Welcome to our third quarterly ebulletin – watch out for the next one in Feb 2016!
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.
Sarah Hughes, CEO
News from the CEO desk
I wonder how we all are doing now the nights are drawing in. While we didn’t have a tropical summer, it’s still a surprise to wake up to cold dark mornings. I know I certainly do feel a dip in my mood, which is not quite SAD but makes me realise I need to think a bit more about my own wellbeing. I am currently on a healthy eating regime and I have found eating clean has improved my energy levels, which helps. What are you doing for your own wellbeing right now?
Goodbyes and Congratulations
We said goodbye to Jenny Swain in September. While we will miss her lots, we also know she is only up the road if we need a catch up!
Since the last ebulletin, Natalie’s beautiful baby girl Ivy Mae arrived. I’m sure you will join me in sending huge congratulations to her. Sally also shared with us the great news that her grandchild Tatenda Lily arrived this week – again, wonderful news.
The summer was a really interesting time for MiC; we set about the biggest and most ambitious recruitment drive we have ever seen. Claire Kearns, our extraordinary HR Administrator, managed this with such patience and attention to detail and as a result we have managed to appoint some dynamic, talented and inspiring individuals, to join our already incredible MiC team. Of course this also means a lot of hard work, inductions, finding desk space and generally buildings that are busier than ever. We will certainly prioritise getting people’s names and faces up on notice boards as a way of reminding each other of who we are. I remember my first day managing a team of five, now we are a team of 60 and rising. I extend a very heartfelt welcome to new staff and I look forward to working with you going forward.
One of the big pieces of work we undertook over the summer was a review of our risk management processes. We have nearly come to the end of this work and I will be asking the board to approve our new Keeping Safe Policy. I worked closely with lots of staff on this project, but want to thank Jade Griffin for working alongside me to produce the final policy. We have already held an internal event to look at progress so far but we will hold a second in Feb 2016 to consolidate our learning. We’ll also be looking at a shared workshop about risk with CPFT in the near future.
The Crisis Concordat has been creating a head of steam under the stewardship of Lynn Mars. It has been a rocky ride getting to a point where partners agree and are committed to a new model of working. I can tell you that by the time you get this ebulletin, we will have informed the Department of Health through our refreshed action plan that we will be implementing the First Response Service for people in a mental health crisis.
Aspects of this model include a dedicated team who will respond to people; carers or professionals when a crisis emerges. This will enable services to provide an immediate response and a response at the first time of asking, which are the core tenants of the concordat’s work. Our role in this new team will be the development of non health based places of safety, traditionally referred to as Crisis Housing. We are currently looking at a model based on the Mind in Bradford Sanctuary. I remember former Chair Sharon Cox being utterly committed to this, so I can’t wait to tell her it’s finally happening. Again, none of this would be possible without Lynn’s dedication to this work programme – without her it most certainly would not have happened. I will keep you informed every step of the way.
Over the coming months, the executive team will be working on consolidation. We are keen to make sure that as we expand, we are strong enough to deal with all that comes with that. At the moment, we are struggling with admin capacity because of Jamie Hall’s departure to university, but we hope to recruit to this post soon. In the meantime, we are looking at making sure Claire and Peter, who are holding the fort, have some clear priorities. Please be mindful of this when asking Jo et al. for things. We are doing our very best but please bear with us. I will be focused on our infrastructure and systems and have agreed with Sally and Aly priorities around server content, improved access to information and IT. We have had our broadband upgraded and are continuing to monitor impact on our service.
Can I please ask that you complete the survey by the 30th November. We will be pulling results together to share with you and the board. We are really keen to get your feedback, so please find the time to tell us what you think.
Hannah Turner, Jo Margetts and Sue Jackson are leading on a project looking at the use and design of our buildings. As I told you a few months ago, we want to improve the useability of our space and make it a much more wellbeing focused environment. If you are keen on getting involved, please speak to Hannah.
We have also started the process of redesigning our website, having hired a company called Platform Twenty who is currently working on design and content.
We expect to be in a position to relaunch our website in the New Year.
We are also formal signatories of CPFT’s Promise Global Project, where we were able to participate in an extraordinary event on the 9th October.
I’m sure there is lots that I haven’t mentioned but I hope this gives you a flavour of what’s going on organisational-wide.
Don’t forget, the next Keep in Touch meeting is on the 19th November at The Limes.
Cambridgeshire Wellbeing Service
The Wellbeing Service continues to be as busy as ever, with a high number of referrals. Our presence out in Melbourn has been very popular, we’ve even had to introduce a waiting list! As always, support from our other outreach locations is available.
We will be offering a new Personality Disorder Support Group in Cambridge from October, aswell as a new Men’s Group in St Neots. We will also be launching a Hearing Voices Project, in partnership with Lifecraft and Peterborough and Fenland Mind, in the New Year. If you want to know more about this, please contact Hannah Turner.
Lastly, in September we said a sad goodbye to Hannah Moore, our Volunteer Co-ordinator. Hannah has taken a job with the Royal College of Psychiatry and we wish her all the best. Our Senior Project Worker Tam, is temporarily taking over this role.
Changing Lives Primary Care Service
We would like to welcome Simone Coughlin who has joined the Changing Lives Primary Care Wellbeing Service as the new Administrator.
Unfortunately, Ben decided not to return after his operation, which has left us a bit short. We have interviewed for his position and hopefully will find a replacement as soon as possible.
We have also finally concluded our contract renegotiations with the CCG and are delighted to inform everyone that as of the 1st September, we no longer charge for the counselling service. We have fought a long time for this and are very grateful to the CCG for making this decision. We do however welcome any donations clients may wish to pay towards the service.
Elisabeth is now running the counselling service in Wisbech and we are hoping to have a couple of volunteer counsellors starting there very soon.
Jemma Freeman has now been appointed as the next Support2Recovery Manager. She has been with us as a sessional worker for a little while, so really knows the needs of the service. Jemma will officially start on the 2nd November but has already been seen trying out the office chairs!
Emma has stepped in as maternity cover for Natalie (who incidentally is enjoying her new role as a mother) and has been absolutely fantastic at just rolling up her sleeves and getting on with it with no fuss whatsoever.
The service now supports around 70 clients per week, with that figure continuing to increase making recruitment, as ever, an ongoing process. And at the risk of repeating myself, a huge thank you once again must go out to our sessional workers for their continued hard work and professionalism.
The SUN Network
The SUN Network is now up to full strength again, following Anne Wigglesworth’s appointment as our full time Engagement Facilitator in August and Weaver’s appointment as the SUN’s new Engagement Manager, at the end of September 2015. During the summer quarter, July to Sept, alongside service users, we completed and submitted to our commissioners three consultation documents as follows: on 3rd Sector Redesign, on the role of Recovery Coaches, on the efficacy of Enhanced Primary Care Services.
During the next quarter, amongst other things, we are staging a Human Library event in Peterborough on 26 November. We will continue to seek feedback on services through our scheduled feedback sessions across the county. We will also be a lead agency on representing service users’ views on care plan design and their greater inclusion/influence upon these. Additionally, SUN will be undertaking, with service users, a significant survey on issues of crisis as part of the Crisis Concordat Action Plan.
Russell Bowyer, our Drug & Alcohol Engagement Worker, will continue developing our Recovery Cafes across the county and represent service users’ views about services to commissioners.
Training and development
We are delighted to welcome Ruth Brown to MiC. Ruth was recently appointed as our new Training Manager and will continue the work to expand our training service and build on our network of Associate Trainers. Ruth has a background in further education and brings a huge amount of experience to the team.
For further information about our training services, please email Ruth Brown, Training Manager.
The STOP Suicide campaign marked World Suicide Prevention Day on 10 September, which proved a huge success! As well as Cambridge University Hospitals, aka Addenbrookes, signing the Organisational Pledge – Cambridge News coverage here – we had information stands at both Cambridge ASDA and Peterborough Tesco, joined by several of our Campaign Makers throughout the day.
On top of this, we ran a one hour briefing session at the Cambridge University Clinical School, at which London-based actor Alex Theo screened his short but powerful film around suicide bereavement. Watch Alex introducing his film. Watch the film itself. *Please be aware that this film could be triggering for some, particularly those who have had personal experience around suicide*
As a result of all the activity on this day, the campaign received 64 Personal Pledges and inspired over 70 conversations around mental health and suicide.
We are also delighted to tell you that Dominika Karpowicz has been appointed to the one year post of Mental Health Campaigns Officer. Dominika will be continuing her work in developing the STOP Suicide campaign, alongside a wider role across both Peterborough and Cambridgeshire, with a focus on tackling stigma and promoting wellbeing among children, young people and adults. Dominika has already contributed a huge amount to the STOP Suicide campaign, both as a volunteer and staff member, and we hope you’ll join us in congratulating her on this exciting new role.
Blue Light Programme
Our work with the national Blue Light Programme continues and we are now midway through delivering our third Blue Light Resilience Course to emergency service personnel. This six week programme is being delivered by two specialist Associate Trainers Lisa Beary and Jill Yarrow – and has received excellent feedback. Alongside this, we have just begun delivering a half day mental health awareness programme to managers within the emergency services, which is also being very well received. The Resilience work will continue for the rest of this year, with the managers’ training completing by March 2016. Please click for further information.
We are very excited, as over these past two months our Resilient Together team has come together. Our team comprises of; Lauren Steele, Jake Morrison and Rachael Walsh. The Resilient Together Project is funded for three years by Cambridgeshire County Council and we will be working in the areas of Wisbech and the Southern Fringe.
The concept of ‘resilience’ comes from our intention to help the individual make changes to their ability to cope and actual resources, in real time, available in order to take control but within the wider context of community engagement, using innovative concepts and practice. Most of our work this past month has involved; researching the areas of Wisbech and Southern Fringe, building contacts and project planning. We are having our first project board meeting 5th November, having just hosted some inspiring training with the internationally renowned expert in Asset Based Community Development (ABCD) Cormac Russell. For those of you who were unable to attend this training, we hope we can cascade some of the messages and share our learning with you.
Jake and Lauren have been working on two projects that will explore our engagement with the communities we are working in and building on the strengths of their existing assets. We’d like to thank everyone at Mind in Cambridgeshire for our warm welcome.
For further information about Resilient Together, please email Project Lead, Rachael Walsh.
Freshly appointed Cambridge graduate and bunny loving Lauren Steele, tells us about her background, passions and hopes for her role as Campaigns and Programmes Officer for the new Resilient Together project, based in Wisbech and the Southern Fringe.
A Day in the Life
This month we take a peek into ‘A Day in the Life’ of Support2Recovery worker Ben Perry. 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, Rachel Newell. Discover more about Rachel.
The Bigger Mental Health Picture
Important links, news and surveys in the wider world of mental health
- Have your say on CPFT’s Recovery, Resilience and Self Management strategy
- Mind supports equality for mental health campaign – add your own name
- Mental health stigma campaign starts – BBC
- The Sun launches new Stamp Out Stigma campaign – The Sun
- People receiving benefits because of their mental health are up to three times more likely to be punished by the DWP than helped to find work – Politics Home
- Are You Suffering From ‘Winter Tiredness’? Here’s How To Beat It – Huff Post
- 9 Learnings from 9 Years of Brain Pickings – Brain Pickings
- Allotment gardening ‘is good for your mental health’ – The Telegraph
- Watch Professor Green’s documentary ‘Suicide and Me’ – BBC 3
- Get involved in Time To Change’s #smallthings and #maketime campaigns
- Keep up to date with Mind news