If you’ve visited a hospital in Somerset over the last couple of years, we’re sure you’ve noticed one of the many excellent Mosaics the WATCH Project has on display there — so this time we’ve decided to produce something a little different!
Led by WATCH attendee, Christine, we’re using buttons (not tiles this time) to create a peer-led design our members feel helps emphasise the Peer Support we provide each other. So not only does this creative effort provide a helpful message, it’s a great example of peer support in action because we’re making it together!
Please watch this space for regular updates on the mosaic’s development. 🙂
Mind in Taunton and West Somerset are looking for volunteers (who have been before a magistrate) to join a growing and enthusiastic team, to help with the court peer mentoring service.
The peer mentoring service provides individuals with the opportunity to meet with others who have similar difficulties, to help reduce the stress of a court appearance and dealings with the criminal justice system.
We are looking for volunteers with lived experience of mental ill health and the criminal justice system. Volunteers will have experience of arrest and court appearance(s) which, in some way, they associate with mental ill health.
Volunteers will support others who are going before, or have been before, magistrates in Yeovil or Taunton Courts.
I’m sure you were there and know this already (but if you weren’t, you were sorely missed) The WATCH Project took part in the Time to Change event happening across the country on February the 1st 2018.
Our Rugby Club doors were open to the public, who were encouraged to come in and talk to us all about Mental Health in a continued effort to break down the stigma. We’ve done it a few years now and it’s always proven to be an enjoyable experience, in spite of the heavy subject matter (which is kind of the point) and this year was no exception! We had hot drinks, good chat, a wide variety of biscuits, and friendly conversation with people who entered as strangers and left as friends.
In attendance were our members, volunteers (in some very fetching t-shirts) and a house full of special guest speakers, old friends and the local press too!
In fact, Richard, Natalie and Matthew spoke on BBC Somerset radio with Claire Carter live in the morning and Matthew Faulkner pre-recorded in the evening. You can listen to those broadcasts below:
The Chard & Ilminster also did a wonderfully detailed report on the day here and provided us with the header image found above.
I’m running out of adjectives to describe what a success the whole thing was, so I will close this post by thanking everybody for their support on the day (whether you showed up, helped out, or braved those big scary doors for the first time) and I encourage you all to keep an eye on this space for our next event! We hope to see you all again soon.
Left to right: Bridget Harvey and Sally Dempsey (Heads Up) , Julie Mathews (WATCH Project), Philippa Forsey (Creativity Works), Sue Place (Balsam Centre), HRH The Countess of Wessex. Image by Oscar Yoosefinejad
CHARD WATCH CIC is part of Well Wessex, with three other charities and social enterprises supporting people with mental health needs. Our partners are:
The Balsam Centre (Wincanton)
Creativity Works (Radstock)
Heads Up (Wells)
The initiative was initiated by Lucy Nelson (High Sheriff 2015/16) and is supported by Somerset Community Foundation to improve the provision of mental health support services across Somerset helping each of us to work together, share knowledge, and make better use of our shared expertise and resources.
Each of the organisations is engaged in supporting recovery, independence and resilience through work with social and community structures to allow individuals to connect. Together we provide services to the value of around £1million each year.
Our starting point for Well Wessex was simply that we wanted to explore whether we could do more and be better if we collaborated with other organisations working in the same field. We have been meeting regularly for over a year and in that time have built a common understanding and trust that will be a solid foundation for the future.
Unlike other ‘partnerships’ this has not been driven by an external funding opportunity but by our shared ambition to grow our collective impact for the benefit of Somerset by working together.
The initiative was formally launched on 1 November 2017 during a visit by HRH The Countess of Wessex (http://balsamcentre.org.uk/news.html#coming) at the Balsam Centre, Wincanton. We are now working on our first major joint bid for funding as a partnership.