The Willow Tree Group

Blandford Mental Health Support Group

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As part of our ongoing fund raising we have been in the press. We have captured the articles below.

Closure of much needed Social Support Group in Blandford Blackmore Vale
Further to the three articles that have appeared in the Blackmore Vale in the past few weeks, regarding Dorset Mental Health Forum closing the Sherborne Zest Cafe (Liz McGaw's article), and, letters from Mr Barrie Smith and Councillor Michael J Bevan Member Champion for mental health issues, explaining Dorset County Council's position:

RETHINK, a National Mental Health charity has been awarded the tender to offer services in the community across the whole of Dorset. The outgoing service provider Dorset Mental Health Forum did not actually tender for the contracts after all these years. Although highly controversial (declining to tender) two very important community services in Blandford will now close, and long term dedicated staff are being made redundant. DMHF have said that RETHINK are operating a completely new service without premises. This new service does not include permanent premises where service users can meet and of course integrate with the public at the same time. This firstly means the closure of a long running Peer Support Group in Blandford. This support group meets every Wednesday and has been in existence for over 20 years and is now destined to close in August, unless funding can be secured. It is not a huge sum, just £4,000 each year, but would be a lifeline to the people attending every week, who have all either had or are experiencing mental ill health, and have found the Wednesday lunch club meeting to be a safe haven, where they can meet other people who understand, and firm friendships have been made.

Members of this Wednesday Group are absolutely devastated, when in real monetary terms all it costs is £60 each week to staff, each member paying for their own cooked lunch in full. An anonymous recent donation has been received to keep the Wed Group going for another month until the end of September which is amazing. They are all so very grateful and would like to express their gratitude to the person who made this very kind donation.

The second very important facility open five days each week, the Positive Approach Centre for Wellbeing in Tabernacle Walk in Blandford costs just £7,500 per annum for the rent/rates/electric/tel/water. A fund raising campaign is under way to raise money for a new leased building located near the town centre.
6 Dec 2014 - 08:43 by barrie
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