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Dudley Mind Newsletter – March 2018

Welcome to our first newsletter of 2018. Spring is upon us (go away snow) and the days are getting longer and brighter. We have a few things to share with you this month including news about a motorbike ride out and Tai Chi sessions at our wellbeing cafe, Food for Thought.

Also included in this months newsletter is a list of all of the services that we currently offer as well as information about our Mental Health and Workplace Wellbeing training for employers and in the West Midlands region.

If you need to contact us you can email or call us on 01384 442938.

Dudley Mind Services – 2018

If you are interested in any the activities or services listed below please feel free to contact us at the Dudley Mind Head Office. In each section of the newsletter there is a contact name and email for the relevant person you need to get in touch with for the service or activity you are interested in.

Alternatively you can call Dudley Mind and one of our members of staff will try to help you.

Tel: 01384 442938


Growing in the Park

We use gardening to build and support the mental and physical health of our communities.

This project provide activities, skills training and friendship for people with, or at risk of, isolation and poor mental health.

People who garden regularly know that being outdoors, seeing the changing seasons, caring for plants, getting some exercise and working alongside other people makes them feel good. Recent research has now provided sound evidence to support that. It shows that outdoor activities, often called ‘ecotherapy’ can:

  • improve mental and physical health and wellbeing
  • increase physical activity
  • help to improve concentration
  • help in managing anxiety and depression
  • build confidence as people learn new skills and see the results of their efforts
  • support the move into training, qualifications and employment
  • build connections and friendships in local communities

Our garden projects are open to anyone over the age 18. You don’t need any gardening experience and you don’t need to be strong or physically fit – we have activities to suit everyone.

If you’re interested in joining or know someone who is, call Jill on 01384 442938 or get in touch via email

You can visit the gardening section of our website here

Have a look at our Facebook page here

The Red Door Wellbeing Project

Working in Kidderminster (as Wyre Forest Mind) we are partnering with the New Meeting House.

This is an historic Unitarian Church in the centre of the town.

They hold a weekly drop-in session (the Red Door Café) for people experiencing difficulties in the local area. Working with them from this month we will be:

  • Training staff and volunteers from the church and other local organisations in mental health awareness and Mental Health First Aid
  • Ensuring the drop-in can assist people who have mental health problems
  • Augmenting the drop-in with a second session each week
  • Developing self-management courses for local people who have mental health problems
  • Developing peer support groups in the Wyre Forest area

This work is funded for 2 years from a legacy donated for use in Worcestershire.

For more information please contact Jill on 01384 442938 or email

Jolly Joggers

Who are the Jolly Joggers?

Jolly Joggers are a beginners’ running (jogging) group. We are part of Dudley Mind’s Get Set to Go programme which aims to get more people active to improve their mental health. See for more information.

We are a friendly, welcoming, supportive group for anyone who is struggling with their mental health right now or in the past including stress, low mood, anxiety or depression or another mental health problem. Along with anyone who wants to improve their mental wellbeing through running/jogging.

Over 12 weeks we build up your jogging and running from a walking pace. No previous experience is necessary. We celebrate week 12 by joining Wolverhampton parkrun which is a weekly 5k (3.1 miles) run around West Park.

At the end of the session Jolly Joggers past and present join for tea in the Café (optional) it is a great way to get to know new people and to make new friends. Throughout the 12 weeks we take part in a range of activities; past activities have included: Time to Talk Day, Easter Egg Hunt, Treasure Hunt, Mental Health Awareness Week, Halloween themed activities and World Mental Health Day.

We are led by a small team of volunteers from Dudley Mind who are qualified Leadership In Running Fitness coaches. The sessions are insured and risk assessed and open to people 18+

Download our Jolly Joggers leaflet here

Please note that Jolly Joggers is a 12 week programme, we allow people to join up until the third week of the current programme. If you miss the third week deadline you would need to wait until the start of the next available Jolly Joggers group.

You can visit the sport section of our website here

For further information contact Simon at the Dudley Mind Head office on 01384 442938 or by email at

Dudley Mind Walking Group

Dudley Mind’s walking group all meet up every last Saturday of the month for a bit of a chat and to go for a walk together. The members of the group all enjoy walking and use it as a way to improve their mental wellbeing.

The walks take place in various locations within the Dudley Borough and are organised and led by our two friendly walk leaders Kirpal and Ade. Both have their own experiences with mental health and are there to help support all members of the group when out on walks together.

If you would like to join our walking group please get in touch with Simon at Dudley Mind on 01384 442938 or by email at

Workplace Wellbeing

The issue

According to the Charted Institute of Personal & Development, almost one in three UK employees (31%) will experience a mental health problem, posing a significant personal and business cost.

Each year poor mental health is costing UK businesses an estimated £26 billion (Centre for Mental Health).

Every UK employer, regardless of size or sector is likley to be affected by mental health problems in their staff.

We believe there are both moral and business reasons to promote better employee mental health and create healthier workplaces. It’s the right thing to do and it makes business sense.

Workplace wellbeing – the business case

Given the impact and cost mental health problems can have on individual employees and businesses, mental wellbeing should be a business priority for every employer, regardless of size or sector.

As an employer, investing in workplace wellbeing can:

  • Reduce levels of sickness absence, presenteeism, staff turnover, lost productivity and the associated costs of mental health problems at work by at least 30%
  • Increase employee resilience, productivity and performance
  • Enhance your duty of care as an employer and reduces risk
  • Improve staff morale and engagement
  • Enhance your corporate image and reputation

Our services:

We know better wellbeing means better business and we offer a range of cost effective mental health training and related services for employers wanting to improve employee mental health and wellbeing within their organsiations.

  • Consultancy advice and support
  • Mental health training and workshops for mangers and staff
  • Online employee wellbeing surveys
  • Workplace wellbeing network eventsWe can also develop bespoke services to meet your specific organisational needs.

As your local Mind mental health charity, we are here to help employers of all sizes and from all sectors to create healthier workplaces.

We’re here to help!

We see our work with you very much as a partnership. In the first instance, we like to meet with you to find out more about your organisation and what you want to achieve. From there we will draw up a proposal based on your requirements.

Your Dudley Mind workplace wellbeing contact is Mark Evans

It’s good to talk so please get in touch.

Tel: 01384 442938


You can visit the workplace wellbeing section of our website here

Keeping it Together

This is a new friendly and welcoming service for people who experience mental health difficulties who would benefit from a bit of support. In part the support is provided by our staff and in part it comes from others in the same position.

Keeping it Together comprises:

A staffed drop-in service in Dudley held twice a week (Mondays and Thursdays)
Peer-led activities on other days – (under development)
New members are very welcome but please contact Tim or Nagheena if interested on 01384 442938 or email:

Peer Support Groups

Dudley Mind have a number of peer support groups open to people currently experiencing mental health difficulties living in and around the Dudley area.

These are groups of people who come together for mutual support.

If you are looking for help and support and would like to join one of our groups please contact Tim at the Dudley Mind on 01384 442938 or email

The groups we currently have on offer are

1 in 6 Gaming Group
Bipolar Self Help Group
Blue Skies Peer Support Group
Building Bridges – Anxiety & Depression Self Help Group
Healthy Minds
Mom’s Mindful Hub
New Horizons – OCD Support Group
The Haven (Mums Group)
What’s Cooking? Peer Support Group
Inkwell Creative Writing Group – General peer support group
Hidden Treasures – Hoarding support group

More information regarding our groups can be found on our website here:

Do you have an idea for a peer support group of your own? Let us know on the New Peer Support Group Proposal page of our website here:

Mom’s Mindful Hub

Our new peer support group for moms experiencing anxiety and mental health difficulties will offer a friendly, welcoming and non-judgemental space for new moms to meet up and share their experiences of parenting and coping with stress. This group plans to begin meeting regularly from 17th January 10.30-12.30 in Cradley Heath (B64 5HL).

If you are a new mom experiencing mental health difficulties and you would like to join the group, you can do so in one of two ways.

You can send a message directly to Leonie through the groups Facebook page

Or contact our peer support coordinator Tim at Dudley Mind on 01384 442938 or email

New Venue for The Haven

The Haven, our peer support group for mom’s experiencing pre- or post-natal anxiety & depression will now be meeting every 1st and 3rd Wednesday of the month at Food for Thought 11am – 1pm.

Their first meeting at Food for thought will be on Wednesday the 7th of March 11am – 1pm.

The Haven

A new space for women with pre- or post-natal anxiety and depression.
Come along for a cup of tea and a chat with other mums who understand.

Babies and toddlers welcome!!!

Every 1st and 3rd Wednesday of the month, 11 -1:30am, at Food for Thought, Victoria Street, DY8 1SP.

Please contact Tim at the Dudley Mind Head office on 01384 442938 or by email at

Healthy Minds Support Group

Dudley Mind is now working in partnership with Dudley College to provide peer support services to students aged 16 – 25.

Starting from Wednesday the 7th of February 2018 the Healthy Minds Support Group will meet weekly at Aspire Living House 5:00pm – 7:00pm.

What are the benefits of peer support?

  • Help improve your self esteem and confidence
  • Receive support in a non-judgemental and confidential setting
  • Talk to others with similar experiences
  • Introduce you to ideas/approaches that have been useful to others
  • Reassure you that you are not the only person that has felt like this
  • Help you feel more empowered about your own mental health

If you are a student at Dudley College, aged 16-25 and would like to join Healthy Minds please contact Sophia Daly or Kelly Russel at the Student Union for more information.


Call: 01384 363412

Music Workshop Sessions


You don’t have to be a musician to have fun improvising with music. These music workshops are designed to promote creativity, self-expression and wellbeing, playing in a relaxed group setting with others. No musical skill or knowledge is necessary. If you do play an instrument (to any level), feel free to bring it along and develop your improvisational skills. If you’re a non-musician, prepare to discover the joys of making music with others in a safe, positive environment.

The facilitator, Tony Gillam, is a musician and mental health nurse. He is also an experienced teacher and group facilitator and his work with Kidderminster’s Music Workshop Project won an international award. Tony is able to offer one-off ‘taster’ sessions or a series of music workshop sessions.

The first session will take place at Henry Court on Thursday the 22nd of March 2018 3:30 — 5:00pm.

Try Tai Chi at Food for Thought!

Weekly on a Thursday evening

Starting on Thursday 1st of March – Thursday 19th April

T’ai Chi Chuan (Taiji quan) is an ancient Chinese martial art which is practised throughout the world. In recent times it has become less known for its martial prowess and more as a gentle exercise for promoting good physical and mental health.

Our instructor, Craig Swinnerton, is a Senior Instructor with Zhong Dao, an Advanced Instructor with the T’ai Chi Union for Great Britain (TCUGB) and an authorised Instructor with British Council for Chinese Martial Arts (BCCMA).

The course will run for 8 weeks from the 1st March, on Thursdays at 7pm and is designed to introduce you to the basics of Tai Chi and promote wellbeing.

The course is free of charge for 8 weeks*

(*After 8 weeks the class may continue (depending on demand) on a fee paying basis – or you may wish to join one of Craig’s classes throughout the area.)

For further details please contact Ade on 07852 766023 or Craig on 07835 150905

Weekly Crochet Workshops at Food for Thought

Join us weekly at Food for Thought on a Tuesday afternoon from 2pm onward

Would you like to learn crochet skills, or improve your existing ones?

Lianne form Mandala Yarn is an experienced crocheter who is happy to share her knowledge & skills with people of any age or ability.

Bring along any crochet problems or questions, projects in need of rescue, patterns you are struggling with, or just an interest in learning crochet.

Feel free to bring your own hooks/yarns, although there is no need to buy anything as practice yarn can be provided and crochet hooks will be available to borrow.

Contact Nagheena

Food for Thought, Victoria Street, Stourbridge, DY8 1SP

Mom’s Meetup & Craft Sessions

Dudley Mind and Mom’s Mindful Hub will be holding a crafting session meetup for moms at our wellbeing café Food for Thought every Friday morning 11:00am – 1:00pm.

There will be some party-themed craft-based activities such as making things with playdo, craft cupcake making and party hats to keep the children entertained.

If you are a new mom and would like to come along next Friday and meet the other members of the group for a chat

News from Growing in the Park

It’s been a busy couple of months in the walled garden at Wollescote. Last year we were donated some fruit trees from The Woodland Trust and in January we did a tree planting workshop, learning how to plant them and get them off to a good start. Wollescote gardeners dug out a couple of shrubs that had died and the new fruit trees have made fine replacements, bringing new life to a couple of areas that were looking very sad.

We’ve also done some workshops on winter pruning and on lawn care. Just when we thought spring was making an appearance and we could growing, we were hit by ‘The Beast from the East’. It was bitter cold but amazingly some of our gardeners still came along to clear up and carry on with their woodwork projects.

This winter we’ve also been adapting the middle greenhouse – finishing the raised beds and adjusting the staging to make it more accessible. In the next few weeks we will start using the space to produce hanging baskets for sale to raise funds for the project as well as growing crops for the gardeners to share – peppers, cucumbers, chillies, tomatoes to name a few.

Sadly, another wall in the park collapsed before Christmas and our garden has been left more open in evenings and weekends. So for the first time in the four years we’ve been on site, we’ve had some problems with vandalism. It is dispiriting and has set back some of our plans but we put right any damage immediately and are soon up and running again. The police are coming to gather some evidence and give us tips on making the garden more secure. Hopefully, once the council put up the new (temporary) fence, it should make it harder to get in.

New anxiety & depression peer support group

Due to a recent increase in demand, Dudley Mind will be running a second peer support group for anyone affected by anxiety and/or depression who wishes to share their experiences with others in a safe, confidential and non-judgemental setting.

Day – Tuesdays

Venue – Food for Thought Wellbeing Café, Victoria St., Stourbridge .

Frequency – every 2 weeks, commencing Tuesday 27th March.

If you are interested in joining this new group please contact Tim at Dudley Mind 01384 442938 as we will need to speak with you beforehand to establish that a peer support group is right for you.

Higgs & Sons new charity of the year

Leading Black Country law firm Higgs & Sons has unveiled its Charity of the Year for 2018 – and has opted to keep it local.

Dudley Mind, based on the Hagley Road in Stourbridge, said it is delighted to have been chosen and will now benefit from 12 months of fundraising by Higgs.

Mark Evans from Dudley Mind said: “Thank you so much to Higgs & Sons for choosing us as its charity of the year, we are so grateful.

“We have seen some of the extraordinary events the firm has been involved in over the years to raise money for other good causes, and we are incredibly grateful – and humbled.

“Dudley Mind is a local mental health charity that aims to improve and promote recovery and wellbeing for people in the Dudley borough affected by poor mental health.”

Higgs & Sons this week presented a cheque for over £22,000 to the NSPCC, their 2017 Charity of the Year. The funds were raised through an array of physical challenges and fun events that included the much anticipated Higgs Annual Football Tournament, which last year saw 48 teams compete to raise more than £8,000, and the annual Higgs Quiz that included 40 teams from across the Midlands raising almost £4,000.

Tim Jones, Partner and Head of the Corporate Social Responsibility programme at Higgs, said: “Choosing our charity of the year is huge responsibility, and one that we take extremely seriously with all colleagues involved in the selection process.

“After a couple of years of raising money for national charities, we are pleased to bring this year’s effort back to the Black Country and our neighbours at Dudley Mind, and I know everyone will pull out all the stops to make it a record breaking year.

“I am incredibly proud of the hard work, dedication and commitment of colleagues who not only help to fundraise but give untold hours to working directly with our charities, making a real difference to our community.”

Higgs & Sons’ extensive CSR programme supports a range of projects throughout the region each year. As well as selecting a dedicated charity, Higgs employees also provide hands on support to many other organisations, committing time and resources in support of the work they do within the Black Country and the wider West Midlands.

Tim Jones added: “We look forward to working alongside Dudley Mind to raise much needed funds and awareness of the work they carry out in our community.”

For more information about Dudley Mind visit

Promoting mental health awareness for frontline staff

Frontline staff and volunteers at Dudley Council and partner organisations have benefited from greater awareness of mental health problems thanks to training delivered by Dudley Mind on behalf of Dudley Public Health.

During February we’ve delivered three MHFA Lite courses to 60 frontline staff from a range of services, including Adult Social Care, Children’s Services, Health & Wellbeing, Housing and Healthwatch Dudley.

The training is part of the Council’s commitment to enable staff and volunteers in key frontline roles to have the skills to spot the signs of common mental health problems, such as anxiety and depression, the confidence to talk to people about mental health and to signpost them to self help or local services. This is part of the Council’s wider approach to help improve the health and wellbeing of local people.

As part of their training, staff have been given extra information about local mental health services and support in Dudley borough and have also had the opportunity to share experiences about talking to people about mental health, which many have found very useful.

Sarah Kuczora, Senior Health Improvement Officer at Dudley Council said: “Improving mental health and wellbeing is a key priority for the Council. We recognise that achieving this will require action across many service areas and we are committed to providing training to build staff confidence to talk to people about their mental health and signpost to appropriate support”.

A further two training sessions are planned to take place during March, bringing the total number of staff trained to 100.

Mental Health First Aid Open Course – Open to organisations or individuals


Between April and June 2018 Dudley Mind will be running a number of open Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) courses to organisations and individuals who would like to increase their knowledge and understanding of mental health.

MHFA Half Day Courses

April – Wednesday the 18th 9:30am – 1:30pm

May – Wednesday the 9th 9:30am – 1:30pm

June – Monday the 4th 9:30am – 1:30pm

The MHFA Half Day course is an introductory 4 hour session which aims to raise mental health awareness.

What the Half Day Course covers

  • An understanding of what mental health is and how to challenge stigma
  • A basic knowledge of some common mental health issues
  • An introduction to looking after your own mental health and maintaining wellbeing
  • Confidence to support someone in distress or may be experiencing a mental health issue

MHFA 2 Day Course

May – Monday the 21st and Tuesday the 22nd 9:30am – 4:30pm

June – Thursday the 14th and Friday the 15th 9:30am -4:30pm

The MHFA 2 Day Course qualifies you as a Mental Health First Aider

Mental Health First Aiders have:

  • An in depth understanding of mental health and the factors that can affect wellbeing
  • Practical skills to spot the the triggers and signs of of mental health issues
  • Confidence to step in, reassure and support a person in distress
  • Enhanced interpersonal skills such as non-judgemental listening

Knowledge to help someone recover their health by guiding them to further support – whether that’s self-help resources, through their employer, the NHS, or a mix

Costs and bookings

All of our open MHFA courses are open to anyone, whether you are from an organisation or an individual who would like to attend on your own.

Each course will be held at Higgs & Sons Solicitors at the Waterfront Business Park, Brierley Hill, Dudley.

MHFA Half Day Course – £69 per person which includes a MHFA Half Day Course Manual and Certificate.

MHFA 2 Day Course – £224 per person which includes the MHFA 2 Day Course Manual and Certificate.

Payment is required before attending the course to confirm your place and will need to be made at least one week before the course is due to start.

If you would like to book a place please contact Simon on 01384 442938 or email

Dudley Mind also provide mental health training to organisations in the West Midlands region.

For more information please visit our Mental Health Training & Workplace Wellbeing website page:

Walk the walk for Dudley Mind

Dudley Trail is in its 38th year and is a series of challenging walks in and around Dudley borough ranging from 6 – 28 miles.

Help Raise funds for Dudley Mind

Could you help us by raising funds for mental health while walking the Dudley Trail?

You can raise funds for us in a number of ways

LocalGiving – setting up a fundraising page of your own through our LocalGiving page is quick and easy. We can do this for you or you are welcome to set one up yourself. Just visit our Localgiving page: click on the ‘Fundraise for Us’ button and follow the steps to create your own fundraising page. If you need any help setting up a fundraising page on LocalGiving please feel free to email us:

Sponsor form – If you would prefer to raise funds for us using a sponsorship form, please contact us via email: or call Simon on 01384 442938.

For full details of the Dudley Trail please visit the official website:

Dudley Mayor’s Motorcycle Ride Out in Aid of Dudley Mind

This is the first year of Mind Ride, a motorcycle ride out in aid of Dudley Mind.

The ride will commence from Himley Hall at 10am on Sunday the 25th of March 2018, taking on a 19.7 mile ride circling the Borough and returning back to Himley in just under an hour.

Please note that all speed limits road signs and traffic light will be adhered to as no roads will be closed so care and safety are paramount.

Riders and pillion passengers are advised to arrive early from 9 am so that a safety briefing and route plan can be given.

Pre registration and £5 donation is required when booking tickets.

To buy tickets please visit the Mayor’s Eventbright page

You don’t have to be a rider to come to the event, there’s lots going on at a Himley on the day for all the family and friends. Dudley Mind will also be there with a stall of our own where we plan to do a raffle and tombola with various prizes up for grabs.

Food for Thought – Room Hire now Available

We are now offering room hire at our Wellbeing Cafe, Food for Thought.

Community Groups

In the café – no charge, but at least buy a drink each

In the small room – £10 for up to 2 hours

In the large room – £15 for up to 2 hours

Private meetings

In the small room – £10 per hour

In the large room – £15 per hour

Use whole building

Without kitchen – £20 per hour

With kitchen – £30 per hour

With catering – £20 per hour plus food prices

For all enquiries regarding room hire please contact Nagheena on 01384 910246 or email