21st June marked the longest day of the year; otherwise known as the Summer Solstice, bringing us 16 hours and 38 minutes of daylight and a time of new beginnings.
We are starting to see the transition from action planning, seed sowing and hard work to flourishing new projects.
This newsletter, we would like to share with you some of the successes of these new projects.
We start with John’s Journey…
John, aged 57, moved into his newly refurbished flat within the Crofton Court Scheme in June 2020.
Prior to his move in, John had lived within a secure unit within Lynfield Mount Hospital for approximately 18 years. He said that he had been prepared to move into his flat and something more independent through a step-by-step transition, which he explained was a good process, particularly for his personal wellbeing and needs.
John has a mental health diagnosis of Schizophrenia, which is managed through medication, (Clozapine) as well as through a multi-disciplinary team, working together to monitor his wellbeing and support him to live within the community.
Sowing Seeds for Mental Health
10th May marked the start of Mental Health Awareness Week, this year’s theme being Nature!
To get involved, Impact has set up a simple project which is inclusive to all… ‘Sowing Seeds for Mental Health!’ inspired by the event ‘Digital Drop-Out’ organised by Stockwell Street Library.
The project is to enable young people and adults with complex needs who live within Impact to get involved…including those with anxieties of going outdoors or venturing too far from their comfort zone, by encouraging them to grow plants and herbs from their own homes!
The project also promotes positive mental health as taking care of indoor plants is also a good stress reliever.
“Studies have shown that keeping indoor plants can help promote feelings of wellbeing, which is especially important while we’re all stuck at home a lot more than we’re used to!
Plants can lower anxiety, reduce stress levels, boost mood, and increase productivity. Some houseplants have the added benefit of being very low maintenance, so you can benefit from them without having to put in a lot of work.
Looking after a plant can also be a good reminder to look after yourself – stay hydrated, get fresh air and sunlight, give yourself the right conditions to thrive – and don’t forget that plants show you that you can recover after you wilt!” University of Greenwich, ‘Sowing Seeds for Mental Health’ 4th March 2021
The campaign was promoted through Facebook and donations of pots, seeds, soil and cash to buy more supplies came flooding in!
From the donations, we have been able to create personalised indoor gardening kits suitable for beginners, including tenants’ preferred seeds from a selection of those they wish to grow; for example, squash, peppers, herbs, cactus’, spinach, cress, courgettes and chillies.
Each tenant was provided with their individual kit and a journal to help them to track their gardening progress!
Support staff and tenants wish to say a huge Thank You to Rachael Jackson (RJ Fitness), Sam Clark, Gareth John Wood and Ellie Emmett for your generous donations towards the project!
Kat is diagnosed with Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder, (EUPD), also known as borderline personality disorder:
In loving memory of Janine Gore (22.01.63 – 25.03.21)
Matthew first came to Impact in 2013. He was struggling to find somewhere suitable to live where he would feel supported after experiencing relationship breakdown with his ex-partner, while trying to cope with the bereavement and loss of his baby boy. Throughout his time living in supported accommodation through Impact Living, Matthew has had his ups and downs. He was very close to his mum, Janine, and they had supported each other a lot during difficult times. Janine was (and will continue to be) a much-loved lady by all staff and tenants within Wilfred Drive, she made such a huge impact to those she spent time with; always going the extra mile to help others.
In 2013, Janine was diagnosed with Cancer and through support from Impact Living, Janine and Matthew were provided with a much-needed respite break to the Lanzarote Villa Casa Joules in Playa Blanca. Sadly Janine passed away in March and will be missed by everyone at Impact Living.
“Changing Lives Through Football”
Clients from our Wilfred Drive Scheme ‘kick-started’ a 10-week football themed learning and personal development programme through SUCF Street Soccer Academy!
Cornmill Flood Appeal
We need your help! Sadly, the River Derwant in Malton burst its bank, flooding and severely damaging the ground floor homes of our vulnerable residents as well as our onsite support office. Please donate to help us to restore people’s homes
Sadly, our Cornmill Scheme needs your support more than ever after the River Derwant burst its banks causing record flood levels in Malton, severely damaging the ground floor homes of some of the schemes residents as well as our onsite support office.
Although challenging, the Impact support staff, maintenance and security team, tenants, community volunteers, Flood Wardens, response crews, Ryedale District Council, North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service, have responded exceptionally well.
Some tenants were temporarily re-homed and we are now working through those properties to dry them out, re-plaster, refurbish and refurnish.
Support Needs Assessor Appeal
We aim to enhance our existing support programme by employing a Support Needs Assessor Evaluator to join the team; focusing on supporting people’s recovery and resilience during crisis.
Jon, from Bradford, was a vulnerable young man. Brought up by two alcoholic parents and the victim of sexual abuse as a child. Jon started drinking when he was 14, by 22 he became alcohol dependent. Jon moved into Impact in 2004 and was assigned a support worker. He was doing so well; he’d started a traineeship with our maintenance team. He was achieving goals, finding new friends and addressing his alcoholism, receiving psychiatric help. After move on, Jon experienced a relationship breakdown. He turned to alcohol dependency again. One day, he was a target of Hate Crime and was beaten up badly. This impacted Jon’s mental health immensely. Jon went to his parents’ house and in a desperate state of mind, he poured paint thinner over his head and set himself on fire. He’d received over 30% burns to his body and sadly doctors were not able to help, 4 days later he passed away.
Jon’s story demonstrates the importance of getting the right support required during a time of relapse or crisis, which is why we would like to recruit a Support Needs Assessor-Evaluator.
Our aim is to enhance our existing support programme to offer an in-house, mental health Needs Assessment and Therapies Evaluation Service (NATE) to address the complex needs of our beneficiaries in a holistic and integrated way, while supporting them to gradually work towards achieving greater independence.
A Support Needs Assessor will be able to demonstrate responsibility for providing assessments as well as proposing, co-ordinating, and evaluating creative interventions to meet the support needs of clients.
They will have an interest and experience of specialised practice, e.g., working with people living within the community, who have received a diagnosis of personality disorders, childhood trauma and or addictions (including dual diagnosis). They would particularly value experience in additional specialised assessment and therapy approaches such as, Speech and Language, MBT, CAT, CBT or other therapeutic approaches and experience in the assessment and treatment of relational trauma.
The project will initially take place over a two-year period, with a view to extending the service following review, evaluation and evidence of the benefits.
The purpose of the project will be to fully assess our current beneficiaries and all new referrals, assessing any risks and identifying all support, therapy and care needs. Following detailed consultations with each individual, a comprehensive mental health and support assessment will be provided, proposing, coordinating and evaluating interventions and a therapy schedule to best meet each individual’s needs in a holistic and integrated way.
Beneficiaries will be referred to a newly developed in-house Creative Therapies Programme. This will be led by an experienced Arts Psychotherapist who will provide one-to-one support sessions, weekly peer workshops and virtual and other exhibitions to showcase art and raise awareness. This will work in combination with other health and wellbeing activities and tailored therapy strategies for those experiencing difficulties in communication, identifying and addressing any underlying difficulties, using therapy/support strategies to improve communication skills, as well as skills in self-advocacy, self-confidence and ability to make and maintain healthy relationships.
The project will take a holistic approach, treating the whole person with all conditions in mind, knowing that there are often linked to each other. The focus will be on supporting their recovery and building resilience, not just on treating and managing the symptoms, but looking beyond their condition to support them to set and achieve personal goals, regain control and work towards building a meaningful and satisfying life.
The project will also offer practical help tailored to support each beneficiary to address other aspects of their life. This will incorporate practical housing and independent living-based support, on-site training and support to promote financial inclusion, as well as offering volunteering, training and work experience opportunities though the charity and in the local community.
The project aims to achieve the following outputs:
Provide safe and quality housing, with an integrated therapy and support programme for approximately 120 individuals over a two-year period.
Provide early intervention and prevention of mental health crisis or behaviour that challenges, resulting in reduction of hospital admissions and/or emergency service call outs, particularly due to self-harm.
Reduce the wait times for those experiencing crisis who need urgent assessment, intervention and treatment for underlying mental health conditions or substance addiction.
Ensure beneficiaries receive immediate and robust assessment when they enter the project/accommodation, and that any significant support needs are identified as soon as possible and incorporated into their therapies support and care plan. Help beneficiaries to improve their ability to cope with and manage their emotional, mental and behavioural difficulties, supporting their recovery through creative and talking therapies.
Help aid recovery for those who have addictions, supporting them to make positive choices and gradually work towards reducing alcohol/substance intake.
Where communication difficulties are identified, provide therapy and support strategies to improve beneficiary’s communication skills and develop skills in self advocacy.
Help beneficiaries to gradually work towards achieving improved confidence and self-esteem, as well as improvements in other areas of their lives, i.e., trust, positive relationship building, social life etc.
Help beneficiaries to develop the skills needed to achieve a safe and habitable living environment, gradually working towards achieving independent living.
Monitor, evaluate and evidence the benefits of creative therapy interventions in assessing and treating mental health issues, behaviour that challenges and addiction.
We work closely with NHS Trusts, drug and alcohol workers, psychiatrists, mental health specialists, Care Coordinators and GPs. Our aim is not to duplicate the work of others, but to provide a coordinated, multi-disciplinary and holistic approach to deliver the best possible service while helping to relieve the current strain on local mental health teams. We particularly support those who have found it difficult accessing mainstream health services, have slipped through the net and have not been able to get the right mental health care needed through other means.
Our current shortfall for the project is £53,297 in year one and £55,962 in year two.
We would be extremely grateful for any donation or support you are able to provide toward this project.
If you would like to help in any way, please get in touch! or donate via our just giving page
Our latest trustee report and financial statements are available to read using the following link