Pupils’ charity auction raises £1,500 for us
Sacha McVay, 17, Josh Elston, 17, and Adam Boutaleb-Cross, 18, recently raised a huge total for us as part of their college coursework. The resourceful and thoughtful students are all studying Business Studies BTEC at Richard Huish and spent three months arranging a dinner and auction at the White Post Cafe near Wellington. Twenty four people attended and all the prizes were auctioned off, including the headline exclusive tour of the V & A Museum in London.
Sacha, who has suffered from mental health issues and depression in the past, said that one of the main motivations for the fundraising was that he was a big supporter of our Mindline telephone service, which now runs 8 – 11PM seven days a week, and also the message that it promotes of getting people to open up and talk.
Anne-Marie Russ, our Community Fundraiser, said: “This a fantastic sum to have raised and we’re really grateful to the students for their enterprise and generosity. Thanks also to The White Post Café for providing cost-effective meals enabling the lads to make a profit on ticket sales.”
Author: Alexander Priest
Posted on: 12th February 2020
Mindline emotional support helpline now available 7 evenings a week.
Distressed? Anxious? Feeling overwhelmed? You are not alone.
We are here to listen and support you every 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on 01823 276 892
We believe that nobody should have to face a mental health problem alone.
That is why we at Mindline Somerset have decided to expand our unique style of telephone support to seven days a week. Mindline has been running since 2002 and is run by volunteer call handlers who are specially trained to provide callers with a safe space to talk.
It is one of our most valuable services in our charity, as proven by quotes from our callers:
“Mindline is an outlet for me”
“It’s reassuring to know somebody is there if I need them”
“An understanding safe place”
Mental health has many common misconceptions, leaving people feel isolated and vulnerable. However one in six adults experience a common mental health problem, such as anxiety or depression, and one in five adults have considered taking their own life at some point. Unfortunately only a third of UK workers who have experienced a mental health problem have felt supported at work by their manager. This is why Mindline continues to provide such neccessary and pivotal support to the people of Somerset.
Source: The Mental Health Foundation
Author: Marc Lewis
Posted on: 10th February 2020
New schools programme launched
We are delighted to announce the launch of our Speak Up! programme, developed in conjunction with Soroptimist International Taunton and Taunton Women’s Aid. The programme focuses on important issues such as healthy relationships, boundaries and self esteem.
These issues are crucial; one in ten children and young people are affected by mental health issues, and 70% of children and young people who experience a mental health problem have not had appropriate interventions at a sufficiently early age.
Speak Up! is part of our current work with schools, ensuring that we look after the young people in our county. The programme includes lesson plans, work with the Mind staff and pre and post programme assessments to ensure that the programe’s participants learn in a way that suits them. For more information on Speak Up!, please follow this link or get in touch with Jess McKeith
Author: Alexander Priest
Posted on: 4th February 2020
Guest Chef night at the Bicknoller Inn raises £1300 for Mind in Somerset
On the 30th of October this year, regular of the Bicknoller Inn Roger Polsom, turned his hobby of cooking into a money spinner for charity, becoming a Masterchef for the night and raising £1300 for Mind in Somerset at their highly successful ‘Guest Chef’ event.
Landlady Lesley Davis described it as “an absolutely brilliant night – Roger really came up with the goods and served up 60 meals of a five-star quality. Everyone had a fantastic time, really enjoyed the food and laughed late into the night “. Roger’s menu featured local Scallops, Fish Pie or Steak and Kidney pudding with a vanilla pannacotta or chocolate mousse for dessert.
The fundraising event featured a raffle, with local producers donating prizes which added to their impressive total. Prizes included meat and fish from Faun and co. of Bicknoller and Weston Bay and treats and vouchers from many other local eateries and pubs including The Plough in Holford, Reeves in Dunster , Palmers Brewery and the Castle of Comfort to mention only a few.
Roger himself laughed “It was a great night but I’m never doing it again!”, where Lesley added “He’ll be back”. Pictured from left are guest chef Roger Polsom, Maria Taylor from Mind in Somerset’s Wiser Money project and landlady Lesley Davis. Staff at The Bicknoller Inn felt that Mental Health was an important and worthwhile cause, and particularly felt that in rural areas like ours it could ‘do with a bit of a boost’. Mind’s Maria Taylor said “We are really delighted with this generous donation, and so impressed with the generosity and goodwill of the staff and the customers at the Bicknoller Inn. The guest chef evening is a new idea and a delicious sounding one! All their hard work will go towards supporting people who are suffering with their mental health in Somerset through one of our many services throughout the county, we really can’t thank you all enough”.
There are so many ways to fundraise. Whether you want to organise a cake bake or raffle, run a marathon, take part in a Charity Boxing Challenges or stage a musical event. Check out our fundraising page for more ideas.
The best thing is that together we can also help raise awareness at the same time – let’s do as much as possible to normalise the conversation around mental health.
Author: Marc Lewis
Posted on: 11th December 2019
Mental health drop in services available
As of January 2020, we are able to offer support for anyone who feels like they are really struggling with their mental health. Instead of going to A&E, making an urgent doctor’s appointment or suffering in silence, you can visit one of our offices across Somerset in Bridgwater, Yeovil, Shepton Mallet or Taunton. There you will find a supportive member of staff who will be willing to listen and be able to help you with your problems, whatever they may be.
Here is our list of services and times:
- Taunton: Monday – Friday: 9AM – 10:30PM, Saturday & Sunday: 8PM – 10:30PM.
- Details: 01823 334906. Sussex Lodge, 44 Station Rd, Taunton Somerset TA1 1NS
- Yeovil: Monday – Friday: 9AM – 4:30PM.
- Details: 01935 474875. Yeovil Small Business Centre, Houndstone Business Park, Yeovil BA22 8WA
- Bridgwater: Monday – Friday: 9AM – 4:30PM
- Details: 01278 421190. Town Hall, High St, Bridgwater, Somerset, TA6 3AS
- Shepton Mallet: Monday – Friday: 9AM – 4:30PM
- Details: 07395 259304. Shepton Mallet, Somerset
Please phone before though so we know that you are coming, and note that we cannot take anyone under eighteen or under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Due to health and safety procedures we cannot guarantee there is an accessible toilet facility on site.
Alternatively, if you do not feel comfortable visiting the office or struggle with transport getting there, you can use our Mindline telephone support service. You can reach us on 01823 276892. This service will be open every night of the week 8PM -11PM, while Mindline Trans+ will be open every Friday 8PM – midnight. Mindline Trans+ is a confidential emotional, mental health support helpline and signposting service for people who identify as Trans, A Gender, Gender Fluid, or Non-binary. You can reach that service on 0300 330 5468
Author: Alexander Priest
Posted on: 10th December 2019
Mind in Somerset on BBC Somerset
On Wednesday Karen Davis, from our Burnham and Highbridge peer support group, spoke passionately to BBC Somerset’s Charlie Taylor about the benefits of peer support.
Listen by clicking the link below and forwarding to 22mins in.
The Burnham & Highbridge Peer Support Group takes place alternate Wednesday mornings, 10am-12.30pm at The Princess Theatre & Arts Centre, Princess Street, Burnham on Sea, TA81EH
For more information email us on [email protected]
Or phone: 01823 334906
Author: Marc Lewis
Posted on: 8th December 2019
Rescheduled: Book launch in association with Mind in Somerset and Waterstones in Yeovil
Paul Williams is a wildlife photographer different to any other. His new book is described by Chris Packham as ‘a brutally honest visual journey … uplifting and beautiful’ and Paul will be showing his photos and talking about the book at Waterstones, Yeovil from 7pm on Wednesday 5th February.
Waterstones are kindly hosting the evening in association with Mind in Somerset and 10 per cent of the sales of the book at the event, Veloce, the publisher is generously donating to the mental health charity.
Wildlife Photography: saving my life one frame at a time, explores the links between wellbeing and wildlife photography and charts Paul’s own journey, which has seen his passion for photography and nature help to heal the mental wounds that left him hopeless and suicidal.
Demonstrating how wildlife photography has the power to improve physical and mental wellbeing, the book is designed to appeal to a wide range of individuals, from beginners with very little photographic experience through to those further along on their photographic journey, as well as those interested in Paul’s odyssey from rock bottom to rediscovery of a life worth living.
TV presenter, conservationist and nature photographer Chris Packham commented after reading the book, “Photography has the power to change people’s minds; here, it’s a means of mending a mind, illustrating a brutally honest visual journey through Paul’s account of his breakdown and recovery. Uplifting and beautiful in its simplicity, this is a heartening tale of how a closer bond with nature can heal the human mind.”
Throughout the book we learn how wildlife photography pulled Paul back from the brink after his very challenging careers took their toll on his mental state. A career soldier, he went on to become a highly qualified physical training instructor before shattering both ankles in a climbing accident.
After leaving the military Paul gained a First Class honours degree in Clinical Mental Health nursing, and worked as a senior mental health specialist in Assertive Outreach. At the age of 40 he decided on a complete career change and joined the police. In 2010 he developed PTSD after defending four people against a mentally ill, samurai sword-wielding woman, and became very unwell very quickly, attempting suicide three times before experiencing a significant breakthrough with a new psychotherapy treatment.
Already an amateur photographer with some 20 years’ experience, Paul picked up his camera to give him an incentive to get out, as he had become far too reclusive. He discovered great satisfaction from sitting in still, quiet spaces waiting for wildlife to appear (or not, as was often the case).
What makes the book so unique is how Paul can combine practical help on photography alongside an insightful commentary on his mental well-being. For example: “All three of these images were shot in my garden on a bright, sunny day that gave me plenty of light to help keep the shutter speed high – essential if you want to keep fast-moving subjects sharp, and you don’t have, or want to use, flash.
“Knowing I had only to go into my garden to take these images meant a lot of the stress I associated with going out amongst people was significantly reduced. Looking back, I now know that finding the motivation to take these images when I was so unwell were important first steps on the road to my recovery.”
The book of 200 original colour images has general tips and points about equipment, fieldcraft and techniques.
It also seamlessly aligns photography with creative suggestions around mindfulness, well-being and holism to create a blueprint for all, and especially anyone experiencing poor mental or physical health, who would like to express themselves creatively in the natural world.
Wildlife Photography, saving my life one frame at a time is published by Hubble & Hattie, an imprint of Veloce Publishing Ltd, RRP: £29.99.
For any queries on this release please call Paul Nathanson 0771 0088437.
Tickets on the door, £3, to include a glass of wine or soft drink at Waterstones Yeovil, 37a Middle Street, Yeovil BA20 1LG.
Author: Marc Lewis
Posted on: 19th November 2019
Time to Change Somerset – Champions Fund Launch
Time to Change Somerset is pleased to announce the launch of its Champions Fund – a £10,000 pot of money to help people with lived experience of poor mental health in Somerset to challenge mental health stigma in their local area.
Each applicant must be a registered Time to Change Champion and can apply for up to £500. The funding will support Champions in sparking conversations in their community between people who have lived experienced and those who have not, helping to change the way we all think and act about mental health problems. Activities can range from stalls in shopping centres or festivals to free haircuts by bantering barbers and even ‘walk and talk’ dog walks! The more creative, the better!
To apply for funding, applicants need to be a registered Time to Change Champion, be at least 18 years old, have lived experience of a mental health problem and hold their event in Somerset.
To apply for the Champions Fund go to https://www.time-to-change.org.uk/get-involved/become-time-change-hub/champions-fund/information-applicants.
For more information contact Will at [email protected]
Author: Marc Lewis
Posted on: 10th November 2019
Quiet Places for Unquiet Minds Exhibition
Artist printmaker Simon Ripley was appointed by Somerset Art Works to run a programme of printmaking workshops with the Bridgwater Mind Art Group during the autumn of 2019. The objectives were to focus on teaching new skills, encouraging participants to explore their creativity, build confidence and foster wellbeing. Art activities of any sort are great for developing self esteem and for maintaining wellbeing in turbulent times – the chance to reflect upon one’s circumstances and express oneself are invaluable.
An exhibition of prints created by the group will be on display at Bridgwater Arts Centre from 8th to 28th November, open Tuesday to Friday 10am – 3pm.
“I have loved working with a very enthusiastic group of artists at the Bridgwater Mind Art Group. The group sampled the processes of mono print, collagraph, drypoint, linocut and letterpress – all of which can be seen in the exhibition. Each week, for 2 hours, we would focus on printmaking with curiosity and energy. Everyone was keen to have a go and because it’s printmaking, everyone has come away with several copies of their work.” Simon Ripley – Lead Artist
Quiet Places for Unquiet Minds
A Somerset Art Works Artist Residency Project
Working with Mind in Somerset and wellbeing groups around the county
Author: Marc Lewis
Posted on: 8th November 2019
Mind in Somerset opens new office in Bridgwater
We were delighted last week to open our new Bridgwater office following our Annual General Meeting at the Town Hall, where were joined by our service users, volunteers and funders. We continue to encourage wide input in shaping the direction Mind in Somerset takes, as part of our commitment to provide a comprehensive mental health service for people across Somerset.
The ribbon was cut by one of our Honorary Life Presidents, Jean Grant. Jean founded Mind in Taunton and West Somerset, a component part of Mind in Somerset. The opening of the new Bridgwater office represents another step towards supporting the 80,000 who experience poor mental health in Somerset. This follows on from the opening of a Mind charity shop on North Street in Taunton this summer, in conjunction with Time to Change, our campaign aimed at reducing mental health-related stigma and discrimination.
With mental health problems affecting one in four of us this year, it is important to seek help and not to suffer in silence. We offer groups and support from Frome to Minehead and Weston to Chard that can help you tackle any problem you may be facing. If you feel as though you are suffering from poor mental health or loneliness you can call the confidential information and support line Mindline on 01823 276892. This line is open between 8pm and 11pm on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Author: Alexander Priest
Posted on: 18th September 2019