We hope you and your family are continuing to keep safe as lockdown begins to ease – and that you’re still finding ways to enjoy your summer.
Since our last newsletter in April, we have continued to support hundreds of people each week as well as engaging our community with campaigns, virtual fundraising and online training. In this edition you’ll read all about our activity, how our support has impacted individuals and the fantastic work of our volunteers.
There is also cause for celebration, as we have once again achieved the Mind Quality Mark (MQM) from national Mind. As a result, we are delighted to have also been nominated for four awards. The feedback we received after the rigorous MQM process was overwhelmingly positive. That said, we know that there is always room for improvement. We are constantly looking to learn from the evaluation of our services and the feedback we receive, be that from those accessing our services and our many other stakeholders.
On that note, over the past month we have been consulting with many of our clients, together with staff and volunteers, to gain a better understanding of how our community is feeling about the prospect of a return of face-to-face, socially-distanced services.
The majority have told us that they are ready for some outdoor face-to-face activity to return and, over the next few months, we will be taking a phased, ‘safety first’ approach to relaxing lockdown measures. Our aim is to gradually increase this outdoor face-to-face support, including small group activities, across many of our services between now and September, while acknowledging that any resurgence in Covid-19 could take us back to stricter measures.
You can read about how our services are currently operating here.
Warmest wishes for the rest of the summer,
Chief Executive Officer
Mind Quality Mark and Awards
Every three years, as part of our affiliation to national Mind, we are assessed to exacting standards, to achieve the Mind Quality Mark (MQM). This rigorous process covers every area of our work, from Governance to front-line service delivery and co-production.
We are pleased to share that our latest assessment was overwhelmingly positive, and we were described as ‘a confident, collaborative organisation that clearly lives its values; there is an emphasis on empowerment and recognising the value of lived-experience of mental health shaping every aspect of work’.
In addition, we are delighted to learn that we have been nominated for national Mind awards in four categories: Service Design and Innovation, Sustainability, People and Service User Influence, and Participation.
Getting Support Online – Julie’s Story
Coronavirus has created many challenges for our mental health and we’re making sure we adapt our services to support people in the best possible ways. This has included the launch of new services such as the multi-agency Lifeline Helpline, detailed in our last e-bulletin, together with expansion of our new online support service – Qwell.
A recent Cambridge News article highlighted Julie Deamer’s story and her positive experience with our new online support community – Qwell. Alongside forums and self-help articles, Qwell offers chat-based counselling on a weekly basis over six sessions.
Having already been isolated due to a serious injury before lockdown, Julie was really impressed with how quickly she was linked up with a counsellor. The text-based service gave her the space to express herself and she was able to make great progress with her wellbeing and establishing a routine.
Virtual Fundraising during Covid-19
Self-isolation and other pressures in home and work life have inevitably created a challenging environment for mental health and wellbeing during the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
Supporting our Covid-19 Appeal for virtual fundraising will help us to provide hundreds of local people with essential support each week and introduce new initiatives for adapting our services. Our Virtual Fundraising Pack is full of fun ideas to help you get started, including games, quizzes and online gigs.
Supporting us in this way not only helps us with our services, it’s also a great way to stay connected and boost your own wellbeing, so why not start today!?
Training our Community
Mental health has never been so important and we know workplaces across our community have had to adapt – and quickly. That’s why our Training Team have developed a new approach to ensure we are able to continue supporting organisations across our region.
Our dedicated team of trainers, who are experienced mental health professionals, are able to provide organisations with practical tips and techniques using a flexible, bite-sized approach which better suits remote working as part of our many popular courses.
The best part is, any income generated by our Training Team helps to support us in providing direct services for people recovering from mental health problems.
We have also been able to offer free training sessions to community groups to better equip people in our region to support each other.
Connecting Cambridge’s University Students
Back in May we launched a project in partnership with Anglia Ruskin University and the University of Cambridge to offer dedicated wellbeing support to students in our region.
We recognise that being a student can bring about unique challenges which can affect mental health and, therefore, set up our Good Mood Cafes and Open Door calm spaces with the universities. These sessions are aimed at supporting students to build connections with other students, learn self-help techniques and connect to personal strengths.
The sessions have been taking place online during lockdown offering an important method of connection for students with peers now based all across the globe.
Volunteers are an essential part of CPSL Mind and provide us with support across all our services. They are also vital to us making better connections with the local community, spreading a positive message around mental health and reducing stigma.
Held annually from 1–7 June, Volunteers’ Week is an opportunity to celebrate our voluntary staff and publicise the fantastic work they do throughout our organisation via our website and social media channels (links can be found below). The contributions of volunteers have been ongoing during the coronavirus outbreak and have helped us massively with the challenge of adapting our services.
David has been with us for the past six months as a member of the Co-production team, offering insight on mental health from personal experience to help develop our work. He is also a member of the Good Life Project Board, which oversees our Good Mood Cafes and Open Door calm spaces. David says, “I’ve met some great people through my volunteering efforts and have found the experience to be lots of fun and really engaging.”
Nye has been volunteering in the Communications team for a year now, writing stories for our bi-monthly newsletter, updating our website and supporting us in numerous other ways. He says that becoming a volunteer “has hugely broadened my horizons” and offered “a great opportunity for personal growth and giving something back.”
Also volunteering in Communications, Laura is an essential part of the team, supporting us with fantastic graphic design work and our social media presence. She says, “CPSL Mind are an amazing charity and I love the fact that my work is spreading the message and helping people out, especially in these testing times.”
Each experts in their own field, our Trustees are vital to progressing and improving our charity.
In her day job Andréa heads up Communications and Engagement for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust (CPFT), but also finds time to support us in spreading the word about our work. She says, ‘Volunteering is something I feel really passionate about, it’s hugely rewarding.”
The work of STOP Suicide Campaign Makers has been fundamental to our message of challenging stigma and showing others that its OK to talk about suicide. As part of the Campaign Maker Takeover for Volunteers’ Week, many of them shared videos on our STOP Suicide Twitter, spotlighting their stories and the amazing work they do for mental health.
We want to say a massive thank you to all our volunteers for the fantastic work they do. If you’re interested in joining us on a voluntary basis, please visit our website.
Fundraising and Innovation
At this difficult time, people are going out of their way to support us, using online tools and other innovative methods, and we are encouraging more to take part with our Covid-19 Appeal for virtual fundraising. We want to say a huge thank you to all our dedicated fundraisers, who have continued to make amazing contributions during the pandemic.
Emma Tytherleigh and her family held a fundraising workout via Zoom as part of the 2.6 Challenge on Sunday 26th April to mark what would have been the 40th London Marathon. Following a 2.6 theme for their exercises, they raised a brilliant £668 to support our work.
On the hottest weekend in May, the Fenland Running Club completed a socially-distanced relay, observing a two-metre boundary at all times. Organiser Andy Beveridge gathered together an impressive 44 runners for the relay, including one Tyrannosaurus Rex! The event was a huge success, raising £585 and highlighting the importance of regular exercise for mental health.
The residents of Orchard Road in Histon took part in a fantastic street party for Mental Health Awareness Week, bringing people together while ensuring safe social distancing. Organised by CPSL Mind staff member Jean Clery, the event raised an impressive £265 and showed the importance of community at this time.
If you feel inspired to raise funds to support our work please visit cpslmind.org.uk/join-us/fundraise-for-us and get in touch