Contents page Item 2 Index 3 Organisational Details 4-5 Annual Board Report 6-8 Chief Officers Report 9-10 Treasurer’s Report 11-12 Coniston House Report 13-17


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Mind in Furness


Registered Charity No. 1143600

Registered Co No 7693277

Annual Report

64 School Street, BARROW-IN-FURNESS, Cumbria, LA14 1EW
Tel: 01229-827094


Page Item

2 Index
3 Organisational Details

4-5 Annual Board Report
6-8 Chief Officers Report
9-10 Treasurer’s Report
11-12 Coniston House Report
13-17 Projects and Activities
18 Volunteering
19 Students
20 Quality Management in Mind & Equality and Diversity
21 Moving Forward: Success Stories
22-23 Staff, Volunteers & Trustees
24 Funders 2010-2011

Organisational Details
Operating as Mind in Furness

Registered Charity Number 505599

Up until 31st December 2011
Operating as Mind in Furness Ltd

Registered Charity Number 1143600

Company Number 7693277

from 01st January 2012

Wellbeing Centre & Office

64 School Street

Barrow in Furness


LA14 1EW

01229 827094

Advice & Support Hub

64 School Street

Barrow in Furness


LA14 1EW
01229 827094

Supported Housing Scheme

Coniston House

14 Lesh Lane

Barrow in Furness

01229 870481

Annual Report from Board 2012
It is my pleasure to report on behalf of the board of trustees to the 2012 conference of Mind in Furness. At last year’s conference Wally and I signed the paper’s to begin the change to our new legal structure and form Mind in Furness Limited. These changes have been successfully introduced and as we look forward to a new future I want to reflect for a moment on what we have achieved and the people who brought us this far.
Over the years there have been many trustees who have freely shared their time, talents and energies to develop the organisation. This is not always an easy task and there is always someone ready to criticise but it is always a privilege to serve the members of Mind in Furness.

This year Wally Wright has reluctantly decided to leave the board for health reasons. Wally has served for many years as a trustee, vice chair and chair. His dedication and wisdom will be missed by the whole board and we wish him well in the future.

Lorraine Shields Fell stepped down as a board member earlier this year. I wish to thank Lorraine for all the support she has given Mind in Furness over the years. Josh Dawson was invited to take her place on the board as a non-voting director; this is normal practice when someone joins between elections. He has made a valued contribution to our discussions and been active in planning Member’s Council trips.

The board wishes to give special thanks to all volunteers and helpers. In particular I’d like to mention Wendy Shenton and Lorraine Murphy who worked with Josh and another trustee Richard Fearn to organise trips and activities for members.

This year we enjoyed two evening social events. The board is grateful to Julie Wright for arranging the first event and the staff and residents from Coniston House for the second. At the second event we commemorated the many volunteers who support our work, we should say thank you more often and we will reflect during our conference on how we can work together better so everyone feels valued.
Karen Dobson our hard working Chief Officer deserves special praise for leading us through the legal changes and the Quality Review. Karen has played a leading role in discussions with other Mind Associations in Cumbria to find ways of working together to improve the support we can offer to the mental health community of Cumbria.
We will spend time during the conference looking at the five commitments we agreed last year as we review our strategies for the future. I have attached the 5 commitments and our current strategic objectives. This year the board is not making proposals; instead we are listening and joining with members in partnership to review all our work. During the next year we will be consulting members on the way ahead.
As always Mind in Furness is ‘Open Mind- A Place to Be’
Michael Cassells


Mind in Furness

October 2012
An Open Mind….. A Place to Be…..
AGM Partnership Commitments for Mind in Furness in 2012

This joint Annual General Meeting of Mind in Furness Limited and the Mind in Furness Members Association will work in partnership to review how we serve the mental health community of Furness. During the next year we will seek to improve our organisation, standards and services by committing;

  1. To explore guiding principles and values for how we work together and support each other on the Board, Council ,Groups teams and as individuals by reviewing and modernising the constitution and ways of working, in line with Mind national standards.

  1. To develop, train and support our employees to enable them to feel valued and deliver the best service.

  1. To review our membership procedures for joining or participating in Mind in Furness. And establish a network of supporters to involve friends and former members of Mind in Furness in our campaigns, social events and fundraising.

  1. To promote the role of ‘Helper’ to support our volunteers and staff in delivering our services. Everyone can find a role that suits them with the support, encouragement or training they need.

  1. To improve how we communicate and publicise our work and activities by making appropriate use of bulletins, meetings, social media and the internet.

Mind in Furness currently has 4 Strategic Objectives

  1. To provide relevant user-led services to our members, residents and the community at the right time and in the most appropriate place.

  1. To value and take care of our staff and volunteers

  1. To monitor our financial and operational performance and to continually strive to improve standards.

  1. To plan for the future with a view to meeting new challenges and achieving sustainable funding.

An Open Mind – A Place to Be’

Chief Officer’s Report 2012

As predicted in last years report this has been a year of uncertainty for all of us at Mind in Furness and this uncertainty has been echoed throughout the health and social care arena. The impact of council tendering procedures, welfare reform and cuts to public sector spending has affected individuals and organisations and in particular the voluntary sector faces many new challenges. We are aware also that some of these changes and reforms will continue to have an impact in the years ahead, further cuts to public spending will be made and many groups face uncertain futures. This is at times particularly challenging for a small, local, specialist group such as ours but I am extremely proud of the way Mind in Furness and its staff and volunteer team have managed under what can, at times, only be described as “stressful”!

We have seen through some of the legal changes started at last year’s AGM and are now operating as a Company Limited by Guarantee (since 01st January), we have an experienced and professional Board of Directors whose skills span a wide spectrum. I am extremely grateful for the support of the board through a difficult and challenging year, they have had total faith in Mind in Furness and the belief that we as an organisation must continue to provide a refuge for anybody experiencing emotional distress. I must note my sincere thanks to the Board of Directors for their support for me as a Chief Officer. I am sad to see our Chair Wally Wright step down from his role, during his time on the board he has been an inspiration to staff and service users alike and a constant source of support to me. I am glad he will remain involved in our service even if it is to a lesser degree.

Last year Coniston House underwent a tendering process that it didn’t quite fit the service provision at Coniston House and we spent much of last year in a state of confusion and flux not knowing if we would be able to continue to provide services at Coniston House. I think if we had any other Manager other than Jacqui Clark at the helm then perhaps we may have faced even more difficulty. Jacqui managed this period with a degree of optimism and commitment that made me very proud to work along side her. She inspired her team at a difficult time and throughout the whole process they all put the residents at the heart of their work and the residents continued to flourish and grow despite the uncertainty they faced. Whilst we still face some uncertainty at Coniston House, which is currently being funded by Adult and Cultural Services, we feel very strongly that Coniston House provides a safe and supportive home offering security and stability for some of our community’s most vulnerable people and there is definitely a place for this level of support and we would strongly advocate for the continued provision of support from Coniston House.

We have continued to invest a lot of time and money into training our staff to above and beyond the level stipulated in our contracts and I am confident that the staff teams at both units are well qualified to handle the issues they face in their day to day workloads and that they work to the Mind ethos of support and recovery for ALL mental health service users. We will continue to invest in training and supervision.
We achieved Level 2 in Mind’s internal quality standards assessment “Quality Management in Mind” with the reviewer noting “the level of service user involvement in service delivery, the Members’ Council and the very significant involvement of

those service users on the Board show that Mind in Furness is still a member-led organisation”
A performance audit from Cumbria County Council prior to the tendering of day service contracts deemed us contract compliant with the auditor noting some issues of good practice as detailed below

  • Comprehensive members handbook

  • CRB checks of staff are on a 3-year rolling programme

  • Inclusion of the Service Users in the refurbishment plans

  • Referral form/Service User details recording

  • Risk assessments completed for the Service Users

  • Service User involvement in the kitchen and other areas

  • Staff appear to have a good awareness of person centred planning and safeguarding issues and reporting techniques

As Chief Officer I ensure I have had presence at county wide meetings and strategic events in a bid to remain as knowledgeable and advised regarding developments as possible and in order to ensure we are prepared to be involved with any developments that may occur. Our partnership work with various Statutory Organisation Commissioners, Cumbria County Council’s Adult and Cultural Services, Cumbria County Council and Cumbria Primary Care NHS Trust (CPCT) and GP Commissioning Teams is ongoing. We also work closely with Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and continue to support their work in service provision.

Our partnership work with the other 4 Cumbrian Minds is ongoing despite the fact that due to the tendering of Advocacy Contracts we are no longer in a position to provide a county wide advocacy scheme. The difficulties faced over the last year by Mind in Furness have been faced by each of the Mind groups. We recognise the importance of working together across the county and to support each others work in individual patches. We are currently working alongside Mind in West Cumbria to look at developing services, we work in partnership with Ulverston Mind to support their delivery of the Post Natal Wellbeing Service and we have a contract to deliver day services in partnership with Ulverston Mind. The links are more important than ever and during a difficult year it has been a rewarding experience to have had the support of the other Chief Officers. As a group we have questioned our services and our direction of travel and find ourselves in agreement that we do not wish to lose the something special that sets Mind aside from other providers. We are service user led, we provide support regardless of status or funding and we NEVER let anybody go whilst they need support. We are continually looking at other options for developing partnership projects that may strengthen the Mind network in Cumbria.
To summarise our achievements for the past year

  • We completed the change in legal structure that sees the formation of Mind in Furness Ltd, a company limited by guarantee & registered charity operating from 01st January 2012
  • We have updated our operational plan, programme of activities, staff rota and appointment system that ensure smoother running of our services and offer staff some direction and focus, whilst ensuring service users can access support

  • We have secured funding from Henry Smith Charity for a further 3 years to secure our administration assistant

  • We have been allocated status as an Advice and Support Hub under the County Council Life Matters project- this provided some income but most importantly highlighted our position as a major source of assistance to GP’s and other groups In the Furness Locality

  • We were awarded some funding from the European Social Fund to recruit, train and support volunteers and have been able to recruit 10 reception volunteers and 6 kitchen volunteers. They are being supported by staff to develop skills that may benefit them in future employment or by boosting confidence and self esteem

  • Mind in Furness were awarded the Best Community Group award from Love Barrow

  • Achieved level 2 for Quality Management In Mind

  • Declared contract compliant by Cumbria County Council Adult and Cultural Services following a performance Audit

  • Awarded a place on the Framework to deliver Day Services

To summarise our focus for the year ahead:

  • A full Strategic Review of our objectives and our direction of travel

  • To explore the further development of the Cumbria Minds Partnership

  • To create positive and productive links with all local GP’s and to promote the benefits of our services to them

  • Continue to source and secure funding for service delivery

  • Support the Member’s Council and its development and offer service users the opportunity to play a significant role at Mind in Furness

  • To ensure we meet all our contractual and funding obligations
  • To promote School Street wellbeing services and its programme of activities and events to all current and potential stakeholders.

  • To build on the programme of activity at Coniston House for all residents and continue to encourage external involvement and participation

  • To build on existing partnerships and foster new relationships for the development of future projects

Our staff team have worked very hard and with dedication to provide services under some difficult and worrying circumstances. In the past year they have never failed to offer a quality and caring service to members, residents and the general public. The staff and volunteers have for me epitomised what constitutes excellent quality support services with service users at the very heart of our delivery. So big thanks to Jacqui, Richard, Melanie, Michael, Lorraine B, Laura, Angie, Gail, Julie, Christine, Sarah, Linda, and Lorraine P for all their hard work for Mind in Furness. The work of the staff is underpinned by our amazing volunteer team without whom we would struggle to do all that we do.

We have learnt a lot from the past year and have made many changes to enable us to face the future without complacency, with an acknowledgment of the difficult times ahead but with, from somewhere, a continued desire and determination to ensure Mind in Furness remains a place for all those experiencing poor mental health or emotional distress.
Karen Dobson
Chief Officer—October 2012

The Treasurer’s Report
Period ended 31st December 2011

The current financial position

The following report is for 9 months only, which is the final accounting period under the old legal structure. Mind in Furness became a Company Limited by Guarantee on the 1st January 2012 for which new accounts will be prepared.

I am delighted to report to members this year’s financial position:
Income £256,024.00

Expenditure £214,716.00

Fixed assets £102,841.00

Current assets £173,768.00

Total assets less current liabilities £276,609.00
Careful financial management combined with monitoring of expenditure and a series of successful project based funding bids ensures a healthy financial position at the year end despite the difficult climate. However changes to our contractual income, the imminent end of a major grant and changes to commissioning processes create an uncertain financial basis for the future.
We have endeavoured to build up healthy reserves to assist us in managing some of the financial uncertainties. Mind in Furness Trustees/Directors along with the Chief Officer do not allow themselves to become complacent and remain vigilant in their attempts to secure future funding and seek out new opportunities for Mind in Furness.
In 2012 the loss of the block contract agreement for Day Services at School Street will undoubtedly impact on our financial position. We are proactively developing relationships with new commissioners and developing new services which we hope will result in continued commissioner support which will enable us to continue providing quality services that seek to improve the lives of adults with mental health needs and those experiencing emotional distress.
The trustees consider that it would be prudent and desirable to have free reserves equivalent to 4 months operating expenditure. This would be £95269. At the period end the charity had free reserves as follows: -
Total Restricted Unrestricted

reserves reserves reserves

£ £ £
Total 276609 20944 255665

Investment in fixed assets 102841 3672 99169

Free reserves 173768 17272 156496

Budgets remain under constant review in an attempt to spend only what we can afford in year and prevent an over spend.

Staff, managers and members have been very careful about expenditure resulting in a very healthy end of year financial position.

The future

There is no doubt we face an incredible amount of uncertainty and many challenges as we are now operating in an environment of competitive tendering. Block contracts are coming to an end this year, and this will have a significant impact on our financial situation and our current income streams.

The Chief Officer and the Board of Trustees remain vigilant to this and are investigating all other options for developing sustainable income streams. We maintain and reiterate our desire to work alongside commissioners, contract managers and other statutory bodies to ensure we can continue to deliver our value for money service that offers high levels of ongoing support to all those in need in our community
I would like to ask for a proposal to accept JL Winders as our accountants for the next financial year.
On behalf of Mind in Furness I would like to show appreciation and thank:

  1. All staff, managers and members for your care and efforts in keeping expenditure to a minimum in this financial year, this has contributed greatly to our current healthy financial position.
  2. JL Winders for their support in keeping our accounts in good order.

I would like to commend the accounts to the membership for approval.
A full set of accounts is available to anyone on request from School Street.
Helen Bingley


October 2012

I have been the Service Manager for Coniston House for over 12 months now. When I first took on the role I knew that the future was uncertain and we were unsure if Coniston House would continue, as we were about to undergo tendering procedures but I also felt confident that Karen Dobson (Chief Officer,) and the Trustees/Board of Directors of Mind In Furness are extremely committed to the service that we provide and would do their utmost to ensure we could continue to provide a home to our current six residents and any potential future residents. I give my whole hearted thanks to them for their support and the endless letters and phone calls they undertook to ensure that Mind in Furness is still able to provide its quality service from Coniston House. I work with an amazing team here at the home and would like to thank all the support staff, Gail, Angie, Laura and Julie for remaining motivated, committed and giving 100% through a very difficult period.

Despite the challenges of the last 12 months we have continued to work positively and have been quite successful in our garden growing vegetables including potatoes, radish and tomatoes. Our residents have been involved with fundraising for their Amenities Fund and we had an extremely successful Easter Coffee morning. This is the first time we have opened Coniston House in this manner and it was very much a success with all the residents being involved and family, friends and colleagues supporting the event, many thanks to all those who supported us. The money from the Amenities Fund has paid for a trip to Haverthwaite and Bowness and funds the residents to go out on a Friday morning to places such as the Candle Factory, Dock Museum, Furness Abbey and many more. These activities are helping to boost the confidence and social skills of our residents and they are fully involved in the process of planning such events. We are now planning a Christmas Coffee Morning where our residents can be involved in making pickled onions, cakes etc and can help on the day.

I would like to thank the Residents at Coniston House for their belief and determination during a very worrying time for them all. Despite all the uncertainty I am extremely proud of the way they themselves have taken on challenges and progressed with their own personal developments.
Residents at Coniston House continue to have their protected one to one time with support staff. We have a full programme of activities within the home for Residents to join in with; baking, craft, group outings to the town and market on a Wednesday afternoon, Tea & Toast and chat on Saturday mornings and trip to the local libraries on a Tuesday.
We have healthy eating sessions fortnightly with taster sessions to give residents an insight to the benefits of eating healthier and, ideas for snacks, drinks and meals. These sessions also incorporate basic food and hygiene.
We continue to strive to establish a high standard of “Recovery” based support for the residents at Coniston House and staff carry this out by supporting residents to develop their daily living skills, budgeting, shopping, cooking and cleaning. Staff continually source activities in the community for Residents to have a choice of being involved in. We continually encourage Residents to ‘Have their say,’ and voice their opinions and involvement through the Resident Meetings and a suggestion box.
We are in the process of becoming registered with the Care Quality Commission and as part of this I have recently started the Level 5 diploma in leadership for Health & Social Care.
We have a good working relationship with the Community Mental Health Team at Duddon House and I would like to thank them for their ongoing support. We appreciate and thank other organisations in the area and look forward to any involvement we have with them in the future.

I would like to once again thank all those involved in Mind in Furness including Volunteers and Service Users for the part they all play in making the organisation a very special one and I for one am very proud to be a part of it.

Jacqui Clark

Coniston House Service Manager

October 2012

Projects and Activities
There has been much talk of late about Social Prescribing, the idea that a referral to a particularly social activity or service may be of benefit to those experiencing emotional distress. It is considered a new term and is something that GP’s are quite keen to embrace as it potentially offers an alternative to, or an additional treatment to medication or talking therapies. If we are asked if we offer services under social prescribing then I think the answer would be a resounding YES and we have done for 40 years!
When we devised our new activities rota we based it round different types of activity as listed below.

Get Creative (arts/crafts/media-all things creative)

Get Support (Peer support and staff support-coping tips)

Get Sociable (make friends, relax, laugh, drink tea and chat)

Get Learning (training course-educational courses giving

Wellbeing Activities (tips/activities for general wellbeing)

The aim was to provide activities that provided opportunities to boost confidence, make friends, learn new skills, build self esteem, find a listening ear and find solutions to problems or issues.

Get Creative
Signal Films

Partnership work with Signal Films has allowed us to support them in their creative media projects and has also allowed some valuable member involvement. Some of the inspirational work done by members with Signal will be shown at the AGM. We continue to work in partnership with Signal as the mental health support for their other projects.

Craft Group

Thanks to our new volunteer, Julie Wilson, the craft group is thriving. It is well attended by members, who create a wide range of items, not only for their own benefit, but for the Mind in Furness building and to sell on our fundraising stalls. The group try their hand at all manners of crafts including card making, stitching, glass painting etc.The group is very relaxed with a great atmosphere between all the participants and offers those attending the chance to learn new skills and make friends

Music in Mind

Last year Lorraine piloted a singing group within Mind for our members. Most of the members said they would not join in because they could not sing or did not possess the confidence to join in, however with a bit of persuasion they joined and surprisingly all sang with amazing confidence. Last year they got up with me and sang at out AGM we all (but especially Lorraine) felt so proud of everyone that took part. Recently we kindly received a grant from the County Council Neighborhood Grants Panel to purchase some percussion instruments, so we can take this group to another level. Lorraine recently featured Singing for Wellbeing in the women’s group and this was well received as everyone joined in with enthusiasm. We had a fantastic session and from now on we will be holding regular weekly sessions. I have enclosed a piece I read on the internet below because I find this to be so true

Creative Writing

Mind in Furness Volunteer and some interested service users have been facilitating a small Creative Writing Group which is informal and is aimed at all levels, although it may be of particular interest to those who feel they can’t write, like the singing group the gentle exercises used in the group, encourage people to try and have a go and people are finding they can be more expressive than they ever thought they could.

Get Support


We continue to offer very low cost counselling to all our members and to members of the public in need. We are only able to do so due to the generosity of funders. Brenda Thompson offers weekly sessions of person centred counselling to those identified as in need Our counselling service is always in demand, although we mange to keep waiting lists as low as 2 weeks. We would like to develop the service further in the future and as such have recently agreed to offer a placement to a student counsellor and Jason Redhead joins our team this week. We are also in discussion with a new volunteer to develop alternative therapies such as Indian Head massage and hand massage

Men’s Group

The Men’s Group is held on Tuesday afternoons and is facilitated by Support Worker Mike Corker. In addition to the regular attendees we have a number of men who join the group whenever they wish to. The group has welcomed a few guest facilitators, they have generally comprised of students on placement or volunteers; whilst a student nutritionist has also been undertaking ongoing work with the group. We recently organised a feedback session to help the group to review and prioritise focus.

Upcoming topics are now chosen by the group and posted on the Men’s Group notice board in advance, so members can check ahead which sessions will be of particular interest. Some subjects may warrant more than one session, or additional information can be passed-on to members. Some themes will continue to be pertinent and repeat in contemporary forms, such as: assertiveness, confidence-building, building self-esteem, relating to professionals/statutory services, current research/information, lifestyle and health-related issues.
Women’s Group

The women’s group at Mind in Furness meet weekly on a Wednesday morning. The sessions are well attended and the group offers a safe, confidential environment. We have fun in the group doing activities with arts and craft and poetry as well as offering therapeutic activities where we will discuss confidence building and self esteem topics. Relaxation sessions, going out to local art exhibitions or just meeting for a coffee are also some of the activities we enjoy in the group. Members of the group facilitate sessions if they feel they have the confidence to contribute and students as well as volunteers regularly facilitate sessions suggested by the members. The group prides itself on making each other and new members feel welcome so new attendees are always welcome

Hearing Voices Group

This is a weekly group that offers peer support to deal with the distressing symptom of hearing voices. The group is co-facilitated by 2 experts by experience that are happy to share their knowledge and understanding; they are in turn supported by volunteers. Those attending share coping tips and offer support to each other in a safe environment. A section of the sessions is informative and educational to ensure that those experiencing voice hearing have an understanding of the issues. A small resource library is also available to the group. The group has designed its own handbook and code of conduct to ensure that everybody respects the views of everybody in the group

Get Sociable
Day Trips / Outings

We have continued to offer a wide selection of activities and outings including picnics, barbeques and day trips to Blackpool, Conishead Priory, Grange Over Sands, Preston, High Wray etc these have all been well attended and enjoyed by our service users. We have been able to offer a wider choice of trips this year and endeavour where possible to use public transport including the trains which has helped build confidence for some people. It is important to note that the money that subsidies the trips is raised by the members themselves and much of the organising and arranging is also facilitated by the member’ themselves.

Drop In

Formal Drop-in sessions are held for ½ day every day and are working well, they provide a safe environment to meet new friends and chat or get support

Smaller groups are also forming elsewhere around the building with different interests or kinship ties. Some of these groups spend a great deal of time together, engage in a wide range of activities and feel that they know each other well. In short, they show real concern for one another. There is a great deal of peer support.

The reception/I.T. room has proved to be a thriving hub for social interaction. It is serving well as a meet-and-greet area which also enables members and volunteers to do productive work, access the internet, work online or just meet in small groups, when the formal drop in is closed or the room is full etc.

Drop in sessions became unpopular recently when budgets became tighter with critics feeling they served little purpose, at Mind in Furness we would strongly disagree. Our drop and chat sessions offer much needed sanctuary and refuge for some people and often serve as a springboard for further involvement in our services

Get Learning
We have a full programme of volunteering opportunities that allow people to learn new skills and experience and we understand the importance of equipping these volunteers with appropriate training and resources. We regularly signpost members and volunteers to training courses in the community, at local colleges, other groups (CADAS, Disability Association, CVS) and CDC’s. A number of our volunteers have recently undergone Assertiveness Training, Confidence Training, Equality and Diversity, Basic Food Hygiene etc. We also offer in house training on basic computer skills. (See also our Volunteering Report)

Wellbeing Activities

Mind in Furness operates a small kitchen which provides meals to its members and visitors from Tuesday to Friday each week. The project is not open to the public and is staffed by willing volunteers, Elsie, George and Carol, Mandy, Jean and Carl who help plan, shop, and cook and clean up over the 4 days each week. Our volunteers have undergone training in food hygiene and have also attained NVQ’s in Catering and Hospitality. So as well as keeping active and contributing to the organisation they have each extended their CV’s for such time as they wish to move in to other catering options.

We offer two ‘brunch days’ on a Tuesday and Thursday and two main meals on a Wednesday and Friday.

Mind in Furness have been encouraged by the link between healthy eating and a healthy mind and body. The volunteers have adapted well to creating a new range of healthy options, as have the members, who seem to enjoy the healthy (and still relatively cheap) food on offer. We have a good range of soups, salads and pasta dishes on offer and will continue to create new and exciting dishes in the future. Some of the great new salads have ranged from ‘courgette and green bean salad with a light tahini dressing’ to ‘potato, tomato and egg salads’. Even the soups have become slightly more interesting. We’ve kept the old favourites, such as ‘vegetable soup’, but added new creations like ‘celery and apple’ and ‘parsnip and lemon’. Thanks must go to the kitchen volunteers, who have been a tremendous help in maintaining the café and helping create new dishes for the benefit of our membership.

What we’ve been eating in the café with the new food is great. I’ve been trying to diet and it’s helped with lowering my cholesterol and my diabetes is under more control now.” - Mike Bewick


Weather permitting (even during summertime!); Volunteer and Trustee, Tony Smith regularly took out a group of our members on healthy walks around such places as Barrow Park or the local docks. The walks were a regular event on a Friday and the fresh air and exercise were there to boost everyone’s fitness and wellbeing. Being in the great outdoors is a good way of feeling brighter about yourself and the social aspect of walking with friends helps to make you feel relaxed and willing to participate. Hopefully this will be a fairly regular activity within Mind in Furness, the only problem being we can never rely on the weather.

Wii Fit

During drop-in times, staff have set up the Wii console and tried various sports games with our members. This turned out to be quite popular and staff and volunteers have been offered many a challenge by the members, usually with us losing out! With the Wii Fit game we have purchased, members now have the opportunity to create their own personalised fitness programme. This can range from easing yourself in gently to much more rigorous exercises.


We have continued to work in partnership with the National Trust and have been committing to working with them on 2 conservation projects at High Wray and Sandscale Hawes. Mike has been supporting service users and volunteers to access volunteering opportunities at these locations that involve physical activity, fresh air and the chance to work as part of a team. Staff & Volunteers even supported a group of service users to have a residential weekend at High Wray stopping overnight for 2 evenings. Everybody helped with cooking communal meals and planning activities. This was a big success and created an amazing sense of achievement for all those involved

Advice And Support Hub
Mind in Furness received a grant of £20000 over 18 months from what was originally entitled the Prevention Fund but is now re-titled “Life Matters”. This fund was managed by Cumbria County Council and was aimed at developing services that could be aimed at offering support via primary care to those with mild to moderate mental distress.

We were funded to offer services as an Advice and Support Hub in the Furness area. As the Furness Locality Advice Hub, our trained and knowledgeable staff/volunteers have the information at hand to answer a full range of queries and concerns and know when to signpost clients to the most appropriate service. Our excellent community links and local knowledge ensures we are able to identify the appropriate services for people and to support them in accessing them. We never turn anybody away without supporting them ourselves or and finding the appropriate support from other vital local groups. This is potentially a vital service for local GP’s who can send anybody experiencing emotional distress to us for onward referral/ signposting decreasing the number of referral forms they must handle and the number of groups they could potentially have to deal with.

Volunteering at Mind in Furness
Last year it was a relatively quiet time in terms of recruiting volunteers and volunteers offering their time to our service and members. This year has been quite the opposite. Since the refurbishments and restructure, which was the reason for the quiet period, we have seen a huge influx of volunteers joining our team. These are mainly members making the step up to volunteering with a few extra external volunteers helping in a support capacity.

Since moving the Mind office to the top floor of the building, this enabled us to use the room on the ground floor as a reception area. This brought about a new volunteering opportunity as a reception volunteer. We were really pleased to see many of our current members wanting to not only give something back to the service, but to use this opportunity to help improve their own confidence and self-esteem and to learn new skills which may help them move forward.

I really enjoy my role as a volunteer and being part of a team.  I have been a regular Service User for several years before taking up this role and I am pleased to have the opportunity to return the favour for all the help I have received” - Martin Gawne
“I feel that doing my reception duties helps me feel more confident.  It’s good to have a purpose and helps me with my own anxieties. Also it helps me with my communication skills” - Andrea Lennon
Since doing my reception duties at mind my confidence has grown a lot.  I feel more confident speaking to people and sign posting them to other organisations if Mind is not for them .I also enjoy meeting people who come to visit the centre for the first time and making them feel safe and relaxed while they are here- Dale Taylor
We would like to thank all those who have offered their time to volunteer on reception and to say they are doing a fantastic job. We would not be able to run the service as effectively at present without their help. The same goes for the support volunteers, the kitchen volunteers and Craft Group facilitators who have been a tremendous help over the last year.
Often those volunteering at trustee level are forgotten about when we do our roll call of volunteers but it is these people, including the interested professionals, who gave their time and valuable experience free of charge, that free our day to day volunteers of the concerns of budgets, strategy planning and managing staff to concentrate on building their skills in our centre. We encourage volunteering at every level and hope people feel able to take on a challenge and learn something new. However, we do not want anybody to be overwhelmed by any of their volunteering roles so ensure people are matched according to their interest and skills.

Mind in Furness offer a range of volunteering opportunities; these include member support, kitchen operatives and assistants, group facilitator, office assistant, receptionist and trustee on the board. We will discuss with the potential volunteer which role they feel most comfortable with and if none of the above are suitable, then will try to accommodate them, utilising what skills they have to offer.

Richard Crossley, Advocacy/Support Worker & Volunteer Supervisor
Students at Mind in Furness.
For some time now we have been offering placements to student social workers studying for their Social Work qualification at UCLan. I have undertaken the appropriate training to be able to supervise students in the workplace. This is an important link for Mind in Furness to the social workers of tomorrow. We see this as our chance to influence their ideas and practice by offering regular contact with service users and work experiences that will influence how they work in the future. It means they hear first hand about service users experiences in their dealings with statutory bodies and in particular social work teams. The scheme offers a mutual learning experience and provides us with a chance to learn from the knowledge that these trainee professionals may impart. We have been very lucky in our placements and each of the students has built excellent relationships with Mind in Furness. We are also delighted to have also built up a good working relationship with local colleges and through Furness College and the University of Cumbria, work with students studying all levels of Health and Social Care. The students must contribute to all levels of operation within Mind in Furness to meet a number of key objectives, they work one to one with clients, assist with planning and administration and are asked to contribute to group facilitation and to participate in team meetings We generally have at least one student on placement at any one time and must thank them for their valuable input into our service.

Melanie Gilmour: Workplace Practice Assessor/Student Supervisor

I was a second year student from UCLan when I did my 80 day placement at Mind in Furness. My experience was exceedingly rewarding and beneficial to my future practice. The placement at Mind in Furness offered me an abundance of learning opportunities. I do feel the placement gave me the opportunity to develop both professionally and personally.

I was welcomed as part of the team from the outset and it has been significant for me in my learning to be recognised as a valued team member.

Sarah Goodwin-Student Social Worker-2011-UCLan
I am currently studying BA (Hons) Social Work at UCLan and I am completing my second year placement at Mind in Furness. The service offers a wide range of activities and support which I can become involved in, allowing me to develop skills and knowledge for future social work practice. My interpersonal skills in particular have strengthened through one-to-one work with members.

I feel that here at Mind I have the freedom to use my own initiative, develop ideas, and put them into practice. The support from all the staff is invaluable, they are always willing to give me advice or lend a hand if I need it.

I have recently facilitated a group around mental health and labelling. Many of the members attended and they all participated, giving positive feedback afterwards. The feedback from the members has given me the confidence start developing another workshop.

My experience at Mind so far has been nothing but positive. It gives me the opportunity to learn how to transfer my academic learning into practical skills in the workplace. All the staff and members have made me feel welcome from my very first day here. Thank you all for your support!

Katy Scott-Student Social Work-2012-UCLan

Quality Management in Mind in Furness

The quality of the services provided by local Mind associations such as Mind in Furness are vital in ensuring a better life for people experiencing mental health problems. Participation in Quality Management in Mind provides a benchmark so that external bodies such as commissioners and potential funders can be assured that our organisation is robustly run and in line with the needs of our local community. Quality also means that Mind can guarantee a level of service across its network of local Mind associations to all users irrespective of where they access them

Quality Management in Mind is endorsed by the Charity Commission.

The Mind quality system aims to ensure minimum standards in all the things that matter to users of Minds services, and to instil a culture of continuous improvement throughout the Mind network. Continued affiliation to Mind is dependent on local Minds achieving level 1 of Minds quality standards. Early 2012 Mind in Furness were awarded Level 2 we are very proud of this achievement

Equality and Diversity

Our principal aim is to assist those experiencing, or likely to experience mental health difficulties, and we will do so in a way which does not discriminate against anyone on grounds of

  • age

  • disability

  • gender reassignment

  • marriage and civil partnership

  • pregnancy and maternity

  • race (including ethnic or national origins, colour and nationality)

  • religion or belief (including lack of belief)

  • sex

  • sexual orientation

  • or any other irrelevant factor (subject to our own criteria of tenancy and membership

Mind in Furness acknowledges the importance and benefits of promoting diversity. . At Mind in Furness we will:

  • Be open and welcoming to people

  • Respect people’s differences

  • Value people’s individuality and the contribution they make to the organisation

  • Not make assumptions based on stereotyping

We are, at all times, committed to providing:

    • Equality of access to our services

    • Equality of provision to our existing service users

    • Equality of opportunity in our recruitment policies and practices

    • Equality of opportunity to our existing employees

    • Fair and equal treatment of our employees, Trustees and Volunteers

    • An environment where no form of harassment, bullying or intimidation how Mind in Furness acts to promote diversity, equality of opportunity and equality of service provision.

Moving Forward: Success Stories

I was diagnosed with schizophrenia at 19 and felt terrible and often suicidal. I have had those feelings for a long time. I still hear voices but cope better with them now, although on bad days they still cause me discomfort. I attend the Hearing Voices Group at Mind in Furness- that helps. The staff and other service users have taught me how to move on. I cope a lot better with help from Mind. Once over I wouldn’t get on a bus or go in a car, I wouldn’t even go out; I used to sit in my flat scared to go out, scared of what might happen. I still feel like that some days but feel better when I go to Mind in Furness. I get involved in a lot there. I like the conservation, getting out in the middle of nowhere, it’s like another word and I feel calmer. This morning I went to a workshop that the student did, about labelling. I enjoyed it; it was good and a bit different. I learnt a bit about myself.

Mike aged 53

I was working as a chef when I took ill at 22, I knew there was something wrong but didn’t know what. I saw the psychiatrist Dr Page, he asked me lots of questions and took me to Dane Garth where I tried to leave but I wasn’t able to. I can’t remember this. I was diagnosed with schizophrenia. I came to Mind some years ago and it helped. It gave me something to do and I also did some gardening with another organisation which helped a lot too. I have had me own flat for 15 years and have not been in hospital for 9 years now. At Mind in Furness I get involved in things I co facilitate the Hearing Voices group, it helps me and I like to be able to help others. I volunteer in the kitchen and have re-learnt some of my old skills. I have done my food hygiene training and an NVQ. I also go the conservation and on the trips and outings. I can talk to any of the staff, it’s a good set up, and coming to Mind in Furness is a good experience, I feel like I have moved forward

George aged 40

Mind in Furness – Board of Trustees, Staff and Volunteers – October 2012
Board of Trustees:
Chair/Director Wally Wright

Secretary/Director Michael Cassells

Treasurer/Director Helen Bingley

Trustee/Director Janice Sharp

Trustee/Director Gary Repton

Trustee/Director Tony Smith

Trustee/Director Penny Parr

Trustee/Director Alistair Rose

Trustee/Director Richard Fearn

Co-opted Trustee Joshua Dawson

Chief Officer Karen Dobson
School Street Staff:

Advocacy/Support Worker Richard Crossley

Advocacy/Support Worker Mike Corker

Advocacy/Support Worker Melanie Gilmour

Admin Assistant Lorraine Barnes

Cleaner Currently Vacant

Coniston House Staff:
Service Manager Jacqui Clark

Support Worker Laura Gibney

Support Worker Gail Bryant

Support Worker Angie Burns

Support Worker Julie Marwood

Relief Support Worker Linda King

Relief Support Worker Anne Bispham

Relief Support Worker Sarah Goodwin

Relief Support Worker Lorraine Potts

Relief Support Worker Faye Dodds

Cleaner Christine Gibbons
Counsellor Brenda Thompson

Student Counsellor Jason Redhead

Office Support Carole Williamson

Reception Support Andrea Lennon

Reception Support Colin McCormack

Reception Support Dale Taylor

Reception Support Josh Dawson

Reception Support Kelly Niblock

Reception Support Lorraine Murphy

Reception Support Tracey Cully-Brown

Reception Support Martin Gawne

Members Support Aiden Allan

Members Support Lauren Caine

Members Support Lauren Manuel

Members Support Tony Smith

Women’s Group Support Lauren Manuel

Craft Group Support               Julie Wilson

Craft Group Support               Tracey Culley-Brown

Bingo Sessions Jim Reid/Elsie Davies

Kitchen Volunteer Carol Newton

Kitchen Volunteer Elsie Davies

Kitchen Volunteer George McFarlane

Kitchen Volunteer Carl Brown

Kitchen Volunteer Jean Miller

Kitchen Volunteer Mandy Pritchard
Students on Placement                  Katy Scott       UCLAN
Funders April 2011-March 2012
Mind in Furness would be unable to do its work without the help and support from our funders; we would like to acknowledge their support in the past year both financial and professional

Cumbria Primary Care Trust

Cumbria County Council, Adult and Local Services

Cumbria County Council Supporting People

Northern Rock Foundation

Henry Smith Charitable Trust

Lloyds TSB

Sir John Fisher Foundation

Askam Line Dancers

Amicus/Unite 0401

Awards for All

Care Sector Alliance Cumbria



Hadfield Trust

Keswick to Barrow

Mayors Relief Fund

Mi Casa (Collection of talented DJ’s)

Ulverston Photographic Society

The Family of the late John Williamson

The Family of the late John Chapman
Various generous donations including much appreciated donations from members, service users and their families who wish to remain anonymous
We would also like to thank those who have agreed to fund our work for the year ahead
Northern Rock Foundation

Henry Smith Charitable Trust

Lloyds TSB

Cumbria County Council Life Matters

European Social Fund
The board wishes to congratulate the Member’s Council Fundraising Team and thank all the members who have worked so hard to raise funds for the Member’s Social Fund to subsidise trips, activities and equipment for the benefit of members.


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