July 2015

Welcome to our second quarterly ebulletin – watch out for the next one in Sept!

Well the summer has certainly arrived. I have to say, it has been marvellous to wake up to such glorious sunshine. I am practising Mindfulness at the moment and the first thing I do in the morning is pay attention to that early morning glow – it certainly does set the scene for a more positive day.

As mentioned before, 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.

I hope you all have a wonderful and joyful summer!

Best wishes,
Sarah Hughes, CEO

News from the CEO desk

While there have been many lovely things that have happened over the last month, it is with a very heavy heart that I pay tribute to Sheryl Wonnacott who sadly passed away on the 8 June 2015. I doubt there are many of us, who have been in touch with Mind in Cambridgeshire, that didn’t know her. I was fortunate enough to have known Sheryl for 11 years – she was part of the group that welcomed me into the organisation. If ever there was someone I would call ethereal and all things kind, it would be Sheryl. I remember many conversations with her that always left me feeling motivated, soothed or simply happy.

Tribute to Sheryl Wonnacott

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Sheryl was a part of Mind locally for many years, in many roles. One of the most prolific was as the lead for the Rock Group. The Rock Group ran for many years as a music group, both informally and at some stages through accredited programmes. The group flourished under Sheryl’s support and the members of it always spoke about Sheryl as the strength and the epitome of hope and recovery. While being open about her own mental health challenges, Sheryl always wanted to know how you were – her capacity to think beyond herself was endless. We chatted about lots of things; our last conversation being about the best nose rings on the market. We had a shared interest in politics and often joked about how we might save the world. Sheryl was colourful and always smelled of patchouli – she had such great style.

We also chatted about the changes to mental health services locally and always agreed that there needed to be more services and more flexibility. I will think of her when I continue the campaign to highlight the desperate need to not only expand services, but to ensure they are underpinned with values and a commitment to the individual. Following in her footsteps, campaigning for a place of safety and respite at times of crisis will be a priority.

At herbeautiful final goodbye, we heard about her cheeky side; playing tricks on her brother as children, her love for animals and vehement dislike of cruelty. Sheryl loved people and talked about her family with such love and respect, we know they will miss her deeply. Speaking on behalf of Mind in Cambridgeshire, I want to take this opportunity to say how much we will miss Sheryl too – we will think of her often…

Other News

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So the last month has been busy mostly with our big recruitment drive. Due to expansion, we have been advertising all sorts of fabulous posts. Look out for the Resilient Together Project later in this ebulletin.

In the last month, I have been to Coventry and London for events focused on the Leadership of Mind organisations. This is always important, as it can be easy to forget what happens in other parts of the country. At one of the events, we had a talk from the CEO of the Big Lottery Dawn Austwick. I did cheekily ask her for the secret of a winning lottery bid, but sadly while getting lots of good ideas from her, that wasn’t quite one of them.

I also co-facilitated a workshop at an event about self-harm at Comberton College, organised by Troubled Families. I was very moved by some of the stories shared at this event, particularly by a young person who talked about her self-harming behaviour and what would be helpful from an adult. It seemed simple; all she wanted was time and compassion without being patronised. I didn’t think this was too much to ask. We were all reminded about the depth of pressure on young people and I am pleased to report that the experience of Children and Young People in crisis is now one of the priorities for the Crisis Concordat Mental Health Delivery Board.

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I believe I have mentioned before that I now chair the Co-design Group on behalf of CPFT. This group has been set up to look at the experience of individuals using and redesigning services. If you are interested in joining this group and support co-production, please contact me directly so we can chat about it.

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The budget announcement has made many people feel very anxious and it is clear that there remains a lack of clarity in government about the very real struggles many people have on a daily basis. We support national Mind’s statement which you can find here.

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Finally, in March this year, the Mental Health Taskforce was set up to put together a Five Year Forward View about strategy and services. In order for the taskforce to be able to make sense of what is required, they are inviting people to let them know. You can contact them directly – check this web page out for more details.

Service Updates

Cambridgeshire Wellbeing Service

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Our Wellbeing Workshops, which are held in our Cambridge and St. Neots offices, continue to be a huge success. We are currently offering Worry Less, live more, Leaving anger and frustration behind and How to bounce back to name a few. To find out more information about our workshops and the dates they are running, please contact our offices on 01223 311320 or 01480 470480.

We have also re-introduced a Men’s wellbeing support group in Cambridge, which meets fortnightly and is facilitated by a great volunteer with lived experience. If you are interested, please let us know and we can give you more details.

Finally, we will be expanding our outreach work from July, and will be based in Melbourn once a month. Watch this space for more information…

Changing Lives Primary Care Service

Ben Hannon, our new Wellbeing Worker, will be off for six weeks from 14July for an operation on his shoulder, so we all wish him a speedy recovery.

It has been a big decision to make, and a sad one, but we have pulled the IAPT service out of HMP Littlehey . Over the past four years that we have been there, we made great strides within the mental health Inreach team and have had some great successes with clients and setting up and running groups.

Elisabeth Allan, our Administrator, will be starting her new role over the next couple of months, setting up the Counselling Service in Wisbech. This is a very exciting opportunity for the service, as we have been wanting to expand the counselling side out to the Fenland area for a long time. This means we are in the process of recruiting for a *new Administrator* – please email Sue Jackson for more details and how to apply.


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Sally Keown has stepped into the breach until a new Manager for Support2Recovery is recruited. She says it never ceases to amaze her what an invaluable service this continues to be. We are still increasing the support hours delivered, with new referrals flowing in. We have also recruited two further Support Workers and recruitment is constantly ongoing. Justin Zeltser is thankfully back working with us – it seems he missed us too much! We will say goodbye to Natalie soon as she departs temporarily for her maternity leave on the 7August – Nat we will really miss you! In the meantime, we will welcome Emma Newman who will be taking over as our Administrator – she will join us at the beginning of August. Finally, a huge thank you must go out to our sessional workers who continue to work tirelessly away in the background. You may often be unseen but the work you do is invaluable to the organisation as a whole and more importantly to the clients that you often provide a real lifeline to.

The SUN Network

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The SUN Network is involved with the voluntary sector redesign that is being led by the CCG. We have been talking to service users about the impact of CPFT and voluntary organisations working closer together. Overall, people feel this is the way forward and will help people when they are discharged from CPFT services.

The Recovery Cafes (for people recovering from drug and alcohol use) are running well – we will soon be opening up a café in the Huntingdonshire area. Russell Bowyer, in post just over a month now, is finding his feet well and getting out and about talking to people who use drug and alcohol services.

We are also working closely with Recovery College East to co-deliver workshops to help empower service users to become more involved in the wider mental health system. The workshops include: facilitation skills, sitting on interview panels, committee meetings skills and helping people to tell their story. It made sense to work with the Recovery College to deliver these workshops, as we are targeting the same people.

From July, we are running feedback sessions across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough for people who have used, or are currently using, adult mental health services. It is an opportunity for people to feed back their views on how services are delivered. This information is fed back to the mental health commissioners.

Training and development

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Our training service is going from strength to strength and we are now in the process of recruiting a training manager, who will take this expansion forward.

This year, we have trained a wide range of individuals – from paramedics to further education lecturers; scientists to HR professionals – and have recruited a number of specialist Associate Trainers  to help us with this work. These are very exciting times for this service, which has huge potential for growth.

For any queries, please email Aly Anderson, Director of Development.


STOP Suicide

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The STOP Suicide campaign has now reached the end of its pilot stage and an Impact Report , detailing our first 10 months of work, has just been published. This project has involved some fantastic partnership work between Mind in Cambs, P&F Mind and Lifecraft which has been enthusiastically supported by Public Health and NHS teams. The work has also had a very encouraging response from the wider community and we now have 12 active “Campaign Makers” , together with a wide range of other organisations who are spreading the word, tackling the big taboo that exists around talking about suicide. If you’d like to become a Campaign Maker or find out more, please get in touch.

We are delighted to say that Cambridgeshire County Council is now funding a one year post together with further Suicide Awareness training. This will include bespoke training for GPs and communities, plus a large scale event on World Suicide Prevention Day, 10 September – keep an eye out! Peterborough City Council is also funding further training in Peterborough. We are now pursuing other funding streams with a view to significantly upscaling the project.

Blue Light Programme

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The Blue Light Programme is a national Mind initiative which involves a range of initiatives designed to improve the wellbeing of emergency service personnel. Mind in Cambs is involved with two aspects of this work and we are currently delivering a six-week resilience course in Cambridge, which will be repeated in Huntingdon later this year. We will also be delivering a training course for managers working within the emergency service. This important work involves LMAs across the country and is being evaluated by Oxford University. For further information click here.

Resilient Together

Our Resilient Together project is an innovative, capacity-building community development project which will focus on Wisbech and Love’s Farm, St Neots. It will be working with the local communities to promote and, hopefully, inspire resilience-building initiatives and campaigns on a truly community-led basis. We are currently in the process of recruiting to the three key project posts. This work is being funded by Cambridgeshire County Council and supported by national Mind. Watch this space for more information as this ground-breaking project develops.

New Faces

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Our newly appointed Crisis Concordat Delivery Manager, Lynn Mars , gives us an interesting insight into her background, her past experience and her high hopes for the role across the next 12 months.

When you get a moment, Lynn highly encourages you to take a look at the Crisis Care Concordat Action Plan for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.




A Day in the Life

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Next up is Alex Cox , Changing Lives Primary care wellbeing worker.

Alex delights us with details of his typical, or not so typical, day, the most enjoyable and challenging aspects of his role and how he looks after his own wellbeing.

What does your typical day look like? If you’d like to feature in the next ebulletin, please email us.



Introducing Trustees

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Who’s in the spotlight this time?

It’s…Acting Vice-Chair, Jo Lucas.

Discover more about Jo’s mental health background, what brought her to Mind in Cambridgeshire and what keeps her busy these days.



The Bigger Mental Health Picture

Important links, news and surveys in the wider world of mental health

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