Piece of Mind stories
Our “Piece of Mind” campaign is in full swing, and we present below a collection of stories from people and organisations whose contributions we are very grateful for!
Prudential Ride London 100 - Andrew, Kirk & Rob
On Sunday 31 July Andrew Waugh, Kirk Jepson and Rob Westwood took part in the Prudential Ride London 100 on behalf of West Kent Mind. Andrew raised £260, Kirk £160 and Rob (along with his wife Lucy who is taking part in Swim Serpentine later this year) raised £730, giving a total of £1,150 raised for West Kent Mind!
“It was a stroke of luck when a place came up at the last minute (quite literally) on the West Kent Mind team for the Prudential Ride London 100, I knew it was an opportunity not to miss out on the chance to ride the closed road route through London and the hills of Surrey. It’s a cause I have great empathy with and set about raising as much as possible in the short timescale by offering bicycle servicing and repairs to friends and via Facebook in return for a donation to the charity. It was a fantastic ride and I’m very happy to have helped in a small way.”
“I wanted to do something different for people with mental health problems as too many people turn the other cheek. The truth is that it can happen to anyone. People with mental health problems are no different from me or you. They’re not scary people, mad or whatever you want to call them they’re just people who need just a little help and support and encouragement. By doing this bike ride one I can do something for them and two I can make people think about mental health issues.”
Half Marathon - Martin Pope
Martin hoped to beat his time of 1 hour 44 minutes, set when he ran the half-marathon at the age of 16. In fact he beat it handsomely, running in 1 hour 31 minutes.
He raised £1740 for us, an incredible feat!
Art - Daniel Huckfield
His work was very popular with clients, volunteers and staff, and the confidence he gained from this encouraged him to try to show his art to a wider audience. In April 2015 he held his first ever exhibition at Perk and Pearl, a coffee merchant and gallery in Tunbridge Wells. The commission from sales of his painting raised £385 for our charity, and the exhibition together with an interview with Daniel was featured on Radio Kent.
Following the success of the exhibition Daniel decided to create an online presence to further promote and sell his work. Using the website artfinder.com Daniel now has a shop which allows him to reach the wider audience he wanted for his work.
The next step on his journey was perhaps the least expected, certainly by him! He applied for and has been accepted on a University of Kent Fine Art Foundation Degree, taught at West Kent College and starting in September. Daniel said,
“This has been an amazing year, both for me and my art, and to be accepted on the course really is the icing on the cake. I am so grateful to everybody at West Kent Mind who have supported and encouraged me throughout my journey. When I first walked into the art room I said I can’t do art, how wrong I was!”
Direct Line get the tone right
“We have worked with Direct Line Group before and have a very good relationship. When I received the call I said “yes please!” and volunteers went in two regular cars to collect as many toners and accessories as possible. We ended up doing this trip twice and this filled our offices, floor to ceiling all around the rooms! The idea was to sell them individually but we soon realised that this would not work.”
We then approached some companies that buy up such redundant toners and sold those in our offices for £2,700. Since then, we have received an additional £1500 from other toners and accessories. This time however we did not ‘decorate’ our offices with them but had interested companies collect them directly from the Direct Line Group warehouses.
Sainsbury's Piece of Mind
Mind Fitness at Lady Boswell's School
Children were tasked with making plant pots out of recycled newspaper and planting seeds, working out what happens when lazy water fills Cartesian divers in a water bottle, and getting their hearts pumping with some good old fashioned exercise. The feedback was positive. One parent said:
“My children never tell me anything about their day at school but they LOVED the workshop! They came out of school all excited to tell me about it, and showed me their smiley faces chart and their new pen. They had learnt some really good stuff – the sort of stuff that is really helpful for life, but that we don’t always remember to teach them. I think they’ll remember it because they obviously had a lot of fun learning it.”
Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro - Emma Campbell
“It’s an amazing charity which seeks to do extraordinary things in trying to battle the stigma of mental health illnesses but also help those that need support. West Kent Mind was there for a friend when ‘nobody else was’. I am eternally grateful for the support that they gave my friend.”
Read the full story about Emma and her friend who inspired this effort on our news page.
Runners and Riders
Amongst our families we have some keen cyclists. Gavin Barden took on the Castle 100 miles and completed 105 miles and raised over £500 for us. Simon, Mel and Martin are taking on the Prudential Ride London 100 mile ride on 2 August and raising money for West Kent Mind in memory of Simon’s mum.
Suzy Palmer and a group of friends raised money at the Penshurst 5k Run or Dye. And Jenny Godfrey, our very own Community Development Director, took on the challenge with her family to raise £100.
Dr Keren Hull's Piece of Mind
Aviva - Natasha Crist
“I have benefited greatly from the services at West Kent Mind, I am proud to be associated with this charity and its good work. This project has helped many people in desperate need, and help society broaden its views of mental illness. The staff are committed to what they do. This is a worthy cause, and I strongly believe this nomination deserves support.”
We received 788 votes which, despite not being sufficient to ensure we received funding, raised awareness around the work we do and particularly our successful Skiffle for Change project.
Nationwide Community Match
Dr Marilyn Glenville - Piece of Mind
At this event we ran a raffle with a coveted prize of a one to one session at Dr Marilyn’s clinic. We also raffled some fine wine, coffee beans and chocolates which raised a smile from Dr Marilyn and £117.
All is not lost - Kent Police Property Fund
Never Too Late for live music
Family Baggage by Yojary Lozano
Born into a desperately poor and volatile family stuck in a rainy river town deep in the jungles of Colombia, Yojary Lozano struggles to define love and reconcile with relatives who often act unconcerned even about her survival.
We have a news item that explains how you can buy this compelling read.
Funny business at The Stag
This has become a regular feature of the Sevenoaks Summer Festival. The programme showed the ‘Little Grimley’ series with the latest ‘Little Grimley presents Strictly Sex Factor on Ice’ by David Tristram and ‘Breakfast for One’ by David Foxton.
Working with award-winning Coolings Garden Centre and local boutiques we held a wonderful Fashion Show event with many of our volunteers taking to the catwalk for the first time. We want to thank everyone for being involved in such a great event. Numbers are still coming in but we raised well over £600.
Art al fresco
The Lonnigans Skiffle Party
Skiffle music began in the early 1950’s, it is a British invention drawing influence from early American folk music. As money was short in those days, many people who loved and wanted to play music couldn’t as they were unable to afford to buy their own instruments. Being resourceful, they decided to improvise, using ordinary household items such as washboards, tea chest basses, pots and pans, spoons and any other things they could find.
The evening kicked off with The Lonnigans performing many well-known skiffle songs, before West Kent Mind’s house band Skiffle Express took to the stage to perform some of their repertoire. The Lonnigans once again took the stage and had the audience in raptures with their mix of skiffle, traditional songs and blues.
Both the Lonnigans and Skiffle Express produced a night of quality music and a great time was had by all! This would not have been possible without the support of The Blues with Bottle Club, and a big thanks also to our local pizza place Papa John’s who kindly donated pizzas for the band to enjoy!
Artist in Residence Sharad Bawdekar
Amy's change in a jar
“I grew up in Sevenoaks and am aware of the great work WKM do and the need for donations so they can continue to provide help and meet the ever growing need for their services. A number of our friends and family have benefitted greatly from mental health support over the years so we wanted to help WKM continue to provide this invaluable care.”