RF News

Below you'll find all the latest news from Richmond Fellowship.

For comment, interviews, case studies or information on our latest news, journalists can contact Richmond Fellowship’s communications team on communications@richmondfellowship.org.uk or phone 0207 6973 342.

Oxfordshire care home moves into refurbished state of the art building

Richmond Fellowship’s Registered Care Home in Oxfordshire has moved into a brand new home.

The service, formally known as The Knowl, has relocated to a renovated property on Oxford Road, Abingdon called Holder House. The service was originally run by 2Care but became part of Richmond Fellowship along with several other registered care homes in 2011.

Holder House, a CQC registered ‘good’ care home provides support for individuals over 18 experiencing enduring mental ill health. It is staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and Richmond Fellowship’s dedicated team continue to provide the same high level of support to the individuals using the service.

The refurbishment of the property has been tailored specifically for the people Richmond Fellowship supports. It boasts 14 en-suite furnished residents rooms, a large commercial style kitchen downstairs, 2 additional kitchenettes upstairs and an extensive garden which provides plenty of space for leisure activities and growing plants and vegetables.

The property has excellent transport links with access to public transport, helping individuals to re-gain their independence and participate in even more local community activities.

The building takes its name from the Holder family, following a generous donation left by the estate of Gwen Holder on behalf of her late husband John Holder who was a chair of 2Care – as well as a donation from Richard Holder, also a former chair, who sadly passed away in 2007.

Doug Low, Area Manager for Richmond Fellowship’s Oxfordshire services said:

“We’re so thrilled to have moved into Holder House. The new building is amazing and will make a real impact on the lives of the people we support. I’d like to thank the residents of Oxford Road for making us feel so welcome. We’re also proud to have involved the people we support in the development and design of the property, harnessing on our Working Together approach”.

Derek Caren, Chief Executive of Richmond Fellowship said:

“This is a really exciting opportunity for both the team and people we support in Oxfordshire. The property enables us to offer state of the art accommodation for people living with mental ill health in a peaceful community setting. I’d also like to personally pay tribute to the Holder family for their generous donation which has helped towards developing the building”.

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.

Richmond Fellowship appoints Robert Templeton as new Director of Operations

Richmond Fellowship has appointed Robert Templeton as its new Director of Operations.

Robert is currently running his own health and social care consultancy, which includes being the Independent Chair for Hampshire, Southampton and Portsmouth Safeguarding Adults Boards and he is the outgoing Chair of the National Network for Chairs of Safeguarding Adults Boards.

He is also registrant non-executive council member of the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). His previous roles include Director of Health and Social Care Operations for the military charity SSAFA and Head of Transforming Adult Social Care at the Social Care Institute for Excellence.

Robert starts his new role with the charity in July and will be responsible for overseeing the organisation’s service delivery and operations across the country.

Derek Caren, Chief Executive of Richmond Fellowship said:

“Robert’s appointment is a significant milestone for us. The Director of Operations is a new role, designed to ensure we are an operationally focused organisation above all else. Robert brings considerable expertise and career experience to the role and we look forward to him joining us at this exciting stage in Richmond Fellowship’s development.”

Robert Templeton added:

“I am absolutely delighted to have been appointed, and am looking forward to working with over a thousand colleagues to ensure that the people we support are at the heart of everything we do. I will be using my skills and experience to support the fantastic work that goes on every day across the charity.”

Staff, volunteers and people we support recognised at ENRICH Awards 2019

Winning Kensington and Chelsea team

Staff, volunteers and people we support at Richmond Fellowship came together to celebrate the outstanding work happening across the organisation at the ENRICH Awards.

The awards, which took place on Thursday 21 March at London Metropolitan University, are based on Richmond Fellowship’s six organisational values (Enabling, Networking, Respect, Inclusion, Community and Hope).

Over 124 nominations were received across 10 categories – with over 50 nominations alone for the Inspiring Individual Staff Award category.

The winners:

Excellence in Innovation
Winner: Lowther Street Crisis House
Highly Commended: Macclesfield Homeless and Complex Needs Service and Trevayler Care Home

The nominees enjoying some Bhangra Drumming

Excellence in Partnership Working
Winner: East Surrey Work Programme
Highly Commended: My Time Domestic Violence Perpetrator Programme and Tyne, Wear and Northumberland Liaison and Diversion Service

Excellence in Engagement
Winner: RF Connect (Internal case management system)
Highly Commended: Pele Tower and Wiltshire Recovery and Social Inclusion Service

Excellence in Inclusion
Winner: Kensington and Chelsea Supported Housing Service
Highly Commended: Suffolk Recovery and The Old Moat

Hope Award: Nominated by the People We Support
Winner: Leicestershire Life Links
Highly Commended: Mid and West Surrey Employment Service and North West Surrey Employment Service

Ayesha receiving her Chief Executive’s Award from Derek Caren

Central Services Team Recognition Award
Winner: Communications and Marketing
Highly Commended: Learning and Development and Business Development

Inspiring Individual Staff Award
Winners: Christine (Locality Manager, Midlands), Simon (Employment Advisor, Mid and West Surrey Employment Service)
Highly Commended: Damian (Recovery Worker, Kensington and Chelsea Supported Housing Service), Emily (Group Internal Communications Officer), Hannah (Employment Advisor, Kirklees Employment Service), Rachael (Community Link Worker, Tyne, Wear and Northumberland Liaison and Diversion Service) and Stephen (Recovery Worker, Tower House)

Inspiring Individual People We Support Award
Winner: Angela (Suffolk Recovery)
Highly Commended: Berenice (Cambridge Employment Service) and Ethan (Redcar and Cleveland Supported Housing Service)

Volunteer Recognition Award
Winners: Ste (Working Together Committee) and Miriam (Funding and Development Volunteer, DVIP)
Highly Commended: Elizabeth (Recovery Workshops Assistant, Wiltshire Recovery and Social Inclusion Service)

Chief Executive’s Award
Winner: Ayesha (Recovery Worker, Moorview Supported Housing Service)

Derek Caren, Chief Executive of Richmond Fellowship said:

‘The ENRICH Awards celebrate the outstanding work and achievements that take place across Richmond Fellowship. This year was made extra special as we are celebrating 60 years of Richmond Fellowship. As a member of the judging panel, I was blown away by all of the nominations we received and I would like to congratulate each and every individual and team who were nominated. I would also like to personally thank our sponsors: Bob Rehill, CDP Soft, Energycentic, Castleton, uMarketeers, Yuuzuu, MEA, Kainos and Lloyds Bank for helping to make the awards so special’.

Richmond Fellowship recognised for promoting equality and diversity

Richmond Fellowship has once again been placed in the top 100 organisations for promoting diversity, equality and inclusion by the National Centre for Diversity (NCFD).

Richmond Fellowship was ranked number 92 in the country, in recognition of its work to promote diversity, inclusiveness and equality across the organisation.

Tracey Bell, Director of Performance, Quality and Innovation at Richmond Fellowship said:

“It’s great news that in 2019 we are again ranked in the top 100. We’re incredibly proud of our diverse workforce and the range of experience our staff bring to supporting people using our services. This achievement is down to the hard work and commitment of everyone in Richmond Fellowship to promoting diversity and inclusion and to working together with the people we support to shape our services.

I am particularly proud that Richmond Fellowship’s mean gender pay gap, at 5.93%, is significantly lower that the not for profit sector average of 19.4%. Also that, while we recognise there is always more for us to do, 82% of staff in Richmond Fellowship feel that their colleagues work in accordance with the principles of Fairness, Respect, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion.”

Richmond Fellowship also holds Investors in Diversity status in recognition of its work to provide opportunities for people living with mental ill health and to ensure diversity right across the organisation.

New Bristol Get Well, Get On Employment service

Richmond Fellowship is working in partnership with Bristol City Council to develop a new service called Get Well Get On.

The Employment Retention service will provide support to people who are in work, at risk of falling out of work and who are on sick leave but are still employed with mental ill health and/or muscular-skeletal conditions.

The service will promote self management and provide access to employment advice and support for both individuals and small or medium sized employers.

The new service will be working with existing delivery partners including Bristol City Council, Ways 2 Work Network, Work Zone, Bristol WORKS, Bristol Apprentices and Future Bright.

Richmond Fellowship will also be working with Public Health England, the local Chamber of Commerce, Trade Unions and Project Thrive, the city wide mental health initiative.

The service is about to take its first referrals.

For further details about what the service offers, please email Bristol.GetWellGetOn@richmondfellowship.org.uk.

Statement – Richmond Psychosocial Foundation International

A spokesperson from Richmond Fellowship said:

“We would like to make it clear that there is no connection between Richmond Fellowship and Richmond Psychosocial Foundation International.

“The founder of Richmond Fellowship is associated with Richmond Psychosocial Foundation but has had no involvement in the operations or direction of Richmond Fellowship since 1991.

“To find out more about our work and our mission ‘Making Recovery Reality’ please visit www.richmondfellowship.org.uk

Aimee’s story – blog for Time to Talk Day

On Time to Talk Day, Aimee Wilson, who uses Richmond Fellowship’s services in Northumberland shares her own experiences of talking about mental health and reiterates why it’s so important.

“Talking about mental health is becoming less and less taboo and it’s partly thanks to days like Time to Talk Day! Ten years ago, when I began experiencing auditory hallucinations, mental health was a subject greeted with hushed voices and spiteful gossip. From my personal experience, being diagnosed with a mental health disorder in 2009 came with a million negative connotations and assumptions that left the person feeling isolated and hopeless; believing that because no one else was talking about mental health, they were alone in their experiences.

I spent almost two weeks hearing voices before I finally told a professional and when I did; it was a result of an act of desperation and panic following my first suicide attempt and admission to a psychiatric hospital under the Mental Health Act.

No one could comprehend why I felt suicidal, so it was with great struggle that I fought my doubts and fears and confided in a nurse one night in the ward communal sitting room. This was a relief, but I was still so afraid of judgement and being misunderstood that even after speaking out I struggled to continue the momentum into the following day when the psychiatrist came rushing into my hospital room talking about psychosis and medications. However, once the medication started to take effect, I was able to see how talking about my mental health enabled the staff to be better placed to help and support me.

This thought was encouraging; it filled me with a sense of hope that if I opened up more, then maybe I could get better. It was this reason that motivated me to continue to be honest about my mental health; I told professionals when I’d self-harmed, I spoke about my trauma and my hallucinations, and I talked about any overwhelming emotions that influenced my behaviours.

In fact it was this openness and honesty that inspired me to begin my blog: ‘I’m NOT Disordered’ four years after I was first hospitalised. Over the past six years, my blog has been praised and commended for its honesty, having instilled hope and confidence in its readers. The feedback from my readers has been that by sharing my own experiences of hallucinations and explaining how overwhelming my emotions were, others have gained a better understanding of how they can support those they love and care for, who are having similar experiences.

Similarly, speaking out about my trauma and the impact it has had on me via my blog, has inspired my readers who’ve also experienced trauma to seek help and support. For example, one of the greatest messages I’ve received was from a reader who had experienced a trauma over 30 years ago. After reading my blog post about finding the strength to report my trauma, this person made the decision to report their own trauma. The realisation that my words and experiences had had such a significant impact on someone’s life was overwhelming, but it only spurred me on to write more. I continued to write about my self-harm and suicide attempts aiming to reassure others that they weren’t going through similar experiences alone.

Ultimately, it is these things that make mental health such a worthwhile and potentially life-saving topic of conversation. One that should be on everyone’s lips.”

Isle Of Wight Safe Haven opening hours – 11-17 February

Richmond Fellowship’s Safe Haven on the Isle of Wight will be available on the following days from Monday 11 February to Sunday 17 February.

Monday 11 February: Fully Open
Tuesday 12 February: Fully Open
Wednesday 13 February: Fully Open
Thursday 14 February: Fully Open
Friday 15 February: Fully Open
Saturday 16 February: Fully Open
Sunday 17 February: Fully Open

Please contact the Safe Haven for more details on 03300 083888.

Address: Quay House, Newport, PO30 2QR.