• Impact Journal December 2018

Before you hang-up your Christmas stockings and quite rightly, kick-back and relax into the festive season, here’s a brief Impact round-up along with dates for our 2019 programmes.

Since September this year, we have delivered four YOU Programmes and two Your Recovery Pathways Programmes to over 60 learners across Central Bedfordshire and Bedford.

Mental Health Courses For The Over 50s

We started this academic year with a pilot YOU Programme specifically aimed at learners aged 50 and over, funded by Central Bedfordshire Council.

This was a real eye-opener for the facilitators and served to raise many questions about the information, care and services for people who are experiencing poor mental wellbeing over 50.

Mental Health Over 0sThe programme was a great success. However, Impact believe more support and knowledge should be available for this age group, particularly for women experiencing the transitional symptoms of the menopause.

The department for education released a report in 2017, which examines the serious domino effect of insufficient support and understanding for women in the work place and importantly, why a significant proportion of our female workforce are leaving employment.

The report states:

Following the roundtable held by the Women’s Business Council, the recent report by the former Business Champion Ros Altmann (2015) on older workers in the UK established it is increasingly important to understand how menopause transition affects women’s economic participation.’

Women are working in greater numbers than ever before. In the UK, between January and March 2017, just over 70% of women were in paid employment (Office for National Statistics/ ONS 2017). Women make up 47% of the UK workforce (Griffiths, Cox, Griffiths and Wong 2006; Kopenhager and Guidozzi 2015).

Impact is now working on several areas of research to develop a programme that will support the findings of this report and create an additional programme, which will focus on educating women of all ages, to manage effectively the often-debilitating symptoms of the menopause transition. It is our hope that this will enable and empower women to remain in, or enter back into the work place and fundamentally, improve the quality of living and wellbeing in their lives.

Outcomes Across All Programmes

Many of our learners have gone on to fulfil their goals, planned during their attendance on one or both of our programmes. Here’s what a few had to say at the end of their programmes:

“The course was very informative and interesting. I’ve been passing on some of the hints and tips to my friends!”

“This course has given me more insight to my mental health than any other help I have received.”

“I have thoroughly enjoyed the course; it has been the best course I’ve ever been on.”

“Great to feel included and that my problems are understood and shared by others.”

“I feel ready to tackle life again!”

All our programmes have proved to be incredibly popular during the first part of this academic year and we are excited to add new programme dates for 2019.

If you are thinking of attending one of our mental health courses, there are several ways to find out more, or to sign up for a course.

Alternatively call Nicky on 01582 797596.

If you are looking to refer someone else, please use our referral forms at

Alternatively call Nicky on 01582 797596.

The Impact Learner Journey

Pop-Ins

The Dunstable Impact Pop-Ins have been a fantastic success.

Origami Butterflies at World Mental Health Day

Origami Butterflies

Held fortnightly at the Grove Theatre, the Pop-Ins are a wonderful opportunity for former learners to stay in touch with each other and new learners to sign up to future programmes.

Our Pop-In band of volunteers, led by Jessica, continue to provide a relaxing two-hours full of craft (thanks to Nicky) refreshments, guests speakers and table talks for everyone.

If you would like to present your service or share wellbeing tips and information, please get in touch to book a place – we’d love to hear from you!

With an average of 15 to 25 learners arriving for each session, Impact are now seeking to replicate our Pop-In’s in other local areas.

If you know of an ideal space/ venue in Bedford and Leighton Buzzard, please contact Jackie directly.

Do I need to register??

While it’s useful for us to know who is coming, and how many people we’ll need to cater for, it’s not absolutely essential to register, feel free to just pop in.

Hope to see you there!

BaseCamp

Harry Lindsay, Impact Volunteer & BaseCamp administrator

Harry Lindsay, Impact Volunteer & BaseCamp administrator

WOW! We did not expect such an amazing start to our new online social support platform, BaseCamp. A truly remarkable service already providing a wealth of information, tips, advice and opportunities (already taking place) for people to meet up in their local communities.

For learners who have completed a programme or who are currently experiencing an Impact programme, BaseCamp is a fantastic place to continue friendships, re-visit learning subjects and discuss strength-based ways to continue peer support and develop empowering resilience to mental ill health.

Our team are looking forward to capturing evidence of how BaseCamp is benefitting our learners and we look forward to sharing this with you all later next year.

A huge thank you to Harry for his dedication and effort in volunteering as one of the BaseCamp administrators and ensuring this service is a huge success.

Déanne and Jackie are also working hard to complete the new, video based online wellbeing courses, and look forward to launching these in early 2019 – watch this space!

Impact in Action

We have welcomed more professionals to observe and learn about how we work by attending sessions and taking time to participate with our groups. If you would like to attend an Impact in Action session, please get in touch to book a place for 2019.

This really is a great way to understand Impact’s work and let clients, customers and other professionals know about the benefits of attending an Impact programme.

Volunteers

We have been overwhelmed with applications from learners and the public to become an Impact Volunteer! For our learners eager to offer their time, commitment and experience to us is testament to the success of what we do and the wellbeing learning from attending our programmes.

In November, we made the decision to re-design and develop our volunteer training and induction programme to ensure Impact offer the very best experience and continue to educate and empower our volunteers for the future. We are planning to launch the new programme in early 2019 and will keep you all updated as to when we re-open our volunteer application process.

Our existing volunteers continue to provide us with incredible support, personal experience and learner wisdom throughout Impact and we are once again in awe of each of them and their journey of wellbeing recovery. A heartfelt thank you to you all.

Friendships

At the heart of Impact are our wonderful relationships with learners, volunteers and the professionals we work with. We continue to nurture friendships and relations with our partner providers at Central Bedfordshire Council, along with developing our successful contract relation with the team at Bedfordshire Employment and Skills Service.

2018 has seen new friendships develop with new community initiatives in Bedfordshire, along with established support and educational services across the county, which we hope will continue into 2019 and beyond!

We are frequently humbled by the lovely comments from individuals within organisation who refer people to us and thank you all for your continued support and friendships.

The Impact Team

‘ Mighty oaks from little acorns grow…’

As we all settle down for a well-earned rest over the festive period, the Impact team reflect on a successful start to this academic year and share their thoughts and learning…

“I am constantly in awe of every person who shows up on day one of a YOU Programme – frightened, anxious and faced with uncertainty, their courage moves me deeply”

“They face fear after fear and still they return, eager to help themselves, supported by our trust, respect and genuine understanding”

“It’s no secret to say that supporting those who are struggling with their ‘Chimp’ really helps me manage my own! That’s peer support!”

“Sharing my own learning, framed with the Impact values has taught me so much about myself; it really does work, although it takes a lot of hard work and practice!

Finally, a special thank you to the Impact board of directors for their never-ending support and confidence in our abilities and passion to fulfil the Impact vision.

Whatever your plans during the coming festive days, Impact wish you all a restful and peaceful time and look forward to welcoming you all to celebrate 2019, the Impact year of self-nurturing.

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