SPARK: Volunteers’ Week 2018

The wonderful team over at SPARK have produced a series of videos to help celebrate Volunteers’ Week this year, and you may recognise a few familiar WATCH faces that participated! We were asked (along with a number of other organisations) to share our experiences, give advice, and answer questions like how volunteering has helped us personally.

You’ll find all nine of their videos attached below, and us scattered throughout.

A massive thanks to SPARK (and Bethan behind the camera) for letting us take part. It was humbling to be included, and inspiring to watch!  🙂

Boosting your self-confidence with Bernard Genge from ProAction Development

On the 12th July at 2pm all of our members are invited to attend this two hour workshop where you will learn some practical tips for boosting your self-confidence, stretching your comfort zone and increasing your satisfaction with life.

Confident people are happier people, and happier people are more positive about themselves and their future. Come along and find out how you can benefit like this, and what you learn you’ll be able to practice immediately.

Our Latest Folly Farm Trip






On 10th April a small group of members and volunteers made our regular quarterly visit to Folly Farm on the Blackdown Hills. Johnathan runs the farm on an ecological basis, allowing hedgerows to grow and encourage birds, and digging a large pond to attract wildlife.

We took part in a number of activities, walking through the woods, making clay models, cooking flatbread and popcorn, and making butter with wild garlic.

A great day was had, with fun and good company. Many thanks to Johnathan, Emma and others who always make it such a success.

The next visit is on the 10th July, btw!

– Richard Miller

Easter Egg Raffle Winners (2018)

Just in case you were wondering, here are all the winners of the WATCH Project Easter Egg raffle this year. We had a number of delicious eggs up for grabs, and at £1 a go, it was hard to say no!

So in no particular order:

  • Sarah L is a two time winner!
  • Emma P
  • Daphne M
  • Patrick S
  • Sam (I don’t have a surname listed, but they know who they are)
  • Sarah S
  • Joan P
  • Julie Matthews owes me an Easter Egg
  • Scott S
  • …and Debbie J

A big thank you to everyone who took part and I hope you’re not too disapointment if you didn’t win. I believe all of the prizes have been collected now, but please ask at the  reception desk if you’re as confused as I am why your name isn’t listed either!  😛

– M@thew 

Button Mosaic: Picture Update!

If you’re not familiar with the Button Mosaic we’ve been working on, I highly recommend you check out the earlier post here. Christine and everyone have clearly been very busy, and the change in just a few weeks is quite remarkable!

Keep refreshing this page for any future updates. 😉

Joyce Passmore: The Light In My Mind

“When l experienced long term care in the mental health system at the age of 13 years it was a most frightening and confusing time. The 3 weeks of hospital life I was promised lasted for 15 years in the old mental health system.

When I say I became lost in a system that is exactly true. My days were arranged for me. My life became others to control. I lost my identity. I had no rights and to ask questions about what was happening to me was frowned upon. It felt I was being punished. The Victorian hospital gave out harsh Victorian treatments.

Bit by bit I got sucked into the institutional regime I was forced to live. I was surrounded by people who had given up on life itself but I fought hard to get my life back that had been taken away from me. I kept focused on my aim that one day l would get my life and freedom back. It took years but I made it!

It then took years to adjust to life outside of the institution. I knew I never belonged in the hospital but I now felt I did not fit in to the life outside either. People terrified me. It was a horrible feeling. I persevered and though it was hard l found my place in the world outside. It was officially recognised as medical neglect. I was asked by the medical profession to write my story . I was now totally free from all medical help where my mental health was concerned.

My book The Light in my Mind came out in 2010 and has been accepted well going all over the world. I have a wonderful life now. I have given many talks on my life and the lessons learnt and would be very willing to share my experiences with you. Thank you.”

– Joyce Passmore

“Everybody at Chard WATCH has been very well supported by Joyce over the years. She has contributed the sales from her books to us, and her own chosen child charity. Joyce has given us all a lot of hope, and given so much back to help those whose lives suffer from mental health issues.

I have personally seen Joyce give hopeful, inspiring talks on her experience going through the mental health system, and if you would like Joyce and WATCH to come to your club, organisation or project to speak about her life and our brand of peer support work please send an email to:

– Julie Matthews (Chard WATCH Manager)

Joyce’s book brings hope to its readers. Her faith and perseverance encourages so many. All proceeds from her book goes to charity. Joyce’s book “The Light in my Mind” costs £4.00 and with postage and packing the total costs is £6.00.

Button Mosaic

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. 🙂