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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!

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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!

Andrew said:

“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.”

Kirk said:

“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.”

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Half Marathon - Martin Pope

Martin Pope ran the Worthing half-marathon on 14 February to raise money for our charity. Having lost two close friends in the last couple of years due to mental health problems, Martin decided to fundraise for us so that we can continue our work supporting people in our community with mental health problems.

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!



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Art - Daniel Huckfield

Daniel Huckfield has been on an extraordinary journey since getting involved in the art sessions here at West Kent Mind. Daniel started painting as part of the structured activities offered by West Kent Mind and soon discovered a real passion for art and abstract painting in particular.


Daniel at work

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 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!”

Daniel Huckfield Untitled Oil

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Direct Line get the tone right

The Direct Line Group recently changed its printing and copying equipment, resulting in redundant toners and other accessories. Rather than gain any pay back themselves, Direct Line Group offered them to our charity. Jenny Godfrey, Community Development Director of West Kent Mind said:

“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.


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Sainsbury's Piece of Mind

For 2014/15 we won the privileged position of being Sainsbury’s Sevenoaks Charity of the Year. With their amazing support we collaborated on a variety of different awareness and fundraising events which culminated in March with our Music Mashup at the Oaks Theatre, Knole Academy. At this event we were presented with a cheque for £3663.82.

Sainsbury's cheque


Mind Fitness at Lady Boswell's School

Our first Mind Fitness Day at Lady Boswell’s Primary School in Sevenoaks was a huge success. Throughout the day we talked to over 300 children between the ages of 11-15 about the importance of being aware and understanding your mind. We used the Wheel of Wellbeing for interactive learning sessions.


Wheel of Wellbeing


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.”

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Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro - Emma Campbell

Emma Campbell took on the unenviable challenge of climbing Mount Kilimanjaro for her 21st birthday, and in doing so has raised over £2000 for West Kent Mind! Emma says of us:

“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.

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Runners and Riders

Many of our supporters like to combine a physical challenge with their fundraising efforts. It’s a great opportunity to try something new or take your hobby to a new level.

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.

Run or Dye Penshurst

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Dr Keren Hull's Piece of Mind

Dr Keren HullOur huge thanks go to Dr Keren Hull and her colleagues and patients at the St John’s Medical Practice in Sevenoaks. Dr Hull asked that, to mark her retirement, donations be made to West Kent Mind. Testament to the love and respect that Dr Hull had gained from the community throughout her 31 years with the practice we have received over £1300 from donations. We wish Dr Hull a happy and healthy retirement.

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Aviva - Natasha Crist

heart-illustrationThanks to our committed and proactive client Natasha Crist we were fortunate to be nominated for the Aviva Community Fund, putting us in the running for the chance to secure funding of up to £25,000 in the Health Disability and Wellbeing category. The fund offers valuable support and funding to local projects in local communities. Natasha, who nominated our charity for the award, said:

“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.

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Nationwide Community Match

Sometimes our nominators remain unknown. We were anonymously nominated for the The Nationwide Community Match Scheme and WE WON! Huge thanks to all our supporters who voted for us. Nationwide recognise that local communities continue to need vital support and are committed to investing and unlocking funds for their local communities over the next five years. Customers, employees and the local community were asked to vote for the local charity that they wanted to support. Simply by being nominated we received £100 and being the winners brings us an additional £500! Thank you again to everyone who made this happen. These funds are invaluable and ensure we can continue to support people in our local area experiencing mental health problems.

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Dr Marilyn Glenville - Piece of Mind

glenvilleThanks to Dr Marilyn Glenville for inviting us along one of her talks on Balancing Hormones. In this popular talk for women Dr Glenville explains how to increase energy, eliminate mood swings, get rid of cravings, improve memory, reduce stress, anxiety, tension and irritability, and how to loose weight without dieting. She kindly gave this talk as a contribution to our Wellbeing Week 2014.

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.

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All is not lost - Kent Police Property Fund

The Kent Police Property Fund is generated from the sale, at auction, of unclaimed lost property and items seized in police operations. The proceeds raised at these auctions are then presented to local charitable groups that work for the good of the local community. We were fortunate enough to receive a donation of £500 from the fund.


Never Too Late for live music

Local band Never Too Late really did put the fun into fund raising! Amy Ward contacted us to ask if she and her friends in a local band could do a fundraising event for us. It didn’t take us long to reply with a YES to that request. The band are talented musicians and generous in nature as they only play for free and always donate their fee to worthy charities. Including a raffle on the night, we raised over £600! Never too Late We are now working closely with the band on a music event which will take place on Saturday 3 October at Knole Academy. Put the date in your diaries as tickets will sell like hot cakes.

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Family Baggage by Yojary Lozano

front-cover-210x300Featured in the Sevenoaks Chronicle we have been mentioned together with local author, Yojary Lozano.  She has written a book called “Family Baggage” and has generously donated profits of £500 from book sales to our charity.

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.

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Funny business at The Stag

two-comediesThanks to Karen Dix, in June the Stag Theatre Company raised £250 for West Kent Mind with a raffle at their Two Comedies, Two Courses Goes 4th dinner entertainment evening.

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.

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7oaks Sling

It’s crucial for us to come up with events that are a bit different, and we felt that a fashion show with lessons on making cocktails in a Garden Centre fitted that bill completely.


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.

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Art al fresco

Sevenoaks Art Club asked to come and spend a sunny day on our decking to paint pictures of the spectacular views from our garden, which they then kindly donated to us. We will be able to use this wonderful work as raffle prizes or to auction off at one of our art events later on this year. Art Club small

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The Lonnigans Skiffle Party

The Lonnigans, a fantastic local Skiffle group, played at the Stag Theatre as part of the Sevenoaks Festival, and also raised funds for our music project.

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! Skiffle party

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Artist in Residence Sharad Bawdekar

Our Artist in Residence, Sharad Bawdekar, is a great and much appreciated supporter of West Kent Mind. He works closely with our Art Group on a Wednesday and helps with offering advice and new techniques. He exhibited a selection of his own work of flowers and semi-abstract gardens at the Ripley Arts Centre in Bromley, with a percentage of sales being donated to West Kent Mind.


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Amy's change in a jar

Amy Gunning and her partner Richard have raised money for us by putting spare change in a jar over a long period of time. Over the last couple of years this has built up to a total of £118, which with gift aid will mean a total of £147.50!

Amy said:

“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.”