People dancing
The Big Swoove

A group of Sussex-based fitness instructors are joining forces to raise a whopping £40,000 for local charities, including Sussex Oakleaf, this autumn and are challenging YOU to help them meet the ambitious target.

Swoove (Sing, Whoop, Move) instructors and enthusiasts from around the area will embark on a 40-hour Swoovathon at Scaynes Hill Millennium Centre, starting at 7pm on Friday 27th September and finishing at 2pm on Sunday 29th September 2019 and registration for the event is NOW OPEN.

Swoove Fitness founder and creative director Esther Featherstone, who turned 40 in April, wants to celebrate by hosting the 40-hour event, with the help of as many people as possible.

She says:

"Swoove Aid has already raised £64,000 for local charities up and down the country. Another amazing £40,000 would boost the awareness, profile and funds of a further 40 local, small charities, many of which don’t have huge fund-raising manpower and can slip under
the radar.

Those taking part are encouraged to challenge themselves and Swoove for at least 3 hours across the marathon…  or any length of time – even 40 hours if they feel they can do it.”

The entry charge to the event is £25, with participants allowed to Swoove for as long as they like.

To enter and download a sponsorship form, please go to www.swooveaid.com and register your interest.

The Big Swoove Logo
Mid Sussex Applauds
Mid Sussex Applauds

Mid Sussex Applauds Awards aim to highlight the fantastic work of individuals and organisations across the district, recognising our connections and celebrating our community.

The awards will encompass two previous award schemes: the Young Volunteer Awards and the Community Service Awards. In addition there are new categories for those who help keep the community clean and green, support active lifestyles and sport, or work to bring communities together.

Vote for The Big Mental Health Pop Up

During Mental Health Awareness Week in May this year, Sussex Oakleaf turned an empty shop in Burgess Hill into a pop up art exhibition and public space where people could learn more about mental health.

More than 700 people visited the space and we helped get lots of people talking about their mental health.

We would like you to vote for The Big Mental Health Pop Up for the Stronger Communities category of the Mid Sussex Applauds. Just follow the link below and click 'Submit a nomination'.

The Big Mental Health Pop Up was an amazing opportunity for artists of all backgrounds to tell their stories. The exhibition brought together people who have all had some connection to mental illness, whether that was their own personal struggles, or they had connections in other ways.

For me, the exhibition provided an opportunity to come out of hiding and allowed me to finally share my mental health story.

- Holly Tritton, local artist

The Big Mental Health Pop Up

Sussex Oakleaf would like to say a huge thank you to team at NCS (National Citizens Service). They have worked really hard and helped to raise nearly £500 for Sussex Oakleaf!

NCS recruit young people aged 15-17 and bring them together on a four week programme which includes team building and confidence building. As part of the project, participants are asked to select a local cause and develop a project to help support it.

The team from NCS organised a range of activities across Burgess Hill to help raise funds and help raise awareness of Sussex Oakleaf. They got the town buzzing with their pop up 'Bee Magic Cafe' where they sold home made cakes, drinks and held a tombola.

They worked extremely hard and their enthusiasm had a real knock on effect for the residents of Burgess Hill. So well done to all of them and we wish them every success in the future.

You can find out more about NCS by visiting their website.

https://www.ncsyes.co.uk/ 

If you would like to support Sussex Oakleaf then why not visit our support us page where you can find loads of useful information about fundraising or making a donation.

www.sussexoakleaf.org.uk/support-us 

We would like to say a huge thank you to Roche Diagnostics and their staff who recently spent a day gardening at a Sussex Oakleaf property. 

The gardens which form a part of our temporary accommodation services are now looking fantastic and will give the residents a space to relax outside and continue in their recovery.

Jane Coppard, Public Affairs Manager for Roche Diagnostics said:

"We were delighted to have the opportunity to get stuck-in to revive a garden at the Sussex Oakleaf property in Haywards Heath. Sussex Oakleaf do fantastic work in helping those in Mid Sussex who have mental health issues and need a helping hand in life and we are grateful to Roche Diagnostics for allowing us to give our time to this very worthy local community cause."

Sussex Oakleaf provide temporary accommodation to individuals in Mid Sussex who are struggling with their mental health. The service works with Mid Sussex Council who identify individuals in need of support and refer them to Sussex Oakleaf.

Helen Pryde, Recovery Worker for Sussex Oakleaf said:

"Thank you so much to Roche Diagnostics. Your efforts are so appreciated by the staff, the clients and the adjoining neighbors. The residents are keen to get involved and keep the space looking great and your work has really helped to give them a boost to take responsibility for the space for themselves. It is a win for the property and a win for our residents recovery." 


If you are struggling with your mental health and would like some support then please get in touch with Sussex Oakleaf on 01444 459517.

If you are living in Mid Sussex and are worried about your housing or are homeless then please contact the Mid Sussex Housing Needs Team on 01444 477574.

You can find out more about Roche Diagnostics by visiting their website. www.roche.co.uk

Below - staff from Roche Diagnostics smiling in the sun as they turn their fingers green. 

Sussex Oakleaf & BHT in possible merger discussions

Two of Sussex’s leading care and support agencies, Sussex Oakleaf and Brighton Housing Trust, have announced that they are in talks about a possible merger.

The purpose of the merger would be to extend services for clients and tenants, strengthen and protect their joint financial position into the future, and to increase opportunities for further growth. Should it proceed, the merger will take place in April 2020.

The Chair of Sussex Oakleaf, Graham Maunders, said: “We are very excited about the prospect of working more closely with Brighton Housing Trust to improve our offer to clients.  We have had a close relationship with them over many years. We are two organisations with very similar values, and we feel that we complement each other well.”

Joan Mortimer, the Chair of BHT, said:

“By bringing the two organisations together we will become stronger than the sum of our two parts. At the heart of our considerations are the tenants and clients of the two organisations.  There is clear evidence that this is a win-win situation for them, benefiting from the combined strengths of both Sussex Oakleaf and of BHT.”

Philippa Thompson, the Chief Executive of Sussex Oakleaf, said:

“We have for many years enjoyed a close relationship with BHT, working to provide training for our staff teams, attending each other’s conferences and, most recently, collaborating on various projects.  It became increasingly apparent that there is an exceptionally good cultural fit, and this has been evolving further over the last six months.”

Andy Winter, Chief Executive of BHT, said:

“We were delighted when approached by Sussex Oakleaf regarding a possible merger.  It makes complete sense to come together in the interests of our tenants and clients, our financial wellbeing, and our ability to grow in the future. Frontline services will not be affected by this merger and we will be building a new management structure which will reflect our joint strengths.”

Over the next three months joint consultation will be undertaken with tenants and clients, stakeholders, funders and regulators.  A final decision on whether to proceed with the merger, taking into account the feedback from consultation, will be taken by the Boards of the two organisations in June 2019.

Should both Boards agree to proceed, a new combined Board and a new management team will be appointed who, by April 2020, will bring together the legal entities, the staff teams, and the policies and procedures for the merged organisation.

You can find out more about BHT here.

Read Sussex Oakleaf’s latest Impact Report here.

If you have any questions or concerns related to Sussex Oakleaf’s services then you can contact Philippa Thompson, Sussex Oakleaf Chief Executive at philippa.thompson@sussexoakleaf.org.uk.

Places still available…

There are still some places available for our popular Peer Mentoring course. 

Our courses last for 12 weeks and offer a great learning experience covering everything from communication skills to signposting. The course is also a great way to gain confidence in a friendly environment.

Benefits of The Course:

  • Offers an opportunity to expand your knowledge and thinking processes
  • Great if you want to get some training that will help teach you how to give back to your community and help others
  • You will have a guided workbook that will provide you with a valuable learning resource for life
  • Completing the course will increase your opportunities for volunteering and paid work

As well as understanding the role of a Peer Mentor you will learn more about listening skills, professional boundaries, working in groups, signposting, working in an organisation, confidentiality and the learning process itself…. and more!

If you would like to know more about the course them please contact: Samaya Adelin on:

samaya.adelin@sussexoakleaf.org.uk

Tel: 01444 416391

Cooking volunteer needed

The IMPACT Tasty Team are looking for a volunteer who who has an interest in cooking and nutrition and would like to share their skills to help others learn to cook healthy meals on a budget at Oak House, in Burgess Hill.

The IMPACT Tasty Team is a local charity which works with adults and children in Mid Sussex and Crawley providing free cooking sessions. They empower people with the skills and knowledge they need to prepare quick, healthy meals on a budget.

The team will provide training and support to help you run cooking sessions with the residents of Oak House.  All expenses are reimbursed and all equipment will be provided.

If you are interested in getting involved please contact either Lisa, lisa@impact.org.uk  01444 461223 or Debbie, Debbie.Selling@sussexoakleaf.org.uk 01444 241284.

 

Peer Mentor Information Day

  • Are you interested in using your mental health related experiences to help others?
  • Would you like an accredited qualification for this?

Did you know that Sussex Oakleaf offer an accredited qualification in Peer Mentoring? Our courses last for 12 weeks and offer a great learning experience covering everything from communication skills to signposting. The course is also a great way to gain confidence in a friendly environment.

If you are interested in the course there is an information day on 26 February at our offices in Burgess Hill.

10am, 26 February 2019 

Sussex Oakleaf, 2nd Floor, Delmon House, 26-28 Church Road, Burgess Hill, RH15 9AE

Please come along to meet with the trainer, find out about the course, ask questions and meet others!

Benefits of The Course:

  • Offers an opportunity to expand your knowledge and thinking processes
  • Great if you want to get some training that will help teach you how to give back to your community and help others
  • You will have a guided workbook that will provide you with a valuable learning resource for life
  • Completing the course will increase your opportunities for volunteering and paid work

As well as understanding the role of a Peer Mentor you will learn more about listening skills, professional boundaries, working in groups, signposting, working in an organisation, confidentiality and the learning process itself…. and more!

If you would like to know more about the open info day (or to confirm you will be attending) please contact: Samaya Adelin on:

samaya.adelin@sussexoakleaf.org.uk

Tel: 01444 416391

 

Be OK – our mental health service for people aged 16-25 in Mid Sussex, Crawley and Horsham, is thrilled to be presented with a cheque for £4,300 from Billingshurst & District Lions Club in time for this year’s World Mental Health Day.

Members of the Lions Club attended a group for young people organised by Be OK where they were given the chance to meet clients and present a cheque. The money raised came from their annual Charity Golf Tournament held back in July and will go towards providing a range of activities and workshops to Be OK clients.

With half of all mental health problems being established by the age of 14 and three-quarters by the age of 24, Be OK provides a valuable and much needed service within the local area.

The service provides free and confidential support which promotes independence and helps to build resilience. Clients of the service were given the chance to decide how the funds could best be spent. Amongst the suggestions were cooking workshops, kayaking and rock climbing. All the activities will be aimed at reducing isolation and improving the mental health and confidence of the young people involved.

Andrew Viall, President of the Billingshurst & District Lions Club had to following to say:

“We are very pleased to support the Be OK service for young people in Sussex. We are particularly happy that these new activities have been chosen by the participants themselves and we wish them every success for their future”

Be OK Project Coordinator, Ewa Jednaszewska-Rana said the following of the donation:

“Sussex Oakleaf’s vision is for a world where people with mental illness and mental health issues are inspired and supported to fulfil their potential and to live their lives as independently as possible. Donations like this help to take us one step nearer to achieving our vision. We would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who donated or helped to collect donations, your contribution will make a true difference to the clients whom we support”

Find out more about Be OK and mental health support for young people. 

 

Two of Sussex Oakleaf’s short and medium-term residential services opened their doors for their 5th birthday celebrations on 6th September. Both Oak House and Willow House in Burgess Hill have been providing essential mental health care to clients in Mid Sussex since 2013.  

The sun was shining as guests enjoyed snacks and cakes made by residents of the services. Staff from across Sussex Oakleaf, along with current and previous residents and people from partner organisations and the local council, had a chance to mingle, meet new people and make friends while learning about the services aims and objectives and success stories. 

The Mayor of Burgess Hill, Chris Cherry, attended and highlighted in her speech the great work being done at Oak House and Willow House, supporting people to develop and maintain independent lives, along with the wider role that essential Sussex Oakleaf services play in tackling poor mental health both locally and across Sussex.  

Burgess Hill Mayor, Chris Cherry praised the work being done by Sussex Oakleaf, stating:

“One in four of us will experience a mental health problem every year. Every day worries over money, relationships, jobs, benefits and health seem to be growing along with the detrimental effects they have on people

In this environment, Sussex Oakleaf provides an oasis which allows people not only to recover but grow in the confidence they need to face life’s challenges”.

Philippa Thompson, Sussex Oakleaf Chief Executive said of the day and services:

“We are really proud of the work we do to empower people and promote independence by providing recovery focused community wellbeing services, residential care, peer mentoring, housing support and volunteering opportunities in Sussex. The success stories at Oak House and Willow House, where we have helped hundreds of people to overcome serious challenges and to live independently over the last 5 years, making the most of everything that life has to offer, are so inspiring. It was great to celebrate our achievements together this week”. 

Oak House is a recovery focussed service for adults with a mental health diagnosis needing to be housed following a period of inpatient or secure care. Flexible recovery focussed support is offered for a period of two to three years while clients work towards a more independent living arrangement.

Willow House provides short-term housing and support to adults to reduce and prevent homelessness.  

To learn more about Sussex Oakleaf's residential services and to find out if they can be of help to you, please contact our central office on 01444 459517