Richmond Fellowship 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 and Marketing team on communications@richmondfellowship.org.uk or phone 020 7697 3364.

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.

Driving change

Our DVIP and MyTime divisions were partners in the recent three year Drive pilot, working with the perpetrators of domestic abuse. The pilot’s evaluation received widespread coverage this month – but what next?

The prevalence of domestic abuse in the UK is staggering – 100,000 people are at risk of domestic homicide or serious harm every year. Historically the response to domestic abuse has focused on expecting the victim to leave and start a new life in a new community. Often the perpetrator is left to continue their life as normal and frequently repeats the same behaviour with new partners, creating more victims. Currently 1 in 4 domestic abuse perpetrators are repeat offenders, and only 1% of perpetrators receive specialist intervention to address their behaviour.

Richmond Fellowship’s specialist domestic abuse divisions, DVIP and MyTime, know we need to tackle the root cause, and together have nearly 30 years’ experience and expertise developing and delivering perpetrator interventions. We respond to and support perpetrators through local behaviour change and risk management services whilst also providing vital support services to women and children.

Since 2016 we have been part of the Drive pilot (led by Safelives, Respect and Social Finance), delivering a programme that challenges and seeks to change perpetrator behaviour. Drive was an intensive and multi agency approach that ran in Essex, South Wales and West Sussex initially and was then replicated in Croydon, Worcester, Birmingham & Sandwell and Cardiff. We were partners for West Sussex and West Midlands.

The recently published evaluation of this three year long pilot demonstrated the clear potential of the Drive approach. For instance the number of Drive service users perpetrating abuse types reduced as follows:

– Physical abuse reduced by 82%
– Sexual abuse reduced by 88%
– Harassment and stalking behaviours reduced by 75%
– Jealous and controlling behaviours reduced by 73%

The evaluation received wide spread press coverage, and saw more than 80 organisations sign a call to action for the government to create a domestic abuse perpetrator strategy. The joint call for action rightly highlights the need for a national response – one that incorporates multi-agency approaches such as Drive. But most importantly it also highlights that the vast majority of perpetrators are not able to access Drive type interventions.

So what next? We want to see more evidence-based activities that support social change to end domestic abuse. Sustainable government funding will be key to enabling a national roll-out of effective multi-agency responses like Drive.

We also want to apply this overlapping service approach to the Recovery Focus Group. Domestic abuse is everyone’s business and it crosses over all service provision across our group.

We currently deliver a number of innovative service models that not only work with the individuals that use abusive behaviours in intimate relationships but also the victims, survivors and children. Our vision is that domestic abuse services will be fully integrated into services across the group.

Over the next three years we will be looking to expand our domestic abuse services across the UK in line with the group’s existing provision.

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.

New location for Cambridgeshire Employment service in Huntingdon

Richmond Fellowship’s Cambridgeshire Employment service in Huntingdon has moved into a new premises from today (Monday 18 November).

Central to Huntingdon town centre, Hartford House has had a new lease of life thanks to the hard work of local drug and alcohol support service; Change, Grow, Live (CGL).

Both Richmond Fellowship and CGL are excited to partner together in sharing the bright new space.

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

“Co-location is just the beginning for us, with the longer term plan to engage in more joined up working practices. For the people we support, the move will bring a much needed positive and inclusive welcome when they visit, offering space for refreshments, peer activities and self reflection”.

To find out more, visit www.richmondfellowship.org.uk/cambsemploymentservice.

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.

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.