The Bromley & Lewisham Mind (B&L Mind) AGM 2017 was held on Wednesday 8th November at Venue 28 in Beckenham.
The meeting was chaired by B&L Mind Chair, Linda Gabriel, and included the re-election of Trustees. Paula Morrison, who has had a 30 year career working in mental health, was elected to join the Board of Trustees, having been co-opted during the year.
Changes were made to governing documents including the introduction of fixed terms for Trustees and to prepare for the proposed merger with Greenwich Mind. This includes changing the organisation’s name to become Bromley, Lewisham & Greenwich Mind.
Proposed Merger with Greenwich Mind
In August 2017, B&L Mind was approached by Greenwich Mind with a view to considering a potential merger between the two organisations. Greenwich Mind has been experiencing considerable financial difficulties and had reached the conclusion that they could not continue as an independent organisation.
B&L Mind Chief Executive, Ben Taylor, was asked to act as a Consultant Chief Executive to Greenwich Mind in order to carry out a comprehensive review of the organisation’s services and finances. Ben developed a transition plan to resolve the financial difficulties and restructure the services so that they are sustainable. This plan (including necessary additional funding) was approved by commissioners and is now being implemented. An important part of the plan was for Greenwich Mind to merge with another, more robust organisation.
Greenwich Mind Trustees have identified B&L Mind as their preferred merger partner, and B&L Mind Trustees agreed in principle to a merger at their Board meeting on 26th September, further agreed by voting members at the AGM.
In the coming months, the plan is for services to transfer from Greenwich Mind to B&L Mind, including:
- Counselling, including crisis counselling and culturally specific counselling services
- Mindline, crisis support and information telephone helpline
- Advocacy, including Independent Mental Health Advocacy and Care Act Advocacy
- Social activities and peer support.
Highlights from the Previous Year
Bromley & Lewisham Mind Chief Executive, Ben Taylor, spoke of the successes of the previous year at the AGM:
- Bromley & Lewisham Mind supported over 13,000 people from April 2016 to March 2017 – an increase of 25%
- The Bromley Dementia Support Hub was setup, supporting over 1,100 people affected by dementia in Bromley borough in first 9 months of operation, with 90% of people saying they would recommend the Hub to others
- The new Recovery Works service and Recovery College were set up in Bromley
- Perinatal mental health support was expanded in Bromley and into Lewisham
- The IAPT talking therapies service, Bromley Working for Wellbeing, achieved all key performance targets in last year of operation, with 52% of clients no longer having clinically significant depression/anxiety (national target: 50%)
- Delivered dementia skills training in training 776 dementia care professionals in other organisations, with 99% feeling better equipped to support people with dementia
- Developed Bromley Third Sector Enterprise, a partnership of local voluntary sector providers working to improve the health and wellbeing of Bromley residents
- Established a Community Fundraising Committee
- Mindkit youth wellbeing sessions delivered to over 4,000 people aged 16-25 in Bromley and Lewisham
- 65% of Peer Support and Mindkit volunteers moved onto paid employment
- 152 volunteers contributed 735 hours per week to Bromley & Lewisham Mind.
AGM attendees heard from Dr Joni Paton, clinical psychologist at Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust, about perinatal mental health and how it affects women, children, families and society. Research evidence suggests that the long term costs of perinatal depression, anxiety and psychosis in the UK is £8.1 billion, the majority of the cost being due to adverse impacts on the child. There has been £365 million investment in perinatal mental health services across the UK and there is an ongoing commitment to supporting women affected by perinatal mental health problems.
Mindful Mums volunteer, Liz Laurence, gave an honest talk about the ups and downs she experienced through pregnancy and motherhood. Inspired by a nurse who demonstrated care and attention to Liz at a difficult time, Liz was determined to help other pregnant women and new mothers and Mindful Mums gave her the opportunity. Liz has been a volunteer leading the Mindful Mums wellbeing groups in Bromley borough supporting women to learn about how to look after themselves during a life changing period of their lives.
Annual Review 2017
If you would like to find out more about the organisations achievements in 2017/18, the Bromley & Lewisham Annual Review 2017 is available to download.