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Welsh Charities Week: how Brecon & District Mind help their community

Friday, 25 November 2022 Marie

*Active Monitoring is now called supported self-help.

Marie, CEO at Brecon & District Mind, blogs about the difference made by the charity in its local community. 


Hi I’m Marie and in July I joined the team at Brecon & District Mind.

I’ve been working in the third / voluntary sector in health & social care in Powys, the most rural county of England & Wales, for 19 years now! Before joining Mind I worked with Credu, an organisation supporting unpaid Carers & Young Carers.

Brecon & District Mind supports local people in the area - our purpose is ‘we’re here when you need us to help you manage your mental health & wellbeing’.

We currently do this in range of ways via services, such as:

through drop ins, groups & activities and so much more.

"What our support looks like can look quite different as it’s tailored to you or your family."

We always start by listening to people about their unique situation and working alongside people, building on their strengths towards their idea of what a good life would look like. So what our support looks like can look quite different as it’s tailored to you or your family.

Being part of Welsh charities for so long has been very special, most of the memorable moments have been part of bringing people together to highlight important issues and to celebrate what has gone well, the most powerful has always been from the people themselves.

It’s not surprising that Powys has the highest number of charitable organisations in Wales (3696) as so many support local areas. Powys is such as big county that there is plenty of room to cover!

"I have been in awe of the people who want to get involved and support causes they care about."

Usually the smallest things have made the biggest difference, giving people time & space to be listened to and appreciated (especially where they haven’t been for quite some time) and understanding what they think would make a difference and finding ways to make it happen. It feels that in a charity that we can adapt and respond so much quicker. We can also see the difference we make as we are closer to the people and communities we support.

I have been in awe of the people who want to get involved and support causes they care about, that their ideas are usually very simple, hugely effective and don’t always cost a lot so the value is huge. I believe there is a lot of untapped enthusiasm and energy out there and recently have been working with Credu, supported by the Powys Social Value Fund to explore this potential as part of the ‘Community Listeners’ project. So far over 30 people have reached out to develop their listening skills and meet up with other people who really want to make a difference to others by being able to listen in a different way, I’m excited to discover what would help these amazing people make the difference they are so passionate about.

It is impossible to be bored!  I am constantly learning from the colleagues, partners and people I work with. Working in the charity sector is a bit like windsurfing, the water below is constantly changing but being able to see the difference we make and working alongside so many fantastic people helps keep the wind in the sail to be able to keep riding the waves.

It constantly feels like there is so much more that needs to be done & the ‘To Do’ list never ends, my tip is to also make a ‘Ta Daaa’ list, looking back at things that have been done and take notice of the difference that you have been able to make. It helps to keep strong ready for the next wave.


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