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Mental health cafe scoops NHS award

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A charity run café which aims to tackle mental health stigma in Blackpool has won a prestigious NHS award barely ten months since its doors opened.

Sparky’s, the pioneering social café run by Richmond Fellowship, the national charity making mental health recovery reality, took top prize for the NHS in the North West Excellence in Supply Awards 2015.

The award comes thanks to Sparky’s work in tackling mental health stigma and providing opportunities for people living with mental health problems to gain the confidence and skills to return to work through volunteering and apprenticeships.

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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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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.