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Sparky’s cafe celebrates anniversary

Sparky's cafeThe Mayor of Blackpool praised the efforts of a charity community café in tackling mental health stigma during its one year celebrations.

Cllr. Kath Rowson, Mayor of Blackpool, joined representatives from Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust, Blackpool College and national mental health charity Richmond Fellowship to celebrate the one year anniversary of Sparky’s Café at The Harbour hospital in Blackpool. Read more

Sparky’s Café Guildford opens for business

Sparky's-Café-GuildfordRichmond Fellowship’s latest Sparky’s café has opened for business at the new NHS mental health hospital in Farnham Road, Surrey.

Taking on the lessons from our award winning Sparky’s in Blackpool which opened last year, Sparky’s Guilford will provide good quality food as well as employment and volunteering opportunities for people living with mental health problems.

Steve Smith-Trask, managing director for Richmond Fellowship (south) said: “We’re delighted to be up and running with our latest Sparky’s café in Guildford.

“Sparky’s provides a welcoming atmosphere where people can go for a relaxing chat with friends and learn more about mental health and the ways we’re striving to make recovery a reality. We want the simple act of having a snack and a chat to be a platform for challenging mental health stigma and helping people feel a valued part of their community.”

Mental health cafe scoops NHS award

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A charity run café which aims to tackle mental health stigma in Blackpool has won a prestigious NHS award barely ten months since its doors opened.

Sparky’s, the pioneering social café run by Richmond Fellowship, the national charity making mental health recovery reality, took top prize for the NHS in the North West Excellence in Supply Awards 2015.

The award comes thanks to Sparky’s work in tackling mental health stigma and providing opportunities for people living with mental health problems to gain the confidence and skills to return to work through volunteering and apprenticeships.

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Mental health café sparks excitement at NHS recruitment day

NHS staff were treated to a taste of Sparky’s on Saturday as the café opened its doors for the first time to prospective hospital staff during a recruitment event in Blackpool.

Sparky’s, the new community café from Richmond Fellowship, is being set up to challenge mental health stigma by providing a space for health and well being advice, social inclusion as well as quality food and drink.

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Richmond Fellowship to run new community cafe in Blackpool hospital

The running of a new community café based at The Harbour, Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust’s new state of the art mental health inpatient development located in Blackpool has been awarded to the Richmond Fellowship.

The Richmond Fellowship, a charity that provides advice and support for people with mental health issues, will be managing and running the café when the Harbour opens in Spring 2015. Their vision for the café is that it will provide a community hub where people can go for a relaxing chat with friends, as well as providing people with health and wellbeing advice ranging from healthy eating to dementia awareness sessions. The Richmond Fellowship will also be working with local colleges to provide apprenticeships and employment opportunities for individuals with lived experience of mental health problems.

Alistair Rose, Project Director for The Harbour at Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust said: “We are very pleased to announce that the café at The Harbour will be run by the Richmond Fellowship. The charity does some outstanding work supporting people with mental health issues and we really feel this partnership will provide a positive environment for people in the community to not only come and enjoy the refreshments, but also have an opportunity to work together to help reduce stigma around mental health issues.

“We look forward to working with the charity and setting the foundations for what will be a promising and successful partnership.”

Richmond Fellowship regional manager Wendy Baylis-Wareing said: “We’re really excited to be working with the local NHS to provide this community café in their major new hospital development. It’s an opportunity to truly put the wellbeing of our staff and customers at the heart of running a successful enterprise. We want the simple act of having ‘a snack and chat’ to be a way to challenge mental health stigma and help people feel a valued part of their community.”

The Harbour will provide a total of 154 beds and building work is due to be completed in November with occupation due in early 2015. The development is part of the Trust’s on-going commitment to modernise inpatient mental health services and improve the quality of care it delivers. The new unit will achieve a more therapeutic environment for the people who use the service and better working conditions for staff.

You can find out more information about The Harbour by visiting www.lancashirecare.nhs.uk/TheHarbour.

Popular Bailey’s café saved thanks to new partnership

We’re joining forces with the Water Lily Project to give the popular Bailey’s café a new lease of life and save it from closure.

The Water Lily Project (WLP) is a Christchurch based charity which offers outreach support to local and vulnerable women to help them cope with and overcome whatever difficult situations they find themselves in.

WLP will be taking over the running of Bailey’s Café from Richmond Fellowship’s East Dorset Community Service.  Due to a change in the contract to provide services from the premises in Barrack Road, Richmond Fellowship needed to find a partner who could take the café on.

WLP project manager Lynn Chisadza said: “In addition to this venture that we have taken up, WLP is also pleased to have the opportunity of opening its first residential home in early 2015. We’re so excited about the potential that running the café will bring. This will enable the project to give training opportunities and provide a useful resource for local residents.

“We are so grateful for the support we have received thus far from Dorset County Community Fund, Round Table, Seedbed Christian Community Trust, local churches, local people and the local borough council who share our dream.”

Richmond Fellowship will continue to run its mental health community services from the Barrack Road offices and will be extending the groups and activities it runs in the Christchuch, Purbeck and Wimborne areas, under the terms of its new three year contract with Dorset County Council.

RF locality manager Doug Low said: “We’re delighted to be working with the Water Lily Project to keep the café open to the general public, including those people with mental health issues, and to be taking our services out to local people through our new community service contract.”