BLG Mind Annual Review 2021

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Annual Review 2021

A warm welcome from our CEO, Ben Taylor and Chair, Rebecca Jarvis.


The staff, volunteers and trustees of BLG Mind have done an incredible job this year: supporting over 7,500 people through the pandemic. Not only that, but collectively we have kept the charity moving forwards, developing a new 3-year strategy and establishing a number of new services that respond to the needs of people across Bromley, Lewisham and Greenwich. New developments during the year included: – Working with other local Minds in South East London and South London & Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust to deliver a holistic Suicide Bereavement Service for those recently bereaved by suicide – Piloting the Young Onset Dementia Activists (YODA) group for people under 65 living with dementia – Setting up a peer support project helping people discharged from mental health inpatient wards transition back to being at home

Bromley and Greenwich, and to build upon similar work already taking place in Lewisham by increasing the tailored support available to people from culturally diverse communities in the Borough. The future continues to hold much uncertainty. However, we are confident that, guided by our core values of being Inclusive, Responsive, Evolving and Together, we can continue to be there when it matters for local people with mental health problems and dementia, working alongside them to improve their quality of life.

– Launching Minds Up, a programme providing wellbeing support in two local secondary schools – Providing support to staff working in care homes

Rebecca Jarvis Chair

– Publishing a wellbeing resource pack for new parents We are now working with colleagues from the NHS to establish new Community Wellbeing Hubs in

Ben Taylor Chief Executive 3

About us Our Staff, Volunteers & Trustees BLG Mind is a local charity that exists to support the mental health and dementia needs of local people. We have a workforce of 177 staff members across our three boroughs, whose resilience and continued enthusiasm has enabled us to adapt to new ways of working in 2021. Our services are supported by 215 amazing volunteers who give their

Our volunteers worked 636 hours per week in 2021 That’s 33,000 hours a year!


time and skills to be there for local people. Without them we could not carry out our life-changing work. After receiving 72 applications, we welcomed three brand new trustees onto our board. Our trustees play a vital role in steering our organisation and their dedication is enormously appreciated.

Inclusion & Diversity Inclusion is at the heart of BLG Mind and in 2021 we achieved a third of the 96 recommendations arising from our initial Inclusion Review in 2020.

Here are some of the changes we have implemented:

Our passionate Inclusion Advisory Group, made up of staff, volunteers, trustees and service users, meets regularly to monitor progress and discuss how we keep moving forward.

– Preferred pronouns (eg she/her; he/him; they/them) included in email signatures

– Mandatory Unconscious Bias and Anti-Racist training for all staff

– Increased diversity within the organisation following changes to recruitment processes

Digital update The beginning of 2021 saw the launch of our brand new BLG Mind Website, which has had 80,000+ users this year. That’s 284% more than last year! 5

Our money

Our income for 2020-21 was almost


We received funding from statutory funding, grants, donations and fundraising activities. Thank you to our key supporters: the Local Authorities and NHS CCG in Bromley, Lewisham and Greenwich, and National Mind.

The £4M was spent as follows: – £2,445K (62%) was spent on Mental Health services – £1,330K (33%) was spent on MindCare Dementia services – £169K (4%) was spent on Wellbeing & Resilience – £22K (1%) was spent on raising funds


Mental health training This year we are thrilled to have been able to expand our training portfolio and offer new and more specialised Mental Health Training.


modules to choose from:

Brand NEW Build-Your-Own training package, where you can choose specific mental health modules to create a personalised training course.

“A fantastic programme that has helped me enormously both professionally and privately. I would recommend this to my colleagues!” Mental Health Training Attendee

98% of those who attended our training said it exceeded expectations

Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) In 2021 we delivered our MHFA courses online and in person. This internationally recognised training course teaches people to spot the signs and symptoms of mental ill health and provide help on a first aid basis. Visit to find out more.

“Probably one of the best courses I have been on. I definitely feel a change in myself and feel I can and will immediately start applying what I’ve learnt.” MHFA Attendee 7

Fundraising After a challenging year, our local community have shown their support and we are incredibly grateful. Our supporters have helped us be there when it matters for people living with mental health problems and dementia, and their carers.

Charity of the Year 2021 Synapri, a Bromley Technology Recruitment consultants have completed an all staff virtual climb of Kilimanjaro towards their £1,500 target.

Local solicitors Grant Saw have made us their Charity of the Year for the second year, aiming to raise another £2,500 and supporting our Gifts in Wills campaign.

“The amazing work BLG Mind do will play such an important role in supporting people in our local community.”

“We are thrilled to continue our relationship with BLG Mind for a further 12 months.”

James Smith

Head of Private Clients

Kalpa Prajapati


Charity partner Wincanton Thameside raised an amazing £4,000 through their Christmas raffle and a local Walk and Talk to support staff wellbeing. Wincanton’s donation to our Greenwich mental health service is much needed in light of increased demand for our services. 8

Thank you to all our supporters! Donations change lives Making a donation in memory of a loved one is a special way to remember and celebrate their life while supporting our mental health or dementia services. Donations given in memory of two young Bromley residents have enabled us to set up a new programme in two Bromley schools, providing free mental health workshops to 2,000 students.

Support us through your company, at your wedding or through a personal challenge – we’ll support you all the way. Or sign up to donate monthly to help improve someone’s life. Any questions? Email

Local fundraisers raise thousands – Sebastian Merchant ran a marathon, raising over £2,800. – Local Severndroog Explorer Scout Unit raised £1,738 by braving a sleep out in cardboard boxes.

– Fiona and Geoff Harrington ran the Royal Parks Half Marathon in memory of their sister and raised in excess of £9,000. – Our MindCare Young Onset Dementia Activists group took on a walking challenge and raised over £4,500. 9

Mental health services Individual Placement & Support (IPS) Our Individual Placement & Support (IPS) service delivered in partnership with Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust helps people experiencing mental health problems find paid work. Our team offers regular, one-to-one support to create a ‘Journey to Work’ plan, tailored to our client’s needs. Our dedicated team of Employment specialists have supported our clients in achieving 38 employment success stories, despite the lockdown this year. It has taken hard work and determination to adapt to the changing job market in 2021.

“This has boosted my selfesteem and confidence. A paid job has allowed me to establish a more purposeful routine during the working week and has provided me with financial independence. This is especially important because I have been unemployed since I left sixth form in June 2018.” Liam, found a job through IPS

Despite the difficult 18 months, we have managed to support over 250 people. 10

Bromley Recovery Works Bromley Recovery Works offers a range of free services to support adults who are recovering from mental health problems & empowers them to build meaningful lives. These services include individual support, employment support, peer support, and a Recovery College.

“What I liked about the service is the fact that there isn’t a ‘one plan fits all’ approach.” Recovery Works Client

This year the Bromley Recovery Works launched a new Hospital to Home service, in partnership with Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust. It’s an integrated support service which empowers individuals as they transition from the acute mental health ward to home living.

The Bromley Recovery College has delivered over 45 fantastic courses this year. These ranged from psycho-educational courses, to physical activities and art courses.

Our stats January to October – 400 referrals to Recovery Works – 165 given 1:1 support – 100 given employment support – 57 Hospital to Home referrals

350+ students have attended our Recovery College this academic year 11

Mental health services

BLG Mind delivered the mental health pathway in Bromley Well, an early intervention service for people with a wide range of support needs. The service provides individual and group support, and supports carers. This year saw the creation of the Carers Working Group alongside our partners within Bromley Well. This has enabled us to deliver improved services for carers in the London Borough of Bromley.

We published a Coping with Caring booklet for carers struggling to manage during the pandemic...

...and supported 800 clients across our mental health and mental health carer services 12

“My contact with BLG Mind has taught me to take care of myself and to prioritise my wellbeing as well as caring for my son. Support came at a point when I was feeling very lost and it has helped in more ways that I can possibly say.” Carole, Adult Carer

Primary Care Mental Health Service The Primary Care Mental Health Service (PCMHS) in Lewisham supports people experiencing mental health problems in the primary care or community setting. Our multidisciplinary team of mental health practitioners includes a psychiatrist, nurses, social workers, mental health advisors and peer support workers.

PCHMS now operates across all four Lewisham Neighbourhoods

Lewisham Community Wellbeing (LCW) supports people to manage their mental health, recover, stay well, achieve personal goals and connect with their community. It is a single point of access to the range of support available across the borough of Lewisham.

NEW: Culturally Diverse Communities Project, recognising the inequalities that affect people from culturally diverse communities.

“The LCW service has had a positive impact on my life, and going forward I can’t think of a problem that I can’t solve with help from LCW because of my boosted confidence.” Phil, Lewisham Community Wellbeing client 13

Mental health services Lewisham Peer Support Peer Support provides activitybased groups in the community to support mental wellbeing and build confidence. Our volunteers all have personal experience of mental health problems, support and recovery, making them an invaluable asset to the service.


participants and volunteers took part in our CBT workshops

This year we started two brand new groups! – Living with Depression – The Young People’s group. Groups we’re launching soon: – Supporting LGBT+ Communities – Women’s Health Matters group 14

“I struggled so much during the first lockdown and needed something to keep me active. I was so glad when I read about the peer support groups, it has been the tonic I have needed. I have taken part in groups, workshops, forums and it has been so good for my confidence and wellbeing” Leo, Participant

Engage in ME Engage in ME provides mental health and wellbeing support groups to adults from Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic and Refugee (BAMER) communities in Lewisham.

50+ people have requested to join the project in 2021

“I would highly recommended it and I would also recommend that anyone doing it should be really committed to it and attend all the sessions” Taj – Participant

The six week groups support participants to: – Manage their mental health and wellbeing – Access local online support services – Share with other people experiencing mental health difficulties – Discuss their cultural needs and how services can support them 15

Mental health services Greenwich Counselling & Peer Support The Mindline telephone counselling service offers free, confidential support to adults who live in the Royal Borough of Greenwich. Mindline opening hours increased from 36 to 45 a week thanks to 13 wonderful new volunteers!

“Volunteering for Mind has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. The training was really well delivered, encouraging me to believe in my own skills while also challenging me to become a better and more authentic listener.” Mindline Volunteer

Mindline took 2,807 calls, 43% more than last year Greenwich Peer Support runs activity groups for adults with mental health needs. They are encouraged to become peer group leaders to build confidence. 16

“I so look forward to the Arts and Crafts group. It’s been a real lifeline for me and has given me a social life again” Peer Support participant

Perinatal Community Support Service

Perinatal Befriending Service

The Perinatal Community Support Service works with Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust to provide essential care and treatment for women experiencing severe mental illness during pregnancy and the first year after childbirth.

“BLG Mind helped me to regain confidence and enabled me to develop a healthy bond with my daughter. The routine of having something to look forward to each week enabled me to stay motivated during the lockdown and not feel depressed.” Perinatal Community Support Service attendee

Bromley Mindful Mums Befriending service provides pregnant women and new mums with regular practical, social and listening support on a one-to-one basis. The support includes: – Accompanying the mum to a local group – Providing a safe space for them to talk – Assisting with tasks in the home

30+ Mums were supported by 30+ Befriending Volunteers 17

Perinatal services Mindful Mums Mindful Mums helps pregnant women and new mums in Bromley, Lewisham and Greenwich look after themselves via supportive, peer-led wellbeing groups, 1:1 drop in sessions and a befriending service.

This year we introduced 1:1 drop in sessions with 126 women using the service


of women enjoyed the Mindful Mums drop-in sessions Since 2016, 37 of our Mindful Mums participants have become volunteers for the service 18

“Your charity in many ways saved my life, particularly in January and February when I was literally at rock bottom. I’ve never been truly suicidal in my life except for this very difficult situation coupled with the isolation of lock down, so many life changes and the health condition brought out by pregnancy. You were there for me when so many weren’t” Drop-in session attendee

Being Dad Being Dad groups are for expectant and new dads or men with parenting responsibility for babies and young children up to two years old. The groups help men look after their own health and wellbeing during a lifechanging period of their lives.

100% of dads

enjoyed the sessions and found them useful

40+ men have joined our Being Dad Drop in Sessions

Brilliant NEW Wellbeing pack for New Dads, Partners and Non-Birthing Parents. Containing 2 booklets: – ‘Better Mental Health for New Dads, Partners and Non-Birthing Parents’ – ‘ Wellbeing Skills for New Parents’ The booklets help you to look after yourself and your partner both mentally and physically after becoming a parent.


Dementia services Bromley MindCare Bromley MindCare Dementia Support provides individually tailored respite and activities at home, giving families and friends a much needed rest from caring for someone with dementia. At the beginning of this year, we set up weekly Zoom sessions to help people with dementia and their carers. These included chair-based exercise classes, a choir and bingo. When lockdown lifted, our respite service was back up and running with home visits starting again.

Currently we deliver over 300 hours of respite each week to carers in Bromley


“With the help of the MindCare team we were able to come to terms with mum’s Alzheimer’s. They’ve helped my dad realise it’s ok to ask for help. One word: Amazing! Not just amazing for my mum but for the whole family. I really don’t know how we would have carried on without them.” Family Carer

YODA (Young Onset Dementia Activists) YODA started as an eight week pilot project for people with young onset dementia (diagnosed under 65). The group meets weekly, and members share experiences and have fun together, taking part in activities like crochet, gardening and poetry. After a hugely successful pilot, YODA now has 16 members and the group continues to go from strength to strength.

“Group members have shared how the group has changed their life; that they feel like they have a new family.” YODA event attendee


Dementia services Dementia Skills Training MindCare Dementia Support provides dementia training, coaching and consultancy for dementia care professionals and family carers in Bromley and Lewisham. In 2021 this included GPs, health and social care providers, St John Ambulance staff, counselling and psychotherapy professionals.

“This training was very helpful and has opened my eyes and made me aware of the challenges people with dementia face every day and how to support them.” Training Attendee

Dementia Skills Training delivered to 428 local staff, members of the public and family carers

100% felt they were better equipped to support people with dementia 22

Bromley Dementia Hub We support people living with dementia in Bromley, and their carers, providing information, advice and help to suit people’s individual needs. The Hub provides a befriending service, weekly cafes and training workshops for carers.

“The Dementia Hub staff are marvellous. They were very helpful and informative and we never felt like we were being rushed. I couldn’t fault them.” Simon, Dementia Support Hub in Bromley 23

Dementia services Lewisham Dementia Support Hub Lewisham MindCare Dementia Support delivers dementia services to residents in Lewisham. The Hub provides integrated, high quality support to help residents diagnosed with dementia, and their carers.

Lewisham Dementia Hub provides:

This year the Hub is leading on the Lewisham Dementia Action Alliance, working with businesses and organisations in the borough to take action on dementia and make Lewisham a more dementia-friendly community.

We support people living with dementia in Lewisham, and their carers, providing information, advice and help to suit people’s individual needs.


– Activities for people living with dementia – Support for carers, both physical and emotional

“Speaking to BLG Mind staff on the phone was like opening a valve, and everything I had been holding in came pouring out. It felt like finally someone cared what was happening to mum and could offer us support.” Dementia Carer in Lewisham 25

Dementia services


Greenwich MindCare The Greenwich MindCare service works in close partnership with Oxleas Memory Service. Our Dementia advisors ensure a seamless route from diagnosis to accessing advice and support. The service offers support through: – Person-centred care planning – Individual support planning – Help finding other support – Carer-specific workshops – Follow-up support and contact

We have an exciting new partnership with Greenwich Carers Centre, where our dementia advisors are based on Thursdays to provide essential dementia support clinics.

“Working with MindCare empowered us as a family in managing Melanie’s dementia, enabling us to give her the best care we could. We were able to reach agreements together and started to enjoy spending time all together again without feeling worried or anxious that something would go wrong. We are so grateful to Greenwich MindCare for all that they have done for us.” Carer supported by MindCare


5 Station Road Orpington Kent BR6 0RZ Tel: 01689 811222 @blgmind Bromley, Lewisham & Greenwich Mind

Registered Charity No: 1082972 Registered Company No: 4071152