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.

Isle of Wight mental health drop-in service media statement

Our Safe Haven on the Isle of Wight, a drop in service for people experiencing a mental health crisis, is currently open for limited hours due to staff shortages.

Sue Lightfoot, Head of Commissioning Mental Health, Learning Disability and Dementia at NHS Isle of Wight Clinical Commissioning Group, said:

This situation is very worrying for anyone using this service, and also difficult for the staff at Richmond Fellowship, who are committed to offering people the best possible support.

We are actively working with Richmond Fellowship now to make sure a service, albeit with reduced hours, continues to operate – safely – over the coming weeks, to ensure that support is still available to those in need. Existing staff from other Richmond Fellowship services have volunteered to work extra hours to offer this support.

There are of course other sources of support available, including the Community Mental Health Team crisis line 01983 522214, or the Samaritans on Freephone 116 123, but the drop-in service plays an important role and we hope it can continue.

Looking further ahead, we are also working with Richmond Fellowship to recruit new members of staff so that the service can quickly be returned to a sustainable footing. This recruitment is under way already and we expect the Safe Haven to be operating a full service in the New Year.

 

Independent Review of the Mental Health Act

Last year the Prime Minister announced an Independent Review of the Mental Health Act – which sets out when a person can be detained and treated in hospital against their wishes – to look at how it is used and how it can be improved.

Over the course of 2018, the Review has heard from thousands of people who have been detained under the Act, and from their families and carers, about their experiences.

The Independent Review has now published its final report with around 150 recommendations for change. The Prime Minister has welcomed the report and announced that the Government plans to bring forward a new mental health bill.

Derek Caren, Chief Executive of Richmond Fellowship commented:

As Richmond Fellowship approaches its 60th anniversary in 2019, we’re celebrating our history and looking forward to positive changes ahead.

The development of our community based services coincided with a previous Mental Health Act of 1959, which helped establish the pathway for many people to leave hospital and live in the community. We strongly welcome and endorse the recommendations of the Independent Review of the Mental Health Act of 1983.

Strengthening people’s rights and their ability to challenge decisions under the Act when people are at their most vulnerable is a key development and necessary improvement to deliver better mental health services. We want to see these changes enacted by the Government as soon as possible alongside further investment in community based preventative services to reduce the number of people who are being detained.

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Richmond Fellowship marks #InternationalMensDay

Richmond Fellowship marked International Men’s Day on Monday 19 November by shining the spotlight on men’s mental health, male victims of domestic abuse and celebrating men who work in the charity sector.

In the UK, suicide remains the biggest killer of men under the age of 45 and according to the Crime Survey for England and Wales from the year ending March 2017, around 713,000 men experienced a form of domestic abuse.

Across the day we shared some videos of Matt’s recovery journey on social media.

Matt received support from Richmond Fellowship’s 24 Hour Supported Housing service in Stowmarket, Suffolk after his mental health was affected by years of domestic abuse at the hands of an ex-partner.

We also shared Oliver’s story. Oliver’s just joined our Cambridge Employment service as an Employment Advisor. He spoke about why he made the move to work in the charity sector.

Derek Caren, Chief Executive of Richmond Fellowship said:

“It’s really important that men feel empowered to talk openly about issues affecting them. Topics such as men’s mental health and male suicide are areas that need to be targeted in a considered way. The fact that one in four men feels the need to take their own lives in avoidable circumstances is of great concern. At Richmond Fellowship we provide a number of crisis support services across England and on the Isle of Wight. I’d urge anyone who feels vulnerable to reach out”.

Glen Poole, UK coordinator of International Men’s Day said:

“I’ve been really inspired by the stories shared by Richmond Fellowship on International Men’s Day. It’s important to see a national mental health charity raising awareness of some of the issues affecting men today, such as men’s mental health and male victims of domestic violence”.

You can watch the videos on Richmond Fellowship’s Facebook and Twitter pages.

Old Moat Garden Centre scoops local business award

Richmond Fellowship’s Old Moat Garden Centre has scooped an accolade at the annual Epsom and Ewell Business Excellence Awards in Surrey.

The social enterprise won the Commitment in the Community category at the awards which celebrate excellence in the local community.

An engraved glass trophy was presented to The Old Moat team by the local MP and Secretary of State for Transport, Chris Grayling at a special ceremony on Thursday 15 November.

Jack Shilley, Garden Centre Manager said:

“I am absolutely delighted that The Old Moat has received this award. It filled me with immense pride to collect the award on behalf of the business with some of the team. It is a real testament to all of our staff and volunteers’ hard work and dedication, and of course a huge thanks to the people we support – the reason why we all do what we do.”

Find out more about The Old Moat at www.theoldmoatgardencentre.org.uk.

Richmond Fellowship marks #WorldMentalHealthDay 2018

Richmond Fellowship’s been marking World Mental Health Day (10 October) by showcasing our services and getting out and about in local communities.

James Cartlidge MP alongside Mayor of Sudbury Sue Ayres and our Sudbury team

On social media, we’ve been shining the spotlight on our Crisis, Supported Housing, Employment, Residential, Social Enterprise and Community Based services across the week with a different video each day.

See the videos on our Facebook page.

The Recovery Focus Group launched its ‘What Does Recovery Mean To You?’ video showcasing some of the amazing recovery stories from across its partner services.

Elsewhere our local services have been out and about around the country.

For example, in Sudbury, our team set up a stand in the local market to raise awareness of the work of the Supported Housing and Community Based service in the area. The event was attended by the local South Suffolk MP James Cartlidge and Mayor of Sudbury Sue Ayres.

Down the road in Cambridgeshire, Anouska Binns, Team Manager at our Fenland Wellbeing service was interviewed by BBC Radio Cambridgeshire breakfast show presenter Dottie McLeod about the range of services available in the local area. Listen to the interview below.

Meanwhile on the Isle of Wight, our team there arranged a resilience session in partnership with POA Learning.

Natalie Bevan, Isle of Wight Locality Manager said:

“Working for a mental health charity we always want to support those using our services as best we can, but sometimes it’s easy to forget about taking care of ourselves. The resilience training from POA Learning was a helpful reminder of how to help take care of ourselves in a very informative and easy to understand way”.

In the North, our Derby City Life Links service was featured on BBC Radio Derby. Locality Manager Christine Lawrence spoke on their drive time programme about the launch of the new peer support and recovery service. Listen to the interview below.

Remember, at Richmond Fellowship every day is World Mental Health Day.

To find a service in your area, see our find a service page.

Richmond Fellowship Cambridge services are radio station’s Charity of the Month

Richmond Fellowship’s services in Cambridge have been chosen as a local radio station’s Charity of the Month for October.

Cambridge 105 Radio selects a different charity operating in the city to support each month by offering a series of radio interviews and podcasts.

It means Richmond Fellowship’s Employment service based in Signet Court, Castle Supported Housing and Winston House Residential services will all have the opportunity to take part in a radio interview to talk about the work they do and receive on air promotion across the month.

The news comes ahead of World Mental Health Day, which takes place on Wednesday 10 October.

Carole Jones, Regional Manager at Richmond Fellowship said:

“We are so grateful to Cambridge 105 Radio for selecting our Cambridge services as their chosen charity for October. It gives us a fantastic opportunity to showcase the excellent recovery work that goes on in our services, supporting people with mental ill health. It’s also very timely with World Mental Health Day just around the corner.”

Richmond Fellowship launches new Employment and Wellbeing Service in Hammersmith and Fulham

Richmond Fellowship has launched a new bespoke Employment and Wellbeing service for people living with mental ill health in the London borough of Hammersmith and Fulham.

Richmond Fellowship has been working with the Hammersmith and Fulham Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to set up the service, which is available to individuals in both primary and secondary care, regardless of their mental health condition.

As well offering focused employment support, the new service also includes provision for signposting and advice, peer support, befriending and online support.

The services will be rolled out in two stages, with the employment service available from 1 October.

Stephen Smith-Trask, Managing Director of Richmond Fellowship (South) said:

“This is a really exciting opportunity to expand our mental health support offer in Hammersmith and Fulham. The new service will enable us to reach out to even more people in the local community and continue our mission of making mental health recovery a reality”.

Richmond Fellowship Fenland service featured on ITV News Anglia

Richmond Fellowship’s Fenland Wellbeing service in Cambridgeshire has been featured on ITV News Anglia.

The service was asked to take part in a piece on Thursday 27 September about an Office for National Statistics (ONS) report which ranked Fenland as one of the unhappiest places to live in the country.

People completing the ONS survey were asked to rank their happiness, sense of the things they do being worthwhile and life satisfaction out of 10, with 10 being the highest.

The average happiness score for Fenland was 6.7, compared to the UK average of 7.52.

The survey covered the period from March 2017 to March 2018.

According to the report, the happiest place to live in the UK was Rushmoor in Hampshire.

You can see a video of the report here.

Find out more about our Fenland Wellbeing service.

Richmond Fellowship reaccredited as Investors in Diversity

Investors-in-Diversity-logoRichmond Fellowship has been reaccredited as an Investor in Diversity.

The accreditation, which the national mental health charity has held since 2016, recognises Richmond Fellowship’s structured and planned approach to embedding Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) at the heart of the organisation.

To retain the accreditation, the National Centre for Diversity carried out an assessment to check the organisation remains focussed on continually building on this area.

The 2018 assessment began in April and included a staff survey asking for views on how well the organisation upholds and promotes the EDI principles, including tackling bullying, harassment and discrimination.

This year Richmond Fellowship also asked a selection of suppliers and other organisations it works with for their views. The assessor also met with a selection of staff from across Richmond Fellowship and with people who use services.

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

“This is a great achievement, recognising how well embedded EDI best practices are in Richmond Fellowship. Thank you to everyone who took part in the comprehensive assessment.”

Tyne and Wear service benefits from £300 mystery donation

Richmond Fellowship’s Tyne and Wear service has benefitted from a £300 mystery donation made during mental health awareness week.

Richmond Fellowship, which provides supported housing, community and employment support in the county, received the generous donation in the post.

A card, which accompanied the cheque in an envelope said:

“Enclosed is a donation for your charity to support people’s recovery from mental health problems. God bless you all for caring. Thank you.”

Since receiving the money, Richmond Fellowship has worked with the people using their services across the locality to find out where the money should be spent. The service chose to do something to create a new experience and build positive memories and organised a day trip to the museum town of Beamish.

With the assistance of local company Limo Bus North East who kindly donated one of their 16-seater limos, the outing took place in July.

Whilst on the trip, those using the local services got to try their hand at mining, visited the local sights and enjoyed an ice cream in the summer sunshine.

Karyn Ainsley, Tyne and Wear Locality Manager said:

“We were all really thrilled when we received the mystery donation. It is the kindness and support of people like our unknown donor that allows us to continue our work here at Tyne and Wear.”