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January 2010

Dove House Re-Launch

An Account of the Event by Victor Davies

Dove House was re-launched on the 29th of September to celebrate the makeover. It was installed with new flooring, new furniture, a new computer and a new garden design.

The Mayor of Dudley, Cllr. Pat Martin, opened Dove House, there were a lot of people who were invited to the re-opening of Dove House. They had a prize giving, there were three winners. They were; Stacy, John B and Ann. The press were there also.

As well as re-launching Dove House, the event was also an “Expression� art exhibition. Paintings, pictures and poetry produced by service users were on display.

Contents Page 1. Dove House Re-Launch Page 2. New Starters Page 3. More New Starters Page 4. Nechells Green Garden Show Page 5. Disability Symbol Page 6. Get Moving Event Page 7. Leisure Forum & Artwork Page 8. Service User Involvement Team

The Mayor with a piece of artwork.


Fred’s Funny Spot A guy goes to the doctor and tells him he has a bad case of the wind. The doctor says… “Here’s a kite!” A guy is emptying washing powder on top of his TV. His wife asks him what he his doing. The guy replies “Well, it says ariel on the box!”

New Starters We were sad to see Giles Tinsley, Chief Executive Officer leave us in December to take up an exciting new post as programme specialist with the strategic health authority. He is currently working on improving services for older people with mental health problems. “Hello, I started on 1st December 2009 as Chief Executive of Dudley Mind. I had a 4-day hand-over period with Giles Tinsley for which I am very grateful. I became interested in mental health when I was working in homelessness in London during the 1980s. Many of the people I was trying to help had mental health problems, and some of them needed not just a roof over their heads but on-going support too. After a job at Mind in Camden, managing and developing supported housing schemes I took over as Chief Executive at Sandwell Mind in 1993. I stayed for the next 13 years developing various services. After that I needed a break, and my wife and I decided to give up our jobs and go and do up a house in France. Well three years later, after a good long break, we decided that it was time to come back. So when I saw that Dudley Mind were advertising for a Chief Executive I was keen to apply.” I hope to continue the work that Giles has been doing in improving Dudley Mind’s services and to develop new ones in consultation with people in Dudley who use or who would like to use mental health services.”


New Starters Continued We are also very sad to say goodbye to Nelly who covered Nordia’s maternity leave as service user co-ordinator and floating support worker. Nelly is moving to Derbyshire Mind where she will be making a real difference as an advocate. Good luck to Nelly, and welcome back Nordia! We are delighted to welcome our other new team members:

Angelique Stephens, Community Project Support Worker. “I've been involved in Mental Health off and on since I was 16. Before coming to Mind, I was a Holistic Therapist for a few years working for myself, helping individuals feel and get better from the stresses and strains in life. Though that was rewarding I felt I had more to offer, so I started college course to train to become a Social Worker. Part of the course was to get a volunteer place. That's how I came to Dudley Mind. I never looked back. I decided to leave the course and stay at Mind. I enjoy working with the service users and seeing the way a little help and understanding makes all the difference to get them back on their feet and back in to work or even just back to the shops by themselves. Little things make all the difference. I spend my spare time with my children annoying them (getting my own back! ), or just reading which I do a lot of as well as playing poker and chess.“

Katie Fowler, Community Project Co-ordinator. “Before I came to work at Dudley Mind I was a psychology student at Manchester University. This is my first proper job since graduating - and I still don't understand what national insurance tax is, or why I pay it. I came to Dudley Mind because I want to pursue a career working in mental health. I enjoy working in Day Services because every day is different and the activities are always interesting and enjoyable. The group of service users I work with in community are fantastic, everyone has been so welcoming to me as a newcomer and I feel like I've known people for a lot longer than 4 months. In my spare time I enjoy seeing my friends, going out for meals and going to the cinema.”

Sarah Hopkins, Community Project Co-ordinator. “I have just finished doing a degree in Psychology at Loughborough University. I have always been interested in working in mental health as I find it really fascinating and was lucky enough to have a year long voluntary placement at the Queen Elizabeth Psychiatric Hospital in Birmingham two years ago. I like working in Community because I am experiencing lots of different activities and seeing the service users develop new skills which is very rewarding. In my spare time I participate in dance lessons and enjoy reading and going to the cinema.”

(From left to right) Sarah Hopkins, Katie Fowler and Olivia Toop. We did try to get a picture of Edward Oliver, but he’s very camera shy! 3

New Starters Continued Olivia Toop, Community Project Support Worker. “I have worked for the last eight years in catering (restaurants and hotels). I also have a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology and am currently working on a Master's degree in Psychological Research, and hope to go on to train as a Clinical Psychologist. I wanted to work in mental health for a long time so began working with Mind as a volunteer then started my staff role in December. I find working in mental health very rewarding, and enjoy working with and supporting such a diverse group of interesting and inspiring people. I am so proud to be part of the team at Dudley Mind, as I think it offers a unique and invaluable service through its strong support network, dedicated team and the variety of community activities.”

Edward Oliver, Floating Support Worker. “I started work in mental health at the age of nineteen. First on the nurse bank for Wolverhampton Primary Care Trust, and then for the National Health Service as a full time nursing assistant on the intensive care unit at Penn Hospital in Wolverhampton for 4 years. During that time I also completed a personal training and nutrition diploma at Dudley College. Before joining Dudley Mind I worked in construction and maintenance for various companies. In my spare time I enjoy going to the gym and playing my guitar.”

Nechells Garden and Flower Show On 24th September 2009 a group of us from Dudley Mind went to the flower show to exhibit the work from our Jasmine Road Allotment (with Hillside Herbs). We had entered 3 categories in the competition; best scarecrow, best animals made from vegetables and the best cake decorated with a garden theme. There were lots of different stalls and Irish dancers, we made key rings and held the owls from local nature reserves. We were pleased to be awarded 3rd place for the cake, 2nd place for the vegetables and 1st place for the scarecrow! Our scarecrow won runner-up for the best in show. All together with Hillside Herbs we won 12 medals, and the sun was shining all day. We took some photos and shared a cake! “It was a very good day at Nechells Garden Centre in Birmingham” - Victor Davies E.S.Q “I thought it was lovely! I really enjoyed myself, we are the champions!” - Carol Loughton The Winning Scarecrow

“There should be more stalls for flowers” - Mark Idoine


Awarded The Disability Symbol Jobcentre Plus in the Black Country has awarded the Disability Symbol to Dudley Mind in recognition of their good employment practices in recruiting and retaining people with disabilities. The Disability Symbol is given to employers who pledge to meet five commitments regarding the recruitment, employment, retention and career development of people with disabilities. Tina Feakes, Customer Services Operations Manager for Jobcentre Plus, Dudley presented the prestigious award to Giles Tinsley, the then Chief Executive for Dudley Mind. Giles said: “Dudley Mind is delighted to be awarded the Disability Symbol and hopes to set a good example to other similar businesses across the area. We are able to offer disabled people the opportunity to be part of our team and give them equal opportunities to work. We have a strong belief in equal opportunities for all our staff and customers alike.”

A Sense of Purpose Two of our service users, Clive Vanes and Chris Long attended the Mind service users’ conference “A Sense of Purpose” in Brighton. There were Q&A sessions with a panel of national Mind staff, including the CEO, presentations and a few workshops. Chris and Clive enjoyed this experience and were thankful of the opportunity to see how decisions are made in Mind Organisations, as well as within Government. We are going to be looking at similar opportunities for the future; giving our service users a chance to voice their opinions.

Service User Researchers We are very proud of our new team of 4 service user researchers who did a marvellous job of carrying out our service user survey. We asked service users to carry out the survey because we know that it may be easier for some people to be honest about how the feel when talking to someone who has been in the same situation as them. It was also the service user researchers’ job to decide on what questions to ask and how to ask them, as they know what is really important about a service to the people who receive it.

Service User Survey Results So, how did we do? Well, the survey showed that Dudley Mind service users find their support workers friendly, helpful and punctual and that they try to encourage and motivate them by showing them how to do things rather than doing it for them, as well as helping them to stay healthy and safe. They also said that they feel that they get enough information from Dudley Mind and that they can understand it. Areas for improvement are making sure all service users find recovery planning and risk assessment meaningful.


Get Moving 2009—Canal Walk Brett Swinnerton’s Account of the event. “I got a bus to Stourbridge on my own, fearful of getting lost and worst case scenario happened — I missed the stop and wasn’t sure where to go. We were introduced to the walk by Victor and got a free bag of goodies. Katherine spoke to everyone about the stigma of mental health - it was good to see that this is being tackled. Graham Fisher OBE, who happened to look like a hairy biker was really enthusiastic. He gave a very good talk and we walked along the canals which he made very interesting. It was nice to be out leisurely and at our own pace. We got to the glass museum and had a nice tour guide (Graham). He knows lots of interesting things was friendly; especially fascinating was the stuff about the kids working and the guys who work 24/7. Charlotte gave an amazing demonstration of glass work, she was very personable and approachable, she made it seem like stigma didn’t exist. She had lots of gusto and passion for her work which had us captivated. Other people enjoyed the food and beared up against the cold. People enjoyed talking before heading home.”

Jacqui Dillon visits Mind Jacqui Dillon, chair of the Hearing Voice Network and internationally renowned speaker visited Dudley Mind in October to deliver training on service user involvement to our staff. She was invited back in December by popular request to deliver training on hearing voices to which service users and people working in the health service and social services were also invited to attend. Jackie hears voices herself so she gave us great insight into what it is like to live with voices and discussed coping techniques.


Leisure Forum Dudley Mind has set up a BRAND NEW group…and we hope you would like to be involved! The LEISURE FORUM is a group run entirely by service users to organise trips and outings for all. So far the leisure forum arranged for a pub lunch, a trip to Birmingham Christmas Markets and a trip to the pantomime in Wolverhampton. These trips have been a great success and there are many more to come. So…if you have any ideas of things you would like to do then come along, and let your fellow service users know. You can ask your support worker for details of the next meeting and events, or call Nordia at Dudley Mind on 01384 442938 Next Leisure Forum EVENT: Pool Tournament at Dove House at 1pm on 11th February Next Leisure Forum Meeting: 12 noon at Dove House on 11th February.

Ian Moore - Addiction My perception of addiction is living in one’s mind and not in reality.

I want to cut the ropes that hold me back, to float away on the breeze like a balloon on a cool summers evening, free from all the pain and hurt just floating and wondering around free. Oh what bliss would I feel for the taste of freedom, pure and simple freedom.


SUIT (Service User Involvement Team) Monthly SUIT meetings were re-launched recently, with meetings held throughout autumn and winter. All Dudley Mind service users are warmly welcomed - the next meeting is 22nd February at Dove House at 1pm, and refreshments are provided. Do you have something you want to raise but can’t attend the meetings? You can still add items to the agenda by calling Katherine on 01384 442938. So what has been decided by SUIT recently? Leisure Forum. It was agreed that leisure forum was going well, and many of the events have been a success. Fantastic progress for everyone involved! Newsletter group. It was decided that it would be good to promote this across Dudley Mind Services and continue to have service users produce the Newsletter. Board Meeting. Services users were informed by Martin (Chief Executive) of the updates from the last board meeting. This included developing services, and service users have been invited to voice their ideas and suggestions for this. Service User Survey. The results of the service user led survey were given. These were largely very positive, and the service users who were involved in this were thanked for their hard work.

Fancy writing an article for the newsletter? We have put together a newsletter group, this way you can decide what you want to go in the newsletter. We’d appreciate any art, poems, other writing or even what you’ve been up to lately out and about in the local area. If you wish to attend a newsletter group please ask a member of staff for details.

How to contact us: Dudley Mind, 221 Hagley Road, Oldswinford, Stourbridge, West Midlands, DY8 2JP.

Tele: 01384 442 938 E-mail: Web:


January 2010 Newsletter  

The January 2010 edition of the Dudley Mind quarterly newsletter.