I’ve been learning about Mental Health this week to make sure the staff and volunteers here at The Brain Charity are all looked after properly (if I don’t look after them, they can’t look after you).
I went into the course thinking I knew virtually nothing about ‘Mental Health’, which always sounds a bit scary and complicated, but it turns out I knew a lot more than I thought I did. Why? Well, for a couple of reasons. Firstly my Auntie Sylvia, as well as having a learning disability, had schizophrenia too (I just thought of her as Auntie Sylvia. I didn’t really associate her with the big scary issue of ‘Mental Health’ and, despite her ‘episodes’, she was always my favourite auntie). Secondly, I have spent my whole career working for disabled people. As it turns out, lots of disabled people have mental health problems at one time or another (no doubt not only due to having to cope with the disability itself, but also due to the discrimination, the poverty, the lack of social support, the welfare benefit assessments… need I go on?)
Family Fund are the UK’s largest provider of grants to families on low incomes who are raising a disabled child or young person. In the last year they helped 72,043 families with a wide range of essential items, such as kitchen appliances, short breaks, clothing, sensory toys and computers - awarding a total of £33million in grants and services.
To request an application pack, either visit www.familyfund.org.uk or phone Family Fund on 01904 621115. Families can make an application once every 12 months up to a young person’s 18th birthday.
There can be no doubt that the environment impacts upon us and, as such, we’ve been working hard at The Brain Charity to ensure that our counselling room provides our clients with a sense of ease and comfort. Following great work by Katie in our fundraising team, we have been able to refurbish our counselling room: improving the lighting, furniture and adding a calming, yet invigorating colour scheme. A number of people have already commented on the positive impact the new room has had on them, something which we hope continues to be felt by those who come to use our service.
We provide a range of counselling and psychological therapies to people who have experienced or are experiencing a neurological condition. Our aim is to work with people’s individual needs, tailoring our approach to the person’s personality and situation. As well as one-to-one work, we have provided group, couples and family therapy.
Finally, we're very pleased to be able to share some great news with you. We will soon be expanding our counselling service with the addition of a second counselling room. This will allow us to reduce waiting times and further improve our overall service.
Brenda and Gordon Milward, two long-standing volunteers at The Brain Charity, have recently been recognised by The Liverpool Echo newspaper as ‘EveryDay Heroes’. They’re quite the double act; Brenda volunteers on reception and Gordon is our resident poet. They are two very modest and down-to-earth individuals who don’t regard themselves as being anything special. As Gordon says, “We just see volunteering as giving something back”.
The duo also help to fundraise for The Brain Charity and we are delighted that they've been recognised for the outstanding work that they do. You can read all about Brenda and Gordon on the Echo website, or watch their story in our film entitled ‘Who we are’
Gordon’s book of poetry called 'Days of Hope' is also available from our reception priced £3.50.