Brent, Wandsworth and Westminster Mind is alive with the sound of music! No, we haven’t stepped into a Julie Andrews film – it’s our wonderful Westminster Sings choir that has been filling the halls with their dulcet tones.
The choir has been meeting regularly at our offices in Pimlico, lead by the hugely talented choirmaster David Phelops. Curious staff have even joined in, lured by the sound of singing throughout the office!
In partnership with the Westminster council, we are delivering this fun and light-hearted choir, which is open to all, even if you are not a service user. Community singing has been found to improve overall wellbeing and reduce loneliness, so can be great for improving your mental health and mood.
Here at Brent, Wandsworth and Westminster Mind, we are lucky enough to have some truly fantastic budding poets amongst our staff and service users. Akin Olusanya is just one such poet, who has agreed to share his amazing poetry with us.
Inspired by our Talking Therapies service, Akin has reflected on his experiences through the medium of poetry. We hope his poetry will inspire you to make use of our Talking Therapies service if you could do with some extra support:
When the voices I hear and the voices that press
Weigh down upon my mind in fear
And my feet goes numb, feelings of being stuck
A companion to these four walls, my world
Struck by the silent persistent whisper – Your radiant sun is out there
Taking a deep breath, I take a first step, I search
Oh look; what do I see here?
Privacy and confidence,
My troubles – safely I share
Seek out this path
Talking Therapies from Mind
I’m functioning once again
To register your interest in our Talking Therapies, please visit this page and submit an enquiry.
World Poetry Day is an international day celebrating the power and beauty of words and poetry. Poetry can be a wonderful and cathartic way of working through feelings and emotions. Many famous poets used words to work through their mental health issues, including Sylvia Plath, Edgar Allen Poe, Lord Byron and John Keats. Why not check out some of the wonderful poems that will be available today on World Poetry Day?
To celebrate World Poetry Day, we are sharing some of the amazing poetry written one of our very own service users. The highly talented Akinola Olusanya felt compelled to express through the power of poetry how it can feel to experience a mental health issue. We think that this extremely moving poem gives a powerful insight into how mental health problems can leave you feeling deflated and unlike your usual self, as well as touching on feelings of isolation and the fear of stigma. Read below:
An afternoon when butterflies flap colourful wings
That’s when I think
There is no colour in me;
I work in the city, climbed up that ladder
Got me the office
Seems I’m living the dream;
No one knows my pain, no one understands
No one there, when Doctor Chen said
Result of an early trauma – it’s a mental illness
All colour has left me;
Can’t tell my friends, cant share with cousin Fred
Mocked, ridiculed, ostracised
– my greatest fears;
Listen to me; don’t crucify
Listen to me; don’t stigmatize
Mental illness happens
We need to talk about this;
Let’s talk mental health
Get this conversation going
Let’s put back
Some radiant colour here.
Have you written some poetry about your experiences of mental health? Perhaps you’ve put pen to paper yourself in honour of World Poetry Day. We’d love to hear from you. To submit your poem to us, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Are you living in the Borough of Brent and in need of some emergency funding?
The Chalkhill Community Trust Fund has been set up to support the residents of the Chalkhill with funding for community projects serving the area, as well as providing emergency welfare funding to those who need financial support due to emergency situations or unexpected circumstances.
Previous support projects have included funding a CSCS card for a Chalkhill resident, to enable them to secure permanent work, as well as funding to buy urgent items to improve the quality of home living for residents.
We encourage you to apply for funding if you are in need and are eligible as a Chalkhill resident. You can find out more by visiting http://www.cctf.org.uk/
If you’re a volunteer for Brent, Wandsworth and Westminster Mind, you can now be rewarded for your hard-work through the ‘Value You’ discount card.
For volunteers who have racked up over 100 volunteering hours, the Value You card provides discounts to local shops and businesses. You’ll receive a certificate acknowledging your achievement and a gift card too!
To register, simply notify your team leader you will be applying for a card, then enter your details on the Value You website.
Are you a volunteer for BWW Mind? Would you like to share your story about why you volunteer? If so, please contact email@example.com
We are delighted to unveil our newest video, with the lovely Helen talking about our supported housing scheme!
Helen is a service user who struggled with anxiety and depression. After being made redundant, she struggled to keep up with the rent on her privately rented property. She was effectively made homeless and spent a time moving from house to house. Eventually, Helen sought advice and guidance from BWW Mind, who helped her secure housing. Now, on the road to recovery, Helen feels she is able to put the wheels into motion for her to live independently once again.
Every 1st February, mental health organisations come together for ‘Time to Talk’ day – a national day of raising awareness and breaking down the stigmas surrounding mental health, pioneered by Time to Change.
On this day, we encourage people to be open with the people in their lives about the problems they are experiencing. Whether it be your spouse, a friend or even your boss, talking to someone about how you are feeling is the first step to understanding you don’t need to suffer in silence and that you are not alone.
Non-judgmental help and support is out there for you. It is advisable to speak to your GP if you notice that you have felt unusual for a while. Brent, Wandsworth and Westminster Mind also offer a range of services for those concerned about their mental wellbeing and we are always happy to advise you.
Wandsworth’s Deputy Mayor, Councillor Ian Lewer, is to visit the vibrant Tooting Wellbeing Hub. Brent, Wandsworth and Westminster Mind are delighted to welcome Ian to the Centre, to showcase some of services offered by the Hub, as well as giving our service users the opportunity to display their artwork, discuss their roads to recovery and voice their views about local issues.
We hope that Mr Lewer will gain a greater understanding of how the Tooting Hub helps to create empowerment, opportunity and recovery for its service users.
Activities on the day will include the popular Arts and Crafts class, a Movement and Dance Therapy session and a delicious buffet served by our on-site chef Naomi.
Brent, Wandsworth and Westminster Mind’s chief executive, Janice Horsman, will also be present on the day to welcome Ian to the Centre.
For more information about the services offered at the Tooting Hub, please see our events calendar (at the bottom of our homepage) or list of wellbeing services.
Volunteer Constance Novis is a trainee Dance Movement Pyschotherapist studying at the University of Roehampton. She has been delivering dance and movement sessions at our Tooting Hub as part of her one year placement with Brent,Wandsworth and Westminster Mind . She says:
I have been on a weekly one-day placement as a dance movement psychotherapist trainee at the Tooting Wellbeing Hub since last September and its my favourite day of the week. When I arrive I hear the buzz of the conversation from the cafe and smell the fragrance of fresh baking.
I can see for myself the positive effect the centre has on the service users. The centre is airy, light and modern, the welcome is friendly and the atmosphere is energizing and supportive. It is the perfect setting for me to run my sessions, both one-to-one and in groups. I, along with the service users who visit the centre regularly, are warmly encouraged and facilitated by the great team that manage this hub.
If you’d like to book onto Connie’s well-being through dance and movement sessions, please see our events page or contact firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also view the huge range of other activities we offer at the Tooting hub by visiting our Wandsworth Services page.
Alternatively, if you’re inspired by Connie’s experience as a volunteer and would like to offer your time and skills to a good cause, why not contact us at email@example.com .We have plenty of volunteer opportunities, whether you want to support us individually, as part of a group of friends or even through your workplace!
Brent, Wandsworth and Westminster Mind are extremely privileged to welcome members of the Civil Service Fast Stream to our Westminster office, where they will be delivering employment workshops for service users.
Over a period of 6 weeks, a team of Fast Stream graduates will bring their skills and energy to deliver employment workshops aimed at supporting people with mental health problems to re-engage with meaningful employment or to contribute further to community life.
Through the scheme, Brent, Wandsworth and Westminster Mind will engage with service users to support those who have been out of work to brush up on useful skills such as CV writing, interview skills, presentation skills and more.
The first session was held on the 12th January and was a huge success. Participants said they felt empowered by the session and had a better understanding of how to take their first steps back into work.
For those suffering from mental health issues, anxieties around securing and sustaining employment can be exceedingly stressful and have a negative impact on their mental wellbeing. BWW Mind is delighted to be offering these sessions to support service users and give them the confidence to fulfill their potential.