Welcome to our monthly June ebulletin – look out for the quarterly one in July.
I am hoping the summer will bring less meetings and more time to spend with staff, volunteers and service users. If you do see me wandering about, come and say hello, I will be glad to have a chat.
As always, these ebulletins are designed to keep you up to date, so we welcome any suggestions or contributions from you to keep it interesting and relevant!
Sarah Hughes, CEO
News from the CEO desk
What another busy month it’s been for the team at Mind in Cambridgeshire! In many ways it has been really brilliant, not because anything thrilling has necessarily happened, but it’s more about the feeling that the ground is starting to settle. The excitement of the election has passed and we await to hear more about the Conservative Party’s commitment to mental health. Some of the high level strategic redesign work with the CCG and other partners has also come to the end of its planning phase. Watch this space for some new networks and activities for people who hear voices and for those with severe and enduring mental illness.
Goodbyes and Congratulations
It is with much regret that Keith Milns, former deputy Manager and now acting Manager of Support2Recovery, is stepping down from the role as Manager to focus on client work and restore a better work/life balance for himself. Although we will still be seeing him around, as he will use Barrere House as base and will pop in between clients, we will really miss his presence on a more permanent basis in the building. We will miss him racing up the stairs faster than anyone thought possible, the aroma of fresh coffee, his ebullient nature, his wit and his ever constant good humour. However, the positive thing to come out of our loss is that our clients are going to benefit hugely from gaining an absolutely fabulous support worker. In the meantime, please refer all calls/emails to either Natalie or Sally.
The Wellbeing Service is pleased to recently welcome Magda Smereka as a new Project Worker. Magda will be working full time from the Cambridge office – if you are around, pop in to say hi!
The Changing Lives Service has also recently welcomed Ben Hannon as the new Wellbeing Worker. At present the plan is that Ben will cover Fenland – hopefully you will all get to meet him soon to put a face to the name.
The SUN Network also welcomes a new member of the team – Russell Bowyer. He is the Drug & Alcohol Engagement Facilitator and his role is to liaise with people who are currently using drug and alcohol services to gain their feedback on how services are provided, together with linking in with people who currently don’t use services. Russell is working 30 hours a week and is based at The Limes.
Lynn Mars, our Crisis Concordat Delivery Manager, is making huge headway with making sense of our local action plan, but also with the engagement of service users and carers. Lynn will be seconded to Cambridgeshire Constabulary for a period of four weeks to help assess their needs around Street Triage. This is such an important step and we will be looking forward to hearing all about it.
Expansion and new roles
Mind in Cambridgeshire is also about to embark on a significant recruitment campaign. We are going to be looking for at least eight new people to enhance and drive forward some of our new and exciting projects. It’s unusual for an organisation to recruit so many people at once, but due to expansion, we are going to have to do our best to attract the right people with the right skills. Do keep an eye on our website if you or someone else is looking for a job in mental health.
Blue Light Programme
We are delighted to be part of the national Blue Light Programme providing help and support to our blue light personnel. Our first course starts on Thursday 11 June in Cambridge. For more information see: www.mind.org.uk/BlueLightCours
This turned out to be a huge success, with lots of conversations had, resources given out and over 40 STOP Suicide Pledges signed! Thank you to all staff, trustees, volunteers and STOP Suicide Campaign Makers who gave up their time – it is so appreciated and worthwhile.
If you have any feedback or comments from the day, please let us know.
The Green Hour has been so successful, we are going to continue this until the end of July. We can then properly review how it’s helped our working practices. I have heard of people doing some wonderful things focusing on their wellbeing. Personally I’ve started running – it’s not a pleasant sight, but I’m enjoying it!
Dates for your diary…
We had a great Keep in Touch meeting recently, where we discussed the differences between CBT and Psychodynamic approaches, western depravation and how we might introduce healing music to our two buildings. We ended the meeting with a rendition of Laura Brannigan’s famous song Gloria – not everyone was impressed!
The next meeting is 30 June, 10am-12pm at Barrere House.
The Bigger Mental Health Picture
Important links, news and surveys in the wider world of mental health
- Have your say at Hearing Voices groups – 16 & 23 June
- Huntingdon woman’s open letter on mental health struggles is read by thousands
- New campaign will benefit ‘thousands of unpaid carers’ in Cambridgeshire
- Scientists find that schizophrenia and bipolar disorder are linked to creativity
- Stress won’t kill you – if you handle it right
- Mental health could retain its Cinderella status under Tories
- Mental health patients ‘smoke three times as much’
- Sometimes You Just Have to Cry it Out
- Keep up to date with Mind news