HRH The Countess of Wessex visits the Balsam Centre in Wincanton and attends the launch of an exciting new initiative, including Chard Watch CIC

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

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.