Welcome to latest Ecominds update
August was a busy month for the Ecominds team at Mind HQ. We launched our colourful ‘Feel better outside, feel better inside’ poster campaign to spread the message that outdoor activity can help improve mental health. Did you get your posters? If not, we still have some available.
The Mind website also gained some great new content, including a film shot featuring an Ecominds-funded green gym; a fun activity picker designed for those who need some outdoor inspiration; and a map featuring every Ecominds project in the country.
If you have any comments, news or ideas for the next newsletter, please contact me.
Ken Ryan, Ecominds Senior Communications Officer
Ecominds in action
Earlier this year we filmed an Ecominds project at work. Senior Mind staff, including Mind Chief Executive Paul Farmer, spent an afternoon with volunteers at a green gym in Regent’s Park. The session was part of BTCV’s national Wellbeing Comes Naturally programme, which is funded by Ecominds.
On the day, BTCV staff and volunteers explained how the gym works and importantly, the benefits it has on their mental wellbeing.
Are you on the map?
The Mind website features a new interactive map that visitors can search to find their nearest Ecominds project.
Some projects have now finished their Ecominds funded activities or are nearing completion, but have asked to remain on the map as they still provide similar activities.
Please contact us if your project details need to be updated.
Our 'Feel better outside' campaign continues online with a new nature photo competition for October and November, with the theme ‘autumn colour’. Getting outdoors and taking those inspirational autumn shots can be great way to relax and unwind – and win a prize for one lucky snapper. Check out the Mind Facebook to find out how to enter.
You may have noticed that our main Ecominds Facbook page is no longer being updated. All activity is now being added to the Mind Facebook page to take advantage of its much larger community. If you haven’t visited, it’s well worth the effort as you could be sharing your updates with our 14,000 plus followers.
Do you use Facebook or Twitter?
We want to strengthen the Ecominds network and improve communication between projects. Please let us know if you use these tools to share information about your services with potential volunteers, network with similar organisations or Ecominds projects, or keep up with what’s happening with Ecominds in general.
Meeting your local MP? Mind’s parliamentary team can help!
Would like to arrange a visit from your local MP, why not get in touch with Mind’s parliamentary team? The team is in regular contact with many MPs and are happy to support you in arranging the visit or meeting.
The team can provide detailed profiles of MPs, including an overview of their careers; political, social and charitable interests; relevant issues that they have raised in the House of Commons; and any contact that national Mind has had with the MP in the past.
They can also update you on Mind’s national campaigning priorities, as well as any recent political developments that might affect your MP’s outlook. You may find this information useful as background to your meetings, and can help you shape your ‘asks’ for the MP.
To help us keep our messages consistent and keep our parliamentary records up to date, please let us know if you have arranged any meetings with MPs.
If you need some help, contact Louise Kirsh, Parliamentary Manager on 020 8215 2287 or , or Vicki Ensor, Policy and Campaigns Assistant, on 020 8215 2223.
BIG's Village SOS
The Big Lottery Fund has launched Village SOS Active, a campaign to inspire and equip people in rural communities to tackle local problems and revive their areas.
A range of tools, support, and expert advice is on offer to help community-led business ventures get off the ground, breathe new life into their areas, create new jobs and improve the quality of life of local people.
You can also enter the Village SOS competition with a chance of winning between £10,000 and £30,000 to kick start a community business. BIG are keen to fund ideas that use the skills of local people, and the area’s natural resources, land and buildings. Be quick, the closing date is 6 October.
SEIF Capital Growth Fund closes soon
Health and social care organisations have until 16 September 2011 to apply grants from the Social Enterprise Investment Fund (SEIF) Capital Growth Fund.
SEIF will be awarding grants of £50,000 to £150,000 in value. Loans are also available if the organisation can show it is able to repay. Investments of over £150,000 will include a loan element. Visit the Social Investment Business website to find out how to apply.
Funding for community green spaces
Communities and Local Government has published Potential funding for community green spaces. The report sets out potential funding available to community and voluntary organisations for community green space initiatives. It identifies the different grant schemes open to local groups, green spaces, allotment organisations or trusts, and also where to go to get help when looking for funding.
Thames 21 open garden and photo exhibition
Thames 21 welcomed visitors to an open garden at their Ecominds HQ at Bow Lock in August. The riverside garden is maintained by volunteers from the charity’s Waterway Wellbeing Ecominds project. Staff and participants, including project coordinator Ben Fenton, and former volunteer - now employee - Simon Reddcliffe, were both on hand to give visitors a tour of the garden.
Thames 21 is also hosting a photography exhibition in September featuring entries to their east London waterway photo competition. The exhibition opens on 1 September at Miller’s House Café, Three Mill Lane, London E3 3DU.
Visit the Thames 21 website to find out more about their Ecominds work.
Newcastle: Walker Challenge Flotsam and Jetsam Tour
A group of mental health service users recently completed a tour of the Northumberland coast, clearing rubbish and creating art.
The group completed a number of challenges along the coast that will enable them to get an Environmental Award from the John Muir Trust. The final part of the challenge is the hosting of an exhibition featuring artwork and experiences from the tour.
The exhibition opens on Friday, 9 September at Holy Biscuit, 1 Clarence St, Newcastle upon Tyne NE2 1YH, and closes on Monday, 12 September 2011.
For more information, visit the Holy Biscuit website. (Image: Walker Challenge participants)
BTCV working with Islington Mind to create a therapy garden
BTCV, a flagship Ecominds project, is working with Islington Mind to develop a therapeutic garden for BTCV’s summer appeal. The charity is appealing for donations to help them reach their target of raising £4,000 to make the garden a reality.
The garden will enhance the environment and also provide centre users and the local people with opportunities to work together and improve their health by growing food and nurturing wildlife.
The project, led by volunteers from BTCV, follows on from the success of the Waterlow Park Kitchen Garden, BTCV’s last weekend project. This is now the site for 10 community groups and many individuals to ‘grow their own'.
Check out the BTCV website to find out more about the scheme and how to make a donation.
Evaluation shows significant reductions in levels of distress
Sydenham Garden has been successful in engaging people with mental health problems, with those attending after six months showing significant reductions in levels of distress. The organisation has published a positive evaluation report of their ‘social and therapeutic horticultural’ work that took place between 2007 and 2009 (prior to Ecominds funding). The full report is available online at the Sydenham Garden website.
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