Joyce Passmore: A Thank You

Friend of the Project, Joyce Passmore (author of ‘The Light In My Mind’) has been very busy on our behalf of late. On Tuesday the 6th June (2017) she talked about her personal experiences in Mental Health with Julie (our Project Manager) to a huge crowd at St. James Church, Taunton, and asked that all donations go towards the WATCH while she was there.

And if that wasn’t enough, she has since gone on to take a recording of that evening and turned it into a CD that you can request a copy of, in return for a small contribution of course.

Instead of doing the usual and sharing my gratitude on behalf of the WATCH Project, I would like to ask you all to join me now in sitting up straight and cheering our appreciation in person. (I’ll give you a moment to warm your vocal chords up, and will ask Joyce if she could please stick her head out of the nearest window and carefully raise a hand to your ear.

So, on my count.


“Hip hip, hooray!

Hip hip hooray!

Hip hip hooray!”

Thank you for everything, Joyce. We’re super grateful for all your hard work. 🙂

– M@thew

Our AGM in Pictures (2017)

Chard WATCH CIC had it’s Annual General Meeting last week (10th August 2017) and it was considered a rousing success by all. (And so busy at times, I was stuck at the back and unable to get more creative with the photographs! So apologies for that.)

Once again, friend of the Project (and now Director) Ken Comber chaired the meeting, but was joined this time by Julie Matthews (Project Manager), Richard Miller (Company Secretary), Kevin Townsend (who delivered the Financial Report) and Ruth Crooks — who took the minutes.

All of our members, volunteers, staff and friends of the Project were publicly thanked for their support over the year(s) on the day (whether they were in attendance or not), but special mention was made for Anne Townsend and Sarah for their help on the Art table, Paul and Jo for their time with the woodwork, and Alan, Mike, and Soo for their continued Kitchen efforts. (Along with many others I’ve probably missed!)

Special guest speaker Dr Andrew Tresidder was also in attendance and delivered a much applauded speech about the benefits of personal growth and peer groups like ours. He was later followed by numerous members who shared their thoughts about the positive impact WATCH has had on them too, so naturally their wasn’t a dry eye in the house come the end! (Jayne’s very popular raffle helped dry a few wet cheeks afterwards though.)

You can read the full AGM Report here, and if you would like to see the Financial Report, please contact the office to request a copy from Kevin.

[Please note: If you didn’t give me photo permission on the day, I have disguised your face to prevent any upset.]

– M@thew

Our Latest Mosaic: ‘Care in the Community’

[The inscription below it reads: “CARE IN THE COMMUNITY. This mosaic has been kindly donated by The Watch Project, directed by Richard Langford (Artist). November 2016.”]

The WATCH project has made a number of Mosaics over the years and you can find your eyes drawn to them at places like the Chard Guildhall, Bracken House, and Holly Court in Yeovil. If you’ve been following the website for a while, you may remember we were working on a fourth designed to celebrate ‘Care in the Community,’ with Crewkerne Sculptor, Richard Langford too. (You can find progress posts here and here.)

Well, I’m pleased to report that it is finally pinned to the wall at Chard Hospital!

Hospital administrator, Gillian Wallace, had this to say about it on the Chard and Ilminster website:

“We are pleased to be building strong alliances between the hospital and townsfolk, and would like to take this opportunity to develop these further, by inviting people to join our team as volunteers, LOF committee members or nurses and therapists to apply to join us in a professional capacity, so that together we can continue to deliver the excellent compassionate services into the future.”

You can read more about her thoughts in a press release for the Chard and Ilminster here, but for now, we would like to thank Gillian, Richard Langford, our members, the public, and anyone else involved in the production of this mosaic (from it’s whiteboard conception, to it’s glossy finish).

I know we have a tendency to thank everyone a lot when it comes to your support, but when it comes to our gratitude, there are no diminishing returns. Thank you all so much! It really is appreciated.

I hope you like it as much as we enjoyed making it.

Chard Churches Together: Bible Reading Shed

Chard Churches Together read the whole Bible aloud, non-stop, outside the Chard Guildhall from Thursday to Sunday (1-4 June 2017) last week — and the WATCH Project made the shelter they sat in! (You can find volunteer Jo modelling the shed as it was getting made in the image attached.)

I have yet to walk through the Forefront Community Church reception to ask how it went (and get to our office upstairs) myself, but fingers-crossed the event was a success? It was always busy when I passed them over the weekend anyway!

– M@thew



Folly Farm Trip in Pictures

If the pictures attached weren’t proof enough, The WATCH Project went to Folly Farm back in April 2017! According to our June Newsletter we’re going again on the 11th July, so if this trip looks like something you’d enjoy, please ask at the reception desk on Thursday for more information.

Chard & Ilminster News: Fun Day for Tenth Birthday

[Julie isn’t a fan of having her picture taken and I felt it was missing a crucial and fan-favourite element, so we compromised with this Photoshop edit.]

I don’t mean to alarm you, but what you’re about to read is a real-time example of time travel.

For our tenth anniversary a few weeks ago, the Chard and Ilminster News wrote a piece about us in the local newspaper – and I completely forgot to tell you about it. So if anyone asks (especially Mrs J) please tell them/her you really enjoyed this timely and relevant piece about that article on our website!

You can find a link to it here:

Chard and Ilminster News – Fun Day for Tenth Birthday

(They have some really lovely photos from our birthday there!)

Speaking of which, simply typing ‘thank you’ into a keyboard cannot effectively express how grateful everyone is at WATCH feels for your support over the last ten years. Whether you’re another member, a friend, volunteer, paid member of staff, or that nice taxi man who dropped us off outside the Rugby Club once, we are your biggest fans.

So thank you, cheers, gracias, merci beaucoup, danke, and much obliged. Whoever you are, we are cheering your name through continued peer support!

– M@thew

Avon & Somerset: Safe Places







Safe Places is a service to help people with communication difficulties stay safe when they are out and about. It is open to anyone in the force area with dementia, a learning disability, mental health problems or any communication need, and there is no age limit.

An improved service, which includes direct access to police support 24 hours a day via the Safe Places telephone number, is being rolled out by Avon and Somerset Police from 10 May 2017.
When someone registers for Safe Places they get a unique reference number and their personal details are safely held on the police database.

They can call the Safe Places number if they find themselves in a crisis situation, such as if they are lost, feel scared or upset, and don’t know what to do, or if they have been a victim of crime.
If they call the Safe Places number Avon and Somerset staff will be able to find more information about an individual’s needs and will be able to help them in the most appropriate way.

As part of Safe Places people get a wallet card and keyring fob – and they can show this to get help in a Safe Places building – which include police stations, police inquiry offices and in the near future, some council offices

To find out more about this service, please visit or download the attached leaflet.