Information

the establishment

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The Headingley Friday Support Group was established by Andy Atkins, a psychiatric social worker, and Sue Mahoney, a community psychiatric nurse, to provide a different service in the community. Andy and Sue were working at the High Royds Hospital in Menston, north west Leeds, with Professor Richard Mindham. Many of the inpatients and outpatients consulting Professor Mindham at clinics at the Leeds General Infirmary had residences in the postal code of LS6 with the inclusion of districts such as Burley, Hyde Park and Headingley. Advice and support was available in their homes in this initial phase of care in the community. Many patients were confronted by similar issues such as isolation and unemployment. Some resources were available locally such as the Ashwood Day Centre and Swarthmore College.

However, the Headingley Friday Support Group was to be a democratic, self-help, drop-in group in the local area. The first meeting, on 22 October 1987, was attended by some of Professor Mindham's patients. The Headingley Community Centre was free to utilise every Friday afternoon (with some provision of education). The attendees went on to shape and identify the social and supportive ethos with the formulation of the name of the Headingley Friday Support Group.

the objective

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The objective of the Headingley Friday Support Group is the support of adults affected by mental health conditions. However, there is no requirement for a diagnosis of a mental health condition from a medical service. Any attendee may or may not be receiving care from mental health services. The support available at the Headingley Friday Support Group is very flexible. Anyone may choose to participate in as much or as little as seems to be appropriate to them.

One of the advantages of the independence of the Headingley Friday Support Group is the ability for anyone affected by a mental health condition to refer themselves to the Headingley Friday Support Group. Any such person may come along to one of the drop-in sessions for the Headingley Friday Support Group on Friday afternoons with or without support from someone known to them. Alternatively, more information may be obtained by e-mailing info@headingleyfridaysupportgroup.org.uk.

The Headingley Friday Support Group aims to provide mutual support through a variety of social activities such as:

Any attendee at the Headingley Friday Support Group may suggest ideas for any events of interest to them.

the finances

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For a number of years, the Headingley Friday Support Group has been financed by the Mental Health Drop-In and Outreach Budget Scheme available from Adult Social Care at Leeds City Council and administered by Leeds Mind. A grant of 680 was awarded to the Headingley Friday Support Group in the financial year 2015-16. A report back form 2015-16 has been sent to the administrators of the Mental Health Drop-In and Outreach Budget Scheme at Leeds Mind. More information is available in the newsletter for March / April 2016.

On 1 January 2016, a community hire rate of 11.25 per hour was introduced for the hire of the Beckett Room at HEART. This revised charging policy was agreed betwwen Headingley Enterprise and Arts Centre (HEART) and Leeds City Council. However, the Headingley Friday Support Group applied to Leeds City Council for a reduced room hire fee in line with the rate charged by Leeds City Council for room hire at their community centres. This application was approved and therefore the Headingley Friday Support Group is charged 5 per hour for the hire of the Beckett Room at Headingley Enterprise and Arts Centre for the drop-in sessions on Friday afternoons. The grant received from the Mental Health Drop-In and Outreach Budget Scheme for the financial year 2015-2016 financed this expenditure at that time. There is, nevertheless, a charge of 1 for refreshments such as tea/coffee and biscuits and/or cake at the drop-in sessions (except for any potential new member or a guest visitor attending the Headingley Friday Support Group for the first time).

An application has been made by the Headingley Friday Support Group for a grant from the Mental Health Drop-In and Outreach Budget Scheme in the financial year 2016-17. The maximum available grant for this scheme is anticipated to be 450 - 500 in the financial year 2016-17 according to the administrators at Leeds Mind. A decision is awaited.

the independence

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There is an Annual General Meeting. The issues identified in the most recent Annual General Meeting, on Friday 15 January 2016, are available in the newsletter for the winter of 2015-16.

The Headingley Friday Support Group values its independence. On 26 February 2016, the majority of attendees at the drop-in session made the decision for the Headingley Friday Support Group to remain independent of Adult Social Care at Leeds City Council. Everyone has an opportunity to contribute to the coordination and organisation of the Headingley Friday Support Group, suggest ideas for events, excursions and the destination of the annual holiday, and improve the service. It is a democratic gathering. More information on this decision is available in the newsletter for February / March 2016. The attendees at the Headingley Friday Support Group have been very appreciative of the interest and assistance of a number of university students from the BSc (hons) Nursing (Mental Health) at the University of Leeds.

Ruth Furness from Adult Social Care at Leeds City Council spoke to the attendees at the drop-in session for the Headingley Friday Support Group on Friday 29 April 2016. Apparently, the Headingley Friday Support Group will continue to be independent of Adult Social Care at Leeds City Council. However, there is a change in the Headingley Friday Support Group. A very small number of long-standing and opinionated attendees do not value independent administration, communication and marketing for the Headingley Friday Support Group.

Technical Note: There is the limitation of the Monthly Bandwidth Transfer of files onto the hosting server for this website.

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the confidentiality

Any personal disclosures at the drop-in sessions and events remain confidential to the service users of the Headingley Friday Support Group.

the opportunities

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A range of opportunities may be available to participants at the Headingley Friday Support Group. These opportunities may include:

  1. Have a beneficial, enjoyable and interesting experience.
  2. Attempt to improve your mental health through the development of stability in the community with the opportunity to experience different environments, and therefore reduce any reliance on mental health services.
  3. Participate in the coordination and organisation of the Headingley Friday Support Group to facilitate the availability of an independent support group for adults affected by mental health conditions. The attendees at the Headingley Friday Support Group share the responsibility for:
    • the financial management of the Headingley Friday Support Group including:
      • the available funds such as any grant from the Mental Health Drop-In and Outreach Budget Scheme, any donations from former members of the Headingley Friday Support Group, and the cash received from members participating in the annual holiday, and
      • the costs such as the registration of the domain name of www.headingleyfridaysupportgroup.org.uk (every two years), the hosting of this website, and withdrawals of cash for the payments relating to the hire of the Beckett Room at the Headingley Enterprise and Arts Centre for the drop-in sessions on Friday afternoons, some of the excursions, administrative costs and other expenditure;
    • the administration such as the completion and dispatch of the forms for the Mental Health Drop-In and Outreach Budget Scheme, the booking of the Beckett Room at the Headingley Enterprise and Arts Centre for the drop-in sessions on Friday afternoons, the formulation and distribution of letters to some of the mailing list for the Headingley Friday Support Group, the preparation of the agenda and minutes for the Annual General Meeting and the arrangement of the annual holiday for the Headingley Friday Support Group;
    • the maintenance and improvement of this website for the Headingley Friday Support Group;
    • the management of e-mail communications on behalf of the Headingley Friday Support Group;
    • the production of newsletters for the Headingley Friday Support Group;
    • the purchase and provision of refreshments for the drop-in sessions on most Friday afternoons; and
    • the expression of an opinion on any matters necessitating a decision for the management of the Headingley Friday Support Group.
  4. Improve and update your employability skills through any participation in the coordination and organisation of the Headingley Friday Support Group to facilitate a progression towards paid employment.
  5. Enjoy an educational experience with the possibility of an improvement in your awareness and knowledge of mental health conditions.
  6. Improve your awareness of local places of interest in Yorkshire through the excursions on the first Friday of the month.