Trevayler and how they had made adjustments to their lives to ensure the safety of those they support.

There are no words that can describe my gratitude of those working on the frontline to ensure that people we support continue to get the support they need, when they need it.

Tower House (24 Hour Supported Housing)

Last week, my service visits continued. I went to Tower House which is a 24 hour Supported Housing Service in Chester.

Upon arrival I couldn’t hide my smile as I saw the window covered in rainbows acknowledging “hope” during the pandemic. Residents engaged with craft sessions to decorate the window; joined in the clap for carers on Thursdays at 8pm and knew the importance of keeping themselves safe to reduce the risk of falling victim to the virus.

As I was shown around the beautiful building I met resident after resident who kept a safe distance and wore their face masks when they were in communal areas. One of the residents I spoke to explained that they had COPD and therefore was exempt from wearing a face mask but told me that they weren’t going to take any chances and was happy to wear one to keep everyone safe.

The three staff on duty spoke to me about how the residents have responded positively to changes within their living environment and how to start with it was extremely difficult but with lots of education about the Coronavirus and additional support offered, residents had responded really positively. They were really proud of how the residents had adapted during this really difficult time.

I came away from Tower House feeling confident that the staff and residents were working together to keep the service operating in a safe way and that the safety measures in place were not intrusive, but a true reflection on how the virus is being taken seriously within the setting.

What these service visits have shown

These service visits have reinforced what I already knew about our amazing staff and people we support. Throughout the entire pandemic, staff have shown resilience and commitment to our mission: making recovery reality. Even when the country was in a state of crisis, every staff member I encountered radiated hope and respect. They were all focused on enabling the people we support to achieve their goals even in the most adverse external circumstances.

As lockdown measures continue to change, we will keep working with staff and people we support to adapt how our services operate. We believe that everyone has a right to participate fully in society, and we will always ensure our services are running – whatever challenges the future might hold.

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.”

Richmond Fellowship awarded Employer of the Year

Progress to excellence logoRichmond Fellowship was named Employer of the Year at Progress to Excellence’s Training and Education Awards, held this month in Liverpool.

The national mental health charity, part of Recovery Focus, won in the category for more than 250 employees for their contribution to the communities they support through a commitment to training. Progress to Excellence is a specialist training provider in the health and social care sector. Read more

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.

Read more

Hartlepool PCSO thanked for service to mental health

PCSO Bell alongside staff and residents at Eamont Terrace

A Hartlepool based PSCO was praised this week by residents at a supported housing service for people living with mental health problems.

Staff and service users at Eamont Terrace, a service run by Richmond Fellowship the national charity making mental health recovery reality, joined together to thank PCSO Andrew Bell who has been instrumental in helping them over the last five years.

Read more

Wakefield mental health service marks 10 years of success

Staff and service users past and present celebrate a decade of making recovery reality

Staff and service users past and present celebrate a decade of making recovery reality

A charity mental health support service in Wakefield is celebrating ten years of making recovery reality and reducing mental health stigma with an event on Tuesday, 5 May.

Woodside supported housing, a scheme run by Richmond Fellowship, the national mental charity, has been helping people on their recovery journey for ten years.

Read more

Eamont Terrace gets its contract extended

Eamont Terrace – Richmond Fellowship’s 24-hour supported housing scheme in Hartlepool – has had its contract extended for a further two years. This follows a recent service review process and QAF review, in which the service was awarded a Grade A rating.

Well done to all the staff at Eamont Terrace who have worked incredibly hard over the past eight months to raise standards and secure the longevity of the service.

You can find out more about the service by clicking here.