Welcome to our fourth quarterly ebulletin – watch out for the next one in May 2016!
As always, these ebulletins are designed to keep you up to date, so we welcome any suggestions or contributions from you to keep it lively and relevant.
Sarah Hughes, CEO
News from the CEO desk
It’s very cold out there at the moment, so I hope people are keeping warm! Thankfully spring is just round the corner, although the daffodils in my garden have been in bloom for weeks because of the sunny warm days we’ve had – my baby tortoise Elvis wasn’t quite sure whether to hibernate or not!
Mind in Cambridgeshire is going through a transformation. We are trying to focus on developing our infrastructure in order to improve things like IT, Policies and Procedures, while undertaking a review of our capacity across the entire staff team. This has involved looking at people’s job descriptions and really thinking about what we need to make life easier and ultimately allow us to offer a better service to our clients. Aly has coined this project ‘at a touch of a button’. This is a big piece of work and is ongoing.
Another big part of this project is tidying up our buildings, we want the space to be friendly and inviting – like most offices we have accumulated so much stuff that often the clutter can get in the way. If anyone would be keen to offer some time to help us decorate various rooms in The Limes or Barrere House, do let me know.
I want to apologise to anyone who has experienced a delay in getting an email response from staff within the organisation. A catastrophic IT failure over Christmas has meant that we have been unable to access emails on a consistent basis since then. For most people this matter is now resolved, however if you are still waiting for a reply to an email please contact us – we are working our way through a backlog but do let us know if you are waiting for something. We now have new IT providers CentraData who are in the process of setting up our new system.
Since our last ebulletin, we have been hard at work on the Sanctuary that will soon be based at Barrere House, Cambridge. Lynn Mars, who is leading this work, began the painting and beautifying of the space over the weekend. We are working with our partners; Peterborough and Fenland Mind, Lifecraft, Centre 33, Richmond Fellowship and our co-design group, made up of people with lived experience, and those responsible for making it happen. While we have never quite worked at this pace before, it is quite remarkable to be part of a cross organisational initiative that has come out of the Crisis Concordat. We believe that the First Response model will offer people, in the midst of a mental health crisis, reassurance, support and a safe place to go. This will change the face of mental health services in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. Watch this space for more details.
We have also been introducing new trustees to the organisation. Litsa Biggs, Caroline Newman and Wendy Kneissl have joined the board and I am already enjoying working with them on Quality assurance and HR. We do hope you can join us for our AGM on the 24th Feb at 2.30 St Andrews Hall, Cambridge. We are going to be showcasing our services at this event and would really like an opportunity to meet our members and those who support us throughout the year.
We have attended some amazing community events recently – one of my highlights was an event hosted by Cambridge Union’s Debating Society. Rather than recount it here you can find out all about it from my blog. I have to say it was a magical and inspirational evening.
Finally, we are reviewing the results from the staff and volunteer survey and will be presenting the findings at the AGM with a clear response to feedback.
Cambridgeshire Wellbeing Service
The end of January saw a new member of staff join the Wellbeing Team. Leonnie has been spending time across both sites getting to know the service. Many of you will have met her now but if not please do introduce yourselves! Leonnie is replacing Katie at Barrere House, as Katie will be moving to The Limes in the coming weeks. Sadly, Emily has now left the team and we all wish her the best of luck in the future.
As well as changes to the team, we have been developing lots of partnership work recently. We are pleased to be able to offer clients access to a drop-in CamQuit service once a month at the Cambridge office. Please do send anyone you feel may be interested. Following our successful partnership work last year we are hosting another course with Cambridge Community Arts called Intuitive Painting. This has had fantastic uptake and feedback has been very positive.
The Wellbeing Team are also working hard in partnership with Lifecraft and Peterborough and Fenland Mind to establish a Hearing Voices Network group. We will be offering this service to clients within the Huntingdonshire area, while Lifecraft will cover Cambridge and Peterborough and Fenland Mind will cover that area. Magda and Chloe have recently attended training for this with Camden Mind and we hope to get this up and running by April.
Changing Lives Primary Care Service
The Changing Lives team recently welcomed Rob Dempsey, as their new Primary Care Wellbeing Worker, who will be covering the Fenland area. Rob is primarily based at The Limes in St Neots, so if you’re ever over there do pop by and say hello!
You may have noticed that the service is currently going through some big but exciting infrastructure changes which should be announced soon – so please bear with the team and watch this space.
Finally, the service is now looking for a passionate and dynamic Counselling Clinical Lead to support both volunteers and paid counsellors, who are working county wide. Closing date: 29 February 2016 @ 5pm. More information and how to apply.
Support2Recovery (S2R) has a newly appointed Manager, Jemma Freeman, who has a wealth of experience and is bringing a lot of positive changes to the team. The service has seen a huge increase in support needed for clients, so to accommodate this, we have welcomed Janet, Naomi and Louise to the team who will bring a good varied range of experience.
S2R have on occasion given additional last minute support for those clients who are experiencing a crisis and continue to work closely with the CPFT teams, making the available support for clients more tailored to what their needs are at the most current time. Alongside this, we have made links with the Recovery Coach team, who will work alongside us to support clients who are leaving long term hospital care and returning to the community.
S2R continue to work over the whole of Cambridgeshire reaching clients as far out as the Fenlands and we are now supporting 80 clients for 365 days of the year.
It’s an exciting time for S2R as there are a lot of changes occurring in-house that will benefit both the Staff and the Clients, for the future of the service.
The SUN Network
A busy time for the SUN Network. We continue to be involved in delivering training via the Recovery College East in:
- How To Facilitate Your Own Group
- Peer Assessor Training To Support The 5 Values service assessment process
We recently ran an online survey with service users to nominate an appropriate name for the new place of safety, based at Barrere House, which will be a crucial element within the new Vanguard/Concordat redesign of first response services, for those with mental health issues in crisis.
The 5 Values (Integrity, Empathy, Inclusion, Honesty and Personalisation), were generated by service users and the peer assessment framework. These have recently been applied and tested as a pilot within Mind in Cambs services and will be rolled out across other partner commissioned services throughout 2016. The 5 Values peer led service assessment process will also include the new Recovery Coach Team service and the Vanguard/Concordat Crisis response service across its range of operations.
Regarding our Drug and Alcohol Engagement activities funded by the DAAT, we have recently made a substantial contribution to a questionnaire return connected to the latest Drug & Alcohol JSNA document – the results from which will be available shortly and should serve to influence related services in the future.
Training and development
Our training provision continues to grow and develop. During the past six months, we have delivered five ASIST (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training) courses and three MHFA courses. We have also delivered a number of in-house courses for a number of statutory, voluntary and private sector organisations. We continue to work with National Mind to deliver the Blue Light Managers’ and Resilience courses across the East of England. We consistently receive excellent feedback on the quality and value of our training.
We are continuing to recruit highly experienced and professional trainers to join our team of Associates in order to further expand our training provision and client base. We held our first Associate Trainers’ meeting in November which was an opportunity to meet one another, share experiences and discuss ways to support each other in building a more cohesive team.
For further information about our training services, please email Ruth Brown, Training Manager.
As well as helping to mark National Stress Awareness Day and World Kindness Day in November 2015, the campaign’s focus was on International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day on 21 November, for which one of our Campaign Makers told her story to the Cambridge News. It makes for a powerful read.
On top of this, the campaign team have been attending various suicide prevention meetings, conferences and events, including the National Suicide Prevention Alliance (NSPA) Conference and Peterborough Regional College’s Diversity Day on 2 Feb 2016, as well as the Zero Suicide Forum on 9 Feb.
Our Mental Health Campaigns Officer, Dominika, has also been out and about across the county delivering a number of mental health and suicide awareness talks to schools and colleges, already reaching around 500 students. Most notably, Dominika and her team of volunteers marked Time to Talk Day on 4 Feb by giving an assembly at Thomas Clarkson Academy in Wisbech – read how it went…
Finally, some quick updates for you:
- Over 800 Personal Pledges and 45 Organisational Pledges
- 1,045 followers on Twitter and 308 fans on Facebook
- 11,928 visits to the website since its launch in Sept 2014
- 141 people trained as ASIST First Aiders across 10 courses
- 16 STOP Suicide workshops to be delivered between March – August 2016
The focus of Resilient Together is to find out what matters to residents in the communities of Wisbech and the Southern Fringe of Cambridge, including their needs, interests and passions.
Our aim is to encourage residents to identify their ‘gifts’. For example, practical skills (i.e. painting and cooking) or things that they know about and know how to do (i.e. run a meeting and fundraising). Once these ‘gifts’ have been identified, residents may consider how they can use these along with their neighbours and friends to do something in their community that matters to them. The hope is that residents will feel empowered to set up or get involved in community activities that in turn, improve their wellbeing and sense of belonging within their community.
To date, our Resilient Together team have busy getting to know residents within the communities. We are currently in the process of recruiting a third post to support with capacity building.
For further information about Resilient Together, please email Project Lead, Rachael Walsh.
Recently appointed Ruth Brown tells us about her new training role, her previous experience and hobbies and why she’s passionate about working for Mind in Cambs.
A Day in the Life
This month we take a peek into ‘A Day in the Life’ of SUN Network Senior Engagement Facilitator
Lois Sydney. Find out more…
What does your typical day look like? If you’d like to feature in the next ebulletin, please email us.
In the spotlight this month is… Trustee, Stuart Jessup. Discover more about Stuart.
The Bigger Mental Health Picture
Important links, news and surveys in the wider world of mental health
- Volunteer at National Conference Moving Mountains Sat 5 March 2016
- Mental health patients ‘should not have to travel across England for beds’
- Should I be screened for depression?
- The Other Side: The Spiritual Gift of Borderline Personality Disorder
- A Review of Acute Psychiatric Care in England
- How People Learn to Become Resilient
- Keep up to date with Mind news and Time to Change