Mental health campaigns and community action
On this page, you will find details about mental health projects that I have helped promote, including centre openings, fundraising events, and community campaigns. If you would like me to get involved with your project, please contact me via e-mail or Twitter (see links at top of page).
Zest Cafe, Sherborne Centre for Wellbeing
In another example of withdrawn mental health funding, the Zest Cafe (Sherborne Centre for Wellbeing), Dorset, are fighting for their very existence. For many years, the centre has provided supported employment, volunteer opportunities, informal training and social facilities. for people with mental health difficulties. The Zest Cafe aims to reduce the stigma of mental illness through education, and employs people who have experienced mental ill health to run the cafe. Without funding, all of that will end soon. The story has already attracted media attention in local and national sources (Western Gazette, Blackmore Vale News, BBC News). It was my great honour to launch the fundraising campaign on September 30th 2014. You can contribute to those funds by donating through the centre's web page.
Media report: Western Gazette
Bridport Mental Health Drop-in Centre
Following recent funding and service changes, many parts of rural west Dorset have limited access to mental health support. The nearest mental health beds are now located in Poole, up to two hours away. The recent service changes have also had an impact on community support. In addition to inpatient facilities, it is vital that people have access to local support services, including signposting, advice and referrals. This is particularly important in rural areas, where access to (and provision of) mental health services can be compromised. Mindful of these problems, Dorset County Council have now opened a new mental health drop-in centre in Bridport. It was my great honour when Councillor Ros Kayes invited me to officially open the unit on September 25th 2014. You can read about the opening ceremony via the links below. I hope to play a part in developing mental health support services at the new centre (located at 5 Downes Street, Bridport).