‘I wanted a new challenge, a goal to aim for when running, and also a stepping stone towards running a full marathon,’ says Tim.
This was Tim’s first half marathon, while Helen is a seasoned runner and has run several half marathons and two marathons before. She even has a daily routine of running home after work along the River Thames.
Tim’s decision to fundraise for SLaM came about when he worked part time for the SLaM fundraising team whilst studying at King’s College London.
‘It showed me how worthwhile the charity’s work is,’ he says. ‘I wanted to support the research being done by SLaM in the area of mental health.’
Tim and Helen supported each other as they trained and kept one another motivated.
‘My sister has been a very strong runner for a long time and had inspired me to train for the half marathon and hopefully a full marathon in 2015. We have run together during training a few times which has always made the run a lot easier and motivated me to carry on when it gets tough.’
For Helen, too, having her sibling’s support made a real difference to her training.
‘I have found it so enjoyable to be able to run with my brother!’ she says. ‘I am used to running long distances on my own and was astonished at how much easier it is to run with a companion and how much quicker time seems to go by!’
Tim suffered an injury less than 8 weeks before the race, and had to spend time recovering. But fortunately, when race day came around on 6 October, he was ready to run.
‘I didn’t know what to expect as it was the first organised running event I have been in, but I was really pleased to finish the course and really exhausted,’ he says.
‘It was tough but, as me and my sister ran together, it was a lot easier with her support and motivation.’
For Helen, it was an exhilarating experience.
‘The atmosphere along the course was fantastic with so much of the route lined with cheering supporters,’ says Helen. ‘Our family came to cheer at the cheering stations which was a great motivator and gave us points to look forward to.’
‘We were both exhausted immediately afterwards but that was quickly replaced with elation as we realised what we had achieved and looked forward to the together we can… tent of food!’
Together, Tim and Helen raised almost £900. Helen continues to run home every day from work and Tim is planning to run more half marathons next year and a full marathon in 2015.
• Always stretch fully and rest fully if you get injured.
• Don’t over think it. For your first half marathon, your goal should be just to complete the race with your time being unimportant.
• Keep to a pace you know and have trained with and stick to it.
If you're interested in running the Royal Parks Foundation Half Marathon for SLaM next year, please get in touch.
Becky Mumford is The Switch Project Co-ordinator.
'Adolescence can be a difficult time for anyone,' she says, 'But many of our young people will also be dealing with problems at school or at home, while living with mental health issues like depression or self-harming.'
'Our volunteers spend one-to-one time with them. They are impartial but supportive and provide a vital listening ear as well as a friendly companion they can go out with – whether it's enjoying a hobby or just having a coffee.'
The service users are referred by Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) teams in Southwark, Lambeth, Lewisham and Croydon. Becky has made 22 successful matches since The Switch launched last year with support from Maudsley Charity. The results are impressive.
'After spending around nine months on the scheme, the mentees leave with increased self-esteem, confidence and emotional resilience,' she says.
The experience for mentors is just as positive. They reap the rewards of supporting someone who is vulnerable.
'I'm really enjoying it,' says volunteer Hayley Tomkinson. She is helping her mentee with practical career-related things like writing her CV, looking at college courses and filling in application forms.
'I'm also trying to build her social skills — sometimes we'll travel together on the train to visit new places like Covent Garden,' she adds. 'It has certainly helped me develop my own communication skills and patience.'
Becky believes the project's success relies on the special relationship between mentor and mentee. 'What the young people value most is their mentors choosing to spend time with them – it boosts their confidence,' she says.
A female mentee from Lambeth says: 'Now I can get on public transport; I now know what I need to do when I feel panicky. I'm a little more independent, but there's still more to do.’
The Switch is run by TimeBank, a national volunteering charity. For more details visit the TimeBank website, call: 020 3111 0712 or email email@example.com
To make sure projects like this keep running, we need your support. Find out today how you can fundraise for SLaM.
All across the nation this Christmas, millions of people will attend organised work parties. These party goers will spend millions of pounds on festive food and drinks, little black dresses, new ties, not to mention silly office presents. Imagine if each of these people added a gift costing just £4 to this list? Charities need help – and gifts – in this giving season too.
Ask your workplace if you can collect funds at your Christmas party or hold a Christmas raffle as part of the festive celebrations. If you're feeling creative you can make your own crackers for your party guests!
You can donate to SLaM by texting HOHO03 followed by the amount to 70070 (E.g to donate £5 text HOHO03 £5 to 70070). It’s quick and easy way to donate and you can ask friends by adding the code to your Christmas cards, emails, Twitter or Facebook.
Be kind to the environment and save money at the same time! Rather than splurging on Christmas cards, ask your friends and family to make a donation to SLaM instead.
Simply set up a page on Virgin Money Giving and email your colleagues a link to donate online.
Or a nice touch for your office would be to put a big poster on the wall for people to write their greetings. Not only will you raise funds but you are also being environmentally friendly!
Want someone to do your photocopying, make your coffee, or wrap and buy gifts for your loved ones? Get people to volunteer as Christmas fairies or elves in the office and auction off their time to the highest bidder.
Everybody loves a good Karaoke session and what’s better than listening to your manager embarrassing himself singing Wham! Hold heats in the office during the run-up to Christmas, and then have the ﬁnal on your last day at work.
Enjoy a global gourmet gathering. Split into teams and cook trademark dishes from a country of your choice. Then sell these culinary classics at a Christmas fair – with proceeds going to SLaM.
Donate some money for the privilege of decorating your office. You could also hold a Christmas shrine competition. Get everyone to make their desk as festive as possible, and then judge the best. Go on, get that tinsel out.
Donate to hear half an hour of Christmas music while you work – or pay to have it turned off.
Have a fancy dress day in the office. Wear Christmas hats and masks or go for full festive clobber.
Delight your friends, family, neighbours or colleagues by singing Christmas carols to raise money this December. Local shopping centres or stations are great places to sing carols, but remember to ask for permission first.
Ask for sponsorship rather than Christmas presents! We can send you a collection box to collect the money in or you can Virgin Money Page and send your Christmas wishes to all your friends and family! Use Facebook and Twitter to help you.
Have a dinner or drinks party and ask guests to make a donation to SLaM (or simply charge them to come!). You can give your party a Christmas theme or hold a competition for the best Christmas jumper,
When the festive fun’s all over and you’re back to work in January, hold a sponsored slim. Get colleagues to pay you for the weight you lose and donate the cash to SLaM. A pound for each pound seems more than fair.
Sell them on an online auction site such as eBay or have a post-Christmas car boot sale. Donate all proceeds to SLaM.
Or choose from some of the festive fundraising ideas below:
• Gift Wrap for your colleagues
• Christmas Hamper Raffle
• Christmas Tree Decorating competition
• Mulled Wine Social
• Christmas desk decoration competition
• Mince Pie Bake Sale
• Nominate a colleague to dress as Santa
• Bag packing - Pack bags at your local supermarket in return for donations, a great opportunity with all of the Christmas shoppers.
• Christmas collections - Organise a collection at your local shopping centre or supermarket - in festive fancy dress of course!
Become a Christmas elf on our gift wrapping stand at Surrey Quays Shopping Centre
We need volunteers to wrap gifts for customers at Surrey Quays Shopping Centre in return for a donation to South London and Maudsley. We will be spreading festive cheer from Saturday 20 December to Tuesday 24 December. To get in the Christmas spirit and sign up to help email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Located at the edge of the Maudsley Hospital site on Grove Lane in Camberwell, the building is a major investment for the Maudsley Charity who have provided funding of £7 million. The ORTUS will support Maudsley Learning's goal of improving knowledge and raising awareness of mental health and wellbeing and is, importantly, open to all.
This ethos of collaboration was underlined earlier this year when Maudsley Learning ran a competition inviting staff and service users and the local community to suggest names for the five main rooms. Perhaps the most unusual is ‘Buddy’, named after a nine-year-old Tibetan terrier dog who generates warmth and affection on psychiatric wards around the country.
'She is a very loving animal and brightens up the wards she visits,' says Geoff Brennan, a Nurse Tutor who works at the nearby Institute of Psychiatry. 'I nominated her as a tribute to her owner, Marion Janner and the wonderful work she does through Star Wards.'
As a support dog, Buddy provides Marion, who has a mental illness, with a constant companion and a good reason to stay safe. Buddy was part of Marion's inspiration for Star Wards, which promotes simple, low-cost ideas — including animals as therapy — that are having a welcome impact on inpatient care and recovery rates. Over 80% of psychiatric wards in the UK, including SLaM, have signed up, and Marion has received an OBE for her work.
'I was thrilled and very touched when I heard Buddy’s name had been chosen,' she says.
The room names reinforce the ‘open for all’ atmosphere in the ORTUS, as does the café, a relaxed space that opens on to an outdoor terrace and serves healthy, seasonal food.
With staff and local residents dropping in for delicious hand-brewed coffee and lunch, and events highlighting work supported by Maudsley Charity, the ORTUS is already building its profile and creating a buzz. Any surplus profits will be put back into the charity for investment in other innovative mental health projects.
New spaces like the ORTUS are vital for the Maudsley community. To ensure projects like this keep running, please make a donation today.
To find out more about the ORTUS, please visit the Maudsley Learning website.
Many of SLaM's projects are funded by generous donations. Find out how you can support these by fundraising or making a donation today.
You can find out more about the Bedlam series on the SLaM website.
Bruce Clark, Jo Fletcher and Emily Simonoff all work at SLaM in the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service – known as CAMHS. This crucial team provides the widest range of services in the country for children and young people aged up to 18 with mental health issues. It’s thought that up to 1 in 5 children and teenagers will need the help of mental health services at some point, so the work that they do can have a huge impact and often uses leading edge treatments.
Despite working together at SLaM, the trio saw the abseil as a great opportunity to do some further team building, but of course there was more to it than that. It was really important to them to be able to make as many people as possible aware of Maudsley Charity and the vital work that goes on at SLaM. It was also a chance to show others how easy it can be to support SLaM: working as a team, Bruce, Emily and Jo raised over £120 of their total just from a cake sale!
Thanks to their efforts, and the support of their families, friends and colleagues, the team have raised more than £1,400 for Maudsley Charity and as Bruce says, “this is an amazing charity... every penny helps!”
If you're interested in fundraising for SLaM, please take a look at our Get Involved pages to see what you could do.]]>
What inspired you to set up a trapeze workshop for people with mental health issues?
A few years ago I took up aerial circus arts - trapeze and rope - as a hobby. I recognised the unique benefits on my own wellbeing in terms of the exhilarating feeling, confidence, energy levels, mindfulness, and improved discipline and focus which seemed to be sustained beyond the classes. I felt that my Status Employment clients could really benefit from this kind of excercise.
What did you hope to achieve when you first set it up?
Initially my goal was simply to provide a positive activity for some of my clients, and I hoped that it might benefit them and potentially have a positive effect on their path to finding work. The feedback from those taking part and the difference it has made to them has meant that the workshop has grown and developed into an important part of what we offer at Status Employment.
What benefits have there been for the people who take part?
The workshop has made a big difference to those taking part. They have told us how their self-esteem has been raised, and that that their motivation and ability to overcome mental barriers like fear are greatly improved. This in turn has helped people in their progress towards work by creating a major mental shift in their self-perception, meaning they have greater confidence in their ability to work and so are motivated to look for jobs and have greater confidence in interviews. Many involved have found work and volunteering opportunities as a result.
What do you find rewarding about running this project?
I find it immensely satisfying to see that it does work and creates change for people. I’m often there throughout the drama and trapeze courses, and seeing some of the sketches people put together, or routines they come up with, is very worthwhile. I sometimes find it very moving to read the feedback from those who have taken part: there is sincere heartfelt thanks about the difference the course has made to them. It's rewarding to watch people develop and blossom, and I see many participants go on to join other social groups, volunteer and get job interviews.
Has there been anyone who has had a particularly positive experience from the project?
There was one success story in particular. Catherine had left teacher training and been unemployed for over a year. She had tried a range of therapy which included guided self-help, cognitive behavioural therapy and group work. I think the trapeze was something that just clicked with her. Doing it had a dramatic effect on her depression, anxiety and self-esteem and in that time she set up drama workshops for children and got a job as a gardener. She went on to volunteer for Status doing drama workshops and is now involved in the wider project we run now.
Watch Catherine's video.
The Moving Forward Project was made possible by generous donations. You can help support projects like this by donating to SLaM today.
With a few wrong turns, a few mechanical problems and rather more hills than they anticipated, Cliff and Chris ended up being in the saddle for 63 hours and 35 minutes. They cycled 876 miles with 14,321 metres of climbing to make it to the beach on time on the afternoon of day eight.
'I decided on doing this ride as it was a personal challenge I set myself several years ago,' says Cliff. 'When the opportunity presented itself this summer and I managed to rope in an unsuspecting friend (Chris), there was no turning back!'
How did it feel to finally reach St Tropez?
'We felt a mild sense of disbelief when we arrived – after over 60 hours in the saddle and eight days that mostly consisted of cycling, eating and sleeping, it was slightly odd to finally reach our destination. We did of course feel a massive sense of achievement and happily some friends who were in the area joined us to celebrate that evening. Very glad we did it – we saw some amazing French countryside, towns, mountains, hills and valleys.'
Why did he choose to fundraise for SLaM?
'SLaM and the work they do is close to my heart. I am passionate about the work they are doing to push the boundaries of mental health treatments and therapies but also attitudes and public perceptions of mental illness.'
Day 1: 85 miles to Portsmouth Harbour...
Day 2 - 150 hard miles from Caen to Chateaudun - made harder by strong headwinds, torn tyres, a popped spoke/ buckled wheel and a disobedient Sat Nav!
Day 3 - Limped on 50 miles to Orleans for repairs and lunch before putting in another 70 to reach Borges and back on track for St Tropez!
Day 4 - The longest day of the trip - done. 166 miles from Bourges to Macon - some flat river valley roads and tailwinds to start us on our way but rolling hills to finish (us off).
Day 5 - Reached the Alps at Grenoble. 1000km in five days - one major milestone. Next, the mountains...
Day 6 - This was definitely the highlight for me. After a long day climbing up into the mountains, we reached the other side of that mountain area and looked down at the long and winding descent we were about to ride down to get to where we were staying that night.
Day 7- Another 116 miles through the Alps and another 2000 metres climbed! Exhausted but made it to Manosque and now just a day from the Med.
Day – 8 And we did it! Made the final 80 mile push to St Tropez within our eight day target!
Visit Chris and Cliff's fundraising page.
If you'd like to organise your own adventure to raise money for SLaM, we're here to help. Find out how you can organise your fundraising challenge.
Led by Creative Future, it showcased work by talented artists whose opportunities are limited by mental health issues, disability, chronic ill health or social circumstance. About 280 artists contributed work this year, and over 1,300 people came along to view and buy the artwork.
This unique fair was supported by Maudsley Charity, and made possible thanks to your generous donations.
Among the works on display were 84 framed pictures by SLaM service users (some of which you can see in the image above).
'We wanted the fair to demonstrate that artworks produced by artists operating on the edge are no less full of talent than mainstream offerings,' says Simon Powell, Project Director of Creative Future.
'We wanted to challenge assumptions about what marginalised artists and people can or cannot achieve, and to help improve participants' wellbeing.'
Helen Shearn is the Head of SlaM Arts Strategy, and explains the importance of the partnership between SLaM and Creative Future that allowed the fair to take place.
'SLaM service users have told us about the importance of exhibiting and performing in building a sense of wellbeing, inclusion and recovery,' she says. 'So the Impact Art Fair is a key event in SLaM’s arts strategy.'
Volunteers, including staff and service users, came together to help make the event a success: framing and displaying the artwork and managing the stalls. Sarah Joseph, an Occupational Therapist, was one of the volunteers.
‘What was great was people who had contributed postcard art works to the SLaM stall coming over and explaining what had lead them to producing that particular piece of art and the story behind it.’
As well as the framed postcards, there was artwork from local solo artists and SLaM’s partner organisations Bethlem Gallery, CoolTan Arts, The Three C's, and the South East London Arts Network.
'The soulful works express real raw feelings, uncensored, unpretentious, feelings that are unlimited by 'normal constructs of art' from people who are labeled as having mental health issues or disabilities, but who really hold magnificent healing qualities,' says Simon Thomas, journalist for Galleries magazine.
A sense of community
Creative Future set out 'to create a cultural event which bridges disparate sections of society,' says Simon.
'The sense of community that was developed during the build-up to the fair confirms that the celebratory nature of the event is a therapeutic model that works, with wide-ranging and profound impacts on those involved.
We're hugely grateful to Maudsley Charity for their vision and far-sightedness in supporting this event, without which the benefits to those involved would not have been possible.’
If you missed out on this years Impact Art Fair, you can listen to the audio blog by Matthew, SLaM TWIG Operations.
You can also see the beautiful artwork featured at the fair in the Impact Art Fair brochure.
You can help us to support more projects that help those with mental health issues. Make a donation to South London and Maudsley today.]]>