Tracey visited a mental health ward to see how donations from a charity are benefiting patients and staff. Tracey met with members of the Friends of Mental Health (West Kent and Medway) and acute service staff from Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust last Friday.
The Trust and its service users have received over 100 donations from the charity in the last year. She was given a tour of Brocklehurst ward at Priority House,Maidstone, where £5000 has provided a pottery making project for patients to help promote wellbeing and self-esteem as well as improving concentration and coordination. Donations have included yoga mats, prints for a multi-faith room, swimming lessons and medicine trolleys.
She said “I’m really pleased to come down onto a ward and see the benefits for myself. The Friends of Mental Health do some really great work fundraising for people who need their help. One in four people are going to suffer from a mental health condition at some point in their life and it’s important that we get the right support structures in place for them. I’m impressed with the facility here.”
Originally formed as the Friends of Oakwood Psychiatric Hospital in 1978, the charity has since expanded to provide amenities run by the Trust in areas including Sevenoaks, Dartford, Tunbridge Wells,Maidstoneand Medway. Friends of Mental Health Secretary, John Sweetman, said: “The MP is very interested in mental health and substance misuse issues. We found the meeting of great benefit and hope she found it informative. It’s opened new doors and horizons for us, particularly with recruiting more membership from the Medway area.”
People can get involved with the charity by becoming a member (£5 per year), or assist in their fundraising shop at Priority House. Contact 01622 723210 to request a membership form. Alternatively write to: Friends of Mental Health, Priority House,Hermitage Lane,Maidstone,ME16 9PH.