St Martins is seeking a Senior Service Manager. For full details of the role, application forms and guidance, please visit our Vacancies page.
St Martins is seeking volunteers and locums to work with us in supporting vulnerable people to make positive changes in their lives. Please see our Vacancies page for details on how to apply for these opportunities.
Mental health professionals from across London joined service users and St Martins’ staff for an open afternoon at Wilton Villas and New North Road, St Martins’ two high support care homes located within St Martin of Tours House, Islington. The event was held on Friday 17 May and celebrated St Martins 30 years of caring for vulnerable people, some recent refurbishments and the organisations ongoing commitment to support improvements in mental health.
St Martins has appointed Amarjeet Kang as senior HR advisor. Amarjeet has a varied and wide experience of the commercial, public and voluntary sectors. She will be visiting St Martins’ various projects to meet staff over the coming weeks.
St Martins have appointed Ibi Vaughan from Art of Life to make films with service users at all our projects. Service users will have the opportunity to learn how to write scripts, plan and shoot footage, edit and critically analyse the end product. There will be a focus on developing professional filmmaking skills and also an opportunity for service users to make a video CV which best displays their talents and abilities.
This is a year long project and some of the films made by service users will be screened in April 2014. Any service users who are interested in making a film should speak with their keyworker, or a member of staff about when they can join the filmmaking sessions.
St Martins has invited mental health professionals to join our service users and staff at Wilton Villas and New North Road care homes for an afternoon we are calling Improvements in Mental Health. The event will be held from 2-5pm on Friday, 17th May. It is an opportunity for the community of professionals and service users to get together and mark our ongoing commitment to making improvements in mental health. There will be refreshments, tours of the newly refurbished facilities, plus music and artwork from service users.
St Martins currently has vacancies for Project Workers, Senior Night Support Workers and Support Workers. These roles are key frontline posts delivering a high quality support service to residents in our forensic mental health care homes. Good salaries, useful benefits and a really strong commitment to skills and training make a role with us a great option for committed and enthusiastic candidates with good transferable skills and a commitment to vulnerable people. See the details of these roles here
This is a brief note to all staff to let you know that there will potentially be a tube strike on Friday 18th January. As a result the staff conference will begin at 10am to give you some extra time to reach the venue. Please keep an eye on the news and the Transport for London website and plan your journey to work or the staff conference accordingly.
Artwork by Harpreet Dosangh and Tony Aldridge has been added to Create, the section of St Martins’ website dedicated to service users. The Art Gallery has been spruced up with some new photographs and visual artworks by Harpreet and Tony. You can also read some of Tony’s poems under Stories and features.
The latest edition of Connect will be mailed out to service users, staff, the board and our partners from statutory services and local authorities across London during the first week of December. As per normal there are some inspiring stories from St Martins’ service users, and information about the many activities taking place this Christmas. You can read this Christmas edition of the newsletter on St Martins’ website in the Publications section under Newsletters.
St Martins’ AGM was a colourful affair with music, framed artwork and photography from a number of service users. Guests were treated to jazz on keyboard and violin from two very talented service users. Mr Finlayson from the auditor Kingston Smith approved St Martins’ accounts for 2012, Councillor Catherine West, the leader of Islington Council, answered a number of queries from service users and Ada Camp delighted guests with a witty magic show. Thank you to everyone who helped organise the AGM, and also those who attended.
2012 is a busy year at St Martins as our work continues to focus on high quality forensic mental health care and we open new services across London. Our latest services are a new domiciliary care service operating out of our refurbished property at 45 Wilton Square in Islington, and our new forensic care home opening in June at Chalkhill Road in Wembley. This newsletter contains more information on these developments along with some pictures of progress to date.
One of the biggest hurdles facing people recovering from long term mental ill health is the difficulty in finding suitable “move on” accommodation when they are ready to take their independent living skills to the next stage in the community. We have taken a big step towards easing that problem for our residents by purchasing and refitting a three bedroom house in Wilton Square, Islington specifically for people who are ready to live with a lower level of support. Wilton Square, which incorporates fully staffed domiciliary care, is now open for business and a leaflet describing the service can be seen here.
This year, of course, marks 200 years since the birth of Charles Dickens. Rightly famed for his acute observation and characterisation, Dickens might not come to mind immediately as a writer encompassing modern ideas in the management of mental distress. Caroline Cupitt, Chartered Clinical Psychologist, writes an interesting piece for the BPS website showing how Dickens’ observations of mental ill health evoke modern notions of Recovery.
See the article here: http://www.bps.org.uk/news/charles-dickens-psychologist
The National Housing Federation, or NHF, is the “trade body” for housing associations. Very active in promoting the wider value provided by social housing, the NHF is keen to showcase good practice in community involvement and help with independent living. Beyond Homes is the NHF magazine which, this winter, is focusing on the contribution housing associations make to the Big Society. Among the many features is one covering St Martins’ efforts to celebrate service user achievement and promote talent. You can read the Winter 2011 edition of Beyond Homes here – Beyond Homes magazine Winter 2011
Several St Martins staff attended the event, and helped cement people’s awareness of St Martins in Tower Hamlets and Newham by running a presentation stand communicating who St Martins are and what we do. Over the course of the day, St Martins was represented by James Crockart, Matthew Rossor, Derek Forbes and Luke Roberts, all of whom were able to raise our profile in the boroughs with local counsellors and other professionals at the exhibition.
St Martins used the occasion of its AGM this year to make its commitment to the aims of the Time to Change campaign. Time to Change is the campaign by people across England to help end the stigma associated with mental ill health. One in four people will be affected by a mental health problem at some point in their lives.
Often, the fact of finding it difficult to talk about can be one of the hardest parts of having a mental illness. That’s why this year the Time to Change campaign is trying to get people talking about mental health. Of course, as specialist providers of mental health care and support to people across London, St Martins is well aware of the stigmatising effects of mental ill health and we are proud to join the many other organisations and individuals taking action for an end to discrimination.
Our pledge was made by Chief Executive John Thompson and Chairman Nick Purchase who signed the pledge board in front of an audience of nearly a hundred and with the support of local Islington MP, Jeremy Corbyn. Acclaimed comedienne, Kat Francois, who performed at the AGM, took the opportunity to make her own personal pledge in support of the campaign.
The traditionally fusty AGM has been revolutionised over the past couple of years by St Martins where the event has become a vehicle for residents and service users to showcase their talents and achievements.
The AGM, which took place on the evening of 29th September at the Crescent Suite in Highbury, featured a supportive address by Janet Burgess, Executive Member for Health and Adult Social Care at Islington Borough Council and the presentation of a “pledge board” by Jeremy Corbyn MP celebrating St Martins commitment to the aims of the Time to Change campaign.
A full programme of group and individual art exhibits, photography and an excellent drumming performance from an ensemble of staff and residents was, this year, accompanied by a 30 minute set by the acclaimed comedienne, Kat Francois.
Accessible, relevant and empowering for service users and residents, the St Martins AGM event is popular with staff, service users and, increasingly, our community stakeholders and commissioners who come to enjoy the cabaret atmosphere and celebrate the achievements of the artists and performers who also happen to use our services.
Launched at St Martin’s Annual General Meeting on September 29th, the 2011 Annual Review is available here to view. As usual, it is packed with information about how we deliver our services, what our plans are for the coming year, and, of course, lots of inspiring stories from service users past and present.
If you would like a paper copy of the 2011 Annual Review please contact us.
St Martins is taking part in an event called “Mind Ya Health” organised by the Time to Change campaign on 10th October. Coinciding with World Mental Health Day and focusing on the important links between physical and mental health, the event features music, food, raffles and free health checks. Organisations providing mental health services will be offering information on their work and St Martins will be including a display stand. Click the link above or visit St Martins’ Facebook page for more details.
Susie Horsford has been painting for some time and has posted several of her very distinctive pieces of work on the Create art gallery. Susie, who lives in Hackney and receives a floating support service from St Martins, is keen to exhibit her paintings at St Martins’ AGM in September as a prelude to setting up her own exhibition. Working in both oil and acrylic, Susie focuses on portraits of people she knows but also enjoys producing more more geometric work as well as interpretations of bonsai trees. You can see some of Susie’s paintings in the Create art gallery now.
Many people find it hard to cope with the pressures of modern living. Every day, a quarter of a million people miss work because of stress, with 75 per cent of all illnesses thought to be stress-related. And when times are hard, It can be difficult to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Mindfulness is a way of paying attention to the present moment, using techniques like meditation, breathing and yoga. It helps us become more aware of our thoughts and feelings so that instead of being overwhelmed by them, we’re better able to manage them.
Practising mindfulness can give people more insight into their emotions, boost their attention and concentration and improve relationships. It’s proven to help with stress, anxiety, depression and addictive behaviours, and can even have a positive effect on physical problems like hypertension, heart disease and chronic pain.
Anyone can learn mindfulness. It’s simple, you can practise it anywhere, and the results can be life-changing.
Don’t let stress harm your mental health. Learn mindfulness in just weeks and discover a positive way of managing stress.
Check this link out for details of mindfulness-based stress reduction.
The Mental Health Foundation is the UK’s leading mental health research, policy and service improvement charity.
The MHF is committed to reducing the suffering caused by mental ill health and to help us all lead mentally healthier lives. They help people to survive, recover from and prevent mental health problems.
They do this by carrying out research, developing practical solutions for better mental health services, campaigning to reduce stigma and discrimination and promoting better mental health for us all.
This year, the theme for Mental Health Awareness Week is Sleep. Sleep, like eating, drinking and breathing, is something that everyone does and many people take for granted. However, like all these activities, sleep is also essential to our mental and physical health. Poor sleep can worsen our physical and mental health, and is also often a symptom of underlying mental health problems.
St Martins supports the aims of the Mental Health Foundation and we are especially keen to promote ways of achieving better sleep. Click the link below to see all the MHF “sleep well” resources.
The new copy of Connect – St Martins’ newsletter for service users – is now available. All residents and service users get their own copy, of course, but it can also be seen here! Highlights of this May 2011 edition include some great art from the Wednesday Class at Wilton Villas and an update on the new multimedia suite available at Davenant Road.
Click here to read the new edition.
Our Board of Management plays a crucial role in the running of the organisation. From providing strategic leadership to helping the senior management develop policy and operational plans, the Board influences every aspect St Martins – its governance, management of staffing policy and the delivery of outstanding services. Board appointments are of limited tenure and renewal of Board Members is a regular feature of life at St Martins. At the moment we are looking for an additional two new Board Members to replace those who have recently left. Whilst unpaid (other than expenses), the role of Board Member at St Martins offers a great opportunity to get involved in the running of a social enterprise, to contribute to complex and difficult business decision-making, and to help make sure our residents and service users get the best possible services.
More details about these Board vacancies and how to apply can be found on our recruitment pages.
Ruby Wax is currently performing in a show – called “Losing it” – at the Menier Chocolate Factory, Southwark, London SE1. It may be a comic Relief fund-raiser but Ruby’s show deals with the serious matter of her battle with mental illness. Part comedy, part confessional, part musical, Wax hopes “Losing it” will help other people to open up about mental health, which still carries an enormous stigma. The show closes soon so be quick! For information visit www.menierchocolatefactory.com.
This year St Martins has launched its first environmental strategy. We now have ambitious goals for using energy more cheaply and efficiently, for recycling more, and for encouraging our staff, service users, suppliers and stakeholders to take an active role in being greener and protecting the environment.
The strategy can be read here – and please do read it! – but for some more immediate ideas on how to be greener why not check out Energy Croc’s top tips – you’ll be glad you did.
The next meeting of the Forum will take place at 6pm on 24th March 2011.
click here to see the Service User Forum poster
Until his untimely death last year, Robert Omer was a resident of St Martins’ supported accommodation for people with mental ill health needs at Davenant Road in Islington. Candid about his illness, Robert expressed great pleasure in the extent to which his detailed abstract drawings helped him deal with his schizophrenia. Robert was very keen for people to see and enjoy his artwork and so four drawings completed shortly before he died have been posted on the create art gallery for everybody to view.
St Martins currently has vacancies for Project Workers and Support Workers. These roles are key frontline posts delivering a high quality support service to residents in either our forensic mental health care homes or our youth supported accommodation service. Good salaries, useful benefits and a really strong commitment to skills and training make a role with us a great option for committed and enthusiastic candidates with good transferable skills and a commitment to vulnerable people. See the details of these roles here
It’s all you ever seem to hear about these days, but social networking has taken off in a big way over the past few years and St. Martins now wants to embrace this opportunity. Our first step has resulted in the launch of our very own Facebook page!
There are many benefits to social networking including building relations with new and existing commissioners and other stakeholders, increasing the visibility of St. Martins with the general public and generating traffic to the website. It will also help us develop links with other organisations, which will then hopefully improve communication and lead to further business opportunities.
Total Coverage graphic design co-operative is helping St Martins with the design and build of our new website. Things are being tested at the moment so it shouldn’t be long until we’re all up and running! Hoorah!
Another group of St Martins staff have successfully gained a Level 2 award in Health and Safety in the workplace, accredited by the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health. Sam Bedford (pictured), Andrew Dowse, Bonnie Cooper and Oke Ene all recently undertook the one day course which is a requirement of all St Martins staff as part of their induction.
17th December 2010
St Martins traditionally holds a staff conference in the run up to the festive season and last year was no exception. Yet again we visited The Brewery in Moorgate and managed to pack a lot into the day.
This month St Martins published its first annual report for service users. Addressing specific areas of performance such as value for money, tenant involvement and neighbourhood issues, the report is specifically targeted at better informing our service users about the issues that affect them most. See the report here St Martins resident – service user report 2010
On 30th September St Martins held its annual general meeting at the Crescent Suite in Highbury. In a break with tradition, and in recognition of the views of service users, this year’s AGM was designed around a showcasing of the interests, skills and talents of our residents and other service users. (more…)