Cafe on the Hill
The service at St Bernard's was awarded £650 by the charitable committee to fund new equipment for the health bar.
The new and improved cafe was officially launched in collaboration with Change Please on Friday 2 November 2018, making it the first NHS-based Change Please café.
Café on the Hill is run by vocational staff and service users. This provides our service users with the opportunity to learn transferable vocational skills and supports their recovery. Change Please is a social enterprise that provides barista skills, housing assistance, emotional support and a clear pathway to employment for the homeless.
The Limes indoor garden
In October 2016, the charitable committee, granted £3,000 to fund an indoor garden room at the Limes. The indoor garden room allows patients to experience the outdoors in safety and warmth.
The room provides a multi-sensory experience with aroma therapy in the form of lavender. The project took 12 months to complete and the indoor garden was officially opened on 15 November 2017.
CIDs Matron Melanie Barlow, who was the brainchild behind the indoor garden, said: “I mentioned the idea to carers at our bi-monthly carers group. Carers were very keen on this proposal and initially wanted to do some fundraising. I was then told about the charitable fund so Michelle Spooner (former Activity Coordinator), Dheeraj Chakrworti (Occupational Therapist) and I, wrote and submitted a proposal. We were awarded up to £3,000 in October 2016. I am so glad that the indoor garden is complete and benefiting our patients.”
Addressing physical healthcare
The mental health unit at Lakeside has a gym which is used daily by service users in both groups and individual sessions.
The wards at Lakeside cover working age and older adults services. The patient group is increasingly elderly. As well as having mental health difficulties, some are also physically disabled. The equipment that we previously had struggled to offer exercise facilities for those with problems transferring to and from wheelchairs.
With money from the charitable funds, we were able to identify and purchase a specialist item of whole body exercise equipment which is wheelchair accessible with a removable seat. The equipment caters for everyone – it’s comfortable and secure and can be used for upper and lower body exercise for those who are less mobile.
“This has brought many obvious benefits to our patients here who can now use the gym equipment. This allows us to ensure that we meet the physical healthcare needs of patients as well as the mental healthcare needs. Importantly, it ensures everyone can get involved and have access to the same activities.”
Hounslow Hawks FC is a community-based football group, which provides football as an activity for our service users.
The project is run by the Occupational Therapy service and has been running since 2007. There is football training twice a week and monthly league matches. The project aims are to reduce stigma surrounding mental health, increase social interaction and reduce social isolation.
Using football as a medium helps to improve players’ structure, routines, motivation and maintain positive physical and psychological wellbeing. In some cases it has helped to prevent re-admission to acute services.
Football also provides service users the chance to play in a team sport which develops sporting, technical and tactical skills to promote good team work and communication.
Hounslow Hawks is a recovery-focussed group; it aids personal development and assists in providing pathways and access to other community resources.
“We try to get funding from a number of different sources and charities. However it’s often hard to secure ongoing funding. With continued support from charitable funds we can keep the Hounslow Hawks going – it really is an invaluable project for our service users.”
Reading for wellbeing
The Reader Organisation aims to create reading groups to improve mental health and support recovery and wellbeing. Our groups bring people together, weekly, to read great stories, novels and poems aloud, and share personal responses.
A trained facilitator works to create a friendly yet stimulating and non-pressured environment, where shared meanings can be established across social, educational and cultural boundaries.
Discussions focus on the story read, the characters and their situations, and how that connects to our own lives. We’ve seen a wide range of benefits for patients, including improved mood, relaxation, and increased confidence.
“We noticed a significant improvement in an individual’s mental health through participation in shared reading at the beginning of the scheme and the charitable funds allowed us to extend the reader organisation.
“Our facilitators now have an extra day per week at each site, we have more frequent reading groups and we have trained more staff and service users to deliver reading groups as well as reading on a one to one basis.”
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