Christmas 2019 Newsletter

Welcome to the Christmas 2019 edition of the CPSL Mind e-bulletin – an opportunity for us to share our news and highlight the impact of our work across Cambridgeshire, Peterborough and South Lincolnshire.

Firstly I’d like to wish you a peaceful and joyous Christmas on behalf of all at CPSL Mind. We recognise that it is not an easy time for everyone and would like to remind you that crisis services are available in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough 24/7, 365 days a year. You can find details of helplines here.

In this edition you will find out how the Good Life Service, launched in September, is making an impact and how we have been involved in innovating mental health services and new initiatives. We’ll also share incredible stories from individuals engaged with our work who really embody the strength of human spirit and demonstrate the light which exists on the other side of difficult times.

If you would like to know more about our work, to access our services or maybe get involved in some other way, please see our website: or contact us on

Best wishes

Aly Anderson
Chief Executive Officer

Good Life: “It’s a game changer”

Our recently launched Good Life Service has taken great strides in providing wellbeing support in our community by encouraging social connections and focusing on individual strengths. A key part of the service has been the launch of our Open Door calm spaces and Good Mood Cafes. During September and October, we had almost 250 visits and we are always looking to welcome in new people!

We’ve had great feedback with one attendee saying of our Good Mood Cafe in Wisbech, “It’s a game changer, an oasis of safe calm, in what can be a hard concrete jungle. Incredibly passionate people run the cafes and it’s just nice to pop in and sit and chat. Every single time I’ve been, I’ve left feeling a weight has been lifted. If you pop into your local Good Mood cafe, even for ten minutes, I can promise you will leave feeling different inside.”

The Good Life Service has also provided essential support through our network of Peer Support Groups and delivered more than 2,520.5 hours of 1:1 support in September and October to those receiving social care-funded support packages.

We have eleven Good Mood Cafes and nine Open Door calm spaces across the region and we hope to open more in the future. To find out more and come along use these links:

The Design Hack: Innovating Mental Health Provision in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough

Organisations with responsibility for mental health provision across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough have united with individuals who have lived experience of accessing mental health support to explore ideas to improve services using a new innovative way of working.

The Design Hack week took place from 18th to 22nd November 2019 and provided an opportunity to research, design, prototype and test an idea within just one week!

This was the first time this sprint process has been used in relation to mental health services in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough and it proved to be very successful in generating important conversations and connections.

Read more here.

Equipping Young People to Stress LESS

Stress LESS is a campaign for young people in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough which aims to equip students with strategies and techniques to reduce stress – particularly around exams.

Liane Wilkinson became a Stress LESS Champion in year 12 during her time at Nene Park Academy in Peterborough, advocating positive mental health, raising awareness in her school and supporting her peers.

Liane’s experience with the campaign provided her with skills for effectively managing her mental wellbeing and supporting her peers alongside a group of young people. The skills she gained also helped her progress into further education and an apprenticeship in critical care nursing.

Read Liane’s story…

They were beyond absolute despair, “when someone finally listened”

A young couple were referred to CPSL Mind by their midwife, following a highly traumatic ordeal which began because their relationship crossed faith lines.

Having been disowned by their families, they struggled to bring up their child in the UK under the threat of deportation to their native countries, where they would have faced persecution and violence. In 2019, following years of uncertainty, they were granted leave to remain in the country, but the support of CPSL Mind was essential in giving them the resilience to continue while their immigration status remained unknown.

Stories like this show the essential role of mental health services in providing support for people in the most challenging circumstances, making them feel less alone and enabling them to regain positivity in the face of adversity.

Read their story here.

The Value of Peer Support – Alex’s Story

Coming together with others in the same position can be life-changing in enabling people to break cycles of isolation and move forward. This was certainly the case for Alex who initially sought support from our Personality Disorder Peer Support Group in 2017 before becoming a Volunteer Co-Facilitator of the group himself just two years later.

The tools provided by the group enabled Alex to make positive changes in his life and develop coping strategies for when things get tough. Additionally, he was given an outlet for discussing his mental health among like-minded people.

Alex says it is “incredibly satisfying seeing people change over the time you spend with them. I love it, one of the things in my diary that I never ever miss. It has been one of the most satisfying things I’ve done in my life.”

Read Alex’s story….

Cambridge United Mental Health Football Sessions

In November we were excited to announce the launch of the “Support U’s” mental health football sessions in partnership with Cambridge United Community Trust.

These are weekly mental health football sessions, available for males aged 18-65, which run from 11am and 12 noon on Wednesday mornings and take place at the Abbey Leisure Complex in Cambridge.

Find out more here.

Fantastic Fundraisers

As always, we’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who raises money for CPSL Mind and enables us to continue our essential work in the local community.

Here are some recent examples of our amazing fundraisers:

We’d like to say a massive thank you to Rhys Owen, who completed the Cardiff University half marathon in memory of his dad, Kelvin. Not only did he smash his race time target, finishing the course in 1.39.44, but he also raised an enormous £1,750 for our charity.

You can read more here.

We were extremely impressed by a contribution of £3,131 from the staff at  Peterborough based medical supplies company Supermax Healthcare. Funds were raised through a variety of activities, including two members of the team shaving their heads and eyebrows!

You can read more here.

If you feel inspired to raise funds to support our work please visit and get in touch.