Chief Executive, Emily Stokes
Updates and developments
50 Years of Dedicated Service
During the last month we celebrated two huge milestones for the staff of Birchwood Highland. Liz Edgar and Wendy Wemyss, along with a number of staff and service users, marked the fantastic milestone early this week in the form of an 80s and 90s themed party – the two decades in which Liz and Wendy joined Birchwood Highland.
Both Liz and Wendy were presented with flowers by Birchwood Highland service users, as well as receiving a small gift from Birchwood Highland as a gesture of thanks for their hard work over the years.
To read the full press release click here.
Scottish Social Services Awards
We're thrilled to have been shortlisted at this year's Scottish Social Services Awards with our work, titled: "Migrant Mental Health in the Highlands; peer research translating into strengthening the voice of migrants and refugees in the Highlands."
These awards celebrate the work of Scottish Social Services and the individuals, teams and organisations making a positive difference to people’s lives.
The awards take place on Wednesday 6th June in Edinburgh so keep your eyes peeled!
Our first ever charity shop is now OPEN! After countless hours and the effort of many it is our greatest pleasure to announce the charity shop in Invergordon is now open for business.
Over the last six months staff - and even family members! - have been working tirelessly across the board to raise awareness, collect and organise donations and help set up the shop. It has been a challenge for all involved, and we would like to thank everyone who took time to help get the shop up and running and who continue to support it in its early stages.
You’ll find the shop at 70 High Street, Invergordon. Opening hours: Monday - Saturday // 9am - 5pm
Inverness Chamber of Commerce
Throughout the second week in April we were acknowledged by Inverness Chamber of Commerce as their member of the week. This additional promotion highlighted our success at this years Highland Business Women Awards, where we won the category of Best Third Sector Organisation for the THIRD year running! It also highlighted the opening of the new shop as well as all the other activities we've been involved in over the last year or so!
Member of the Week provided a fantastic opportunity to further raise our profile.
To read more click here.
Year of Young People
If you're aged 16-25, or if you started working for Birchwood Highland whilst you were in this age bracket, we'd love to hear from you at the next Young People's Forum on 23rd August 2018 at Head Office.
For more information on the Young People's Forum, please contact Head Office.
NAOMI TO CONTRIBUTE
Talks for Young People
2018 is the Scottish Government's Year of Young People and we have ventured out to continue to deliver talks relating to mental health to school aged children. I set off to Inverness High School this month to give Mental Health awareness sessions to 4th, 5th and 6th year pupils. Thoughts of pupils this age will be are turning to exam time, and also to moving on to new opportunities in work, college and university, including in some cases relocating and living independently.
The young people were given the opportunity to review and evaluate the session, and responses to the question “What did you learn during today's session that you plan to use?” included:
We hope to continue this work long after the Year of Young People ends, and reaching more and more young people will have a positive impact on mental health and the experiences of people in the Highlands.
Highland Migrant and Refugee Advocacy
The latest from HiMRA
The HiMRA team have been busy at the drop-in sessions in Dingwall, Alness and Inverness, which run on a weekly basis for anyone identifying as migrant or refugee. It would appear that individuals and families appreciate the time and space to discuss issues that are current in their life – whether positive or negative. We are working hard to help people have their voices heard through various channels. To date, we have hosted Business Gateway at our drop-in support who were able to provide business start-up advice. We hope to continue to host other guest speakers to outline relevant community supports.
The HiMRA team have recently attended a Scottish Government Human Rights Consultation event as well as a Women’s Aid Conference focusing on Eastern European Women and the issue of domestic violence. Connections have been made with the group ‘Word on the Street’ who organise a festival in Dingwall annually focusing on language, culture, creative expression and such like. The HiMRA team are keen to get involved in this year’s celebration as the theme has a focus on ‘World’ on the street to home in on cultural exchange and celebration of diversity.
Further links have been built with members of the Mosque Community, Highland Supports Refugees and Highland Multicultural Friends to organise for a refugee gathering to bring together individuals from across the Highlands and Islands. This will be held during the Refugee Festival in June and will likely include food, arts and crafts and football! HiMRA’s pool of volunteers is slowly growing. Tiffany and Franci will be running a volunteer training session in May and from here it is hoped that some volunteers may be able to start shadowing at drop-ins until they feel comfortable in running sessions.
In more alternative news, HiMRA will be venturing across the Atlantic ocean as part of the duncanadrift campaign (duncanadrift.com). Duncan Hutchison, a local man to Lochinver, Scotland has built his own boat to row around 3400 miles from New York back to the West Coast of Scotland, starting on the 19th May. The team at HiMRA are delighted to have their logo painted onto the vessel and wish Duncan the best of luck on his adventure. A very unique story of migration and movement!
The latest from Birchwood Highland's services
Michael Maclellan from the Recovery Centre has been attending Canal College from January 2018. On the 17 April 2018, he successfully achieved the Heritage Hero Silver Award, receiving his certificate at a presentation held at Caley Marina - attended by the Provost of Inverness, Councillor Helen Carmichael.
Scottish Waterways Trust, through Canal College and Green Action, enable young people to learn an exciting range of practical heritage skills outdoors and earn awards and certificates to get them on the path to work.
Local people take part as volunteer mentors and use their own skills and experiences to guide young people, learning some new skills themselves along the way.
Canal College and Green Action help young people:
* build confidence
* experience team-working
* improve health and wellbeing
* receive SQA accredited training
* enhance social skills
* overcome barriers to work and education
Congratulations Michael from everyone at Birchwood Highland!
As the summer warmth approaches some of the staff at Caithness support service have taken to the street as part of their Healthy Working lives effort, which aims to improve staff overall well being in the work place. From the looks of it they enjoyed a walk on a beautiful day before grabbing a delicious lunch! Keep up the good work guys!
Taken from the Lochaber Service Users Group Newsletter
"We had a visit from Kaye Jackson (Dietician) and two students, we learnt a lot about dietary health, not just the five a day, for example, in Lochaber, because there is so little sunlight throughout the year we are recommended to take Vitamin D tablets."
A huge congratulations to Wendy Wemyss who celebrates her 20th anniversary with Birchwood Highland in April. A lot has changed since 1998! Thank you so much for all your hard work over the years, Wendy, and here's to many more.
Staff from Head Office and HiMRA experienced superb traditional Chinese cuisine from Scottish Highlands and Islands and Moray Chinese Association (SHIMCA) last week.
The lunch came about following successful period of six weeks drop in sessions with HiMRA. The lunch was throughly enjoyed by all and we hope to return to celebrate their future work!
Read All About It!
Birchwood Highland in the media
Alert Health Announce Partnership
Reflection of the Highland Bussiness Women Awards
Fundraising // Activities // Workshops
Millburn Academy Romania Team will be holding a fundraising night on Friday 15th June which half of the monies raised will go to Birchwood Highland. So why not go along to join in with a auction, quiz, raffle and many more while watching the races!
When: Friday 15th June 2018 - 7 p.m.
Where: Assembly Hall, Millburn Academy, Inverness
The Black Isle Bike Ride
Looking for a new challenge? Support Birchwood Highland and ESSM Malawi in this friendly, all ages and ability bike ride.
Taking place on Saturday the 19th May this annual bike ride give you the opportunity to test yourself and raise vital funds to help support people.
For more details on how to set up sponsorship click the button below or contact head office via email@example.com
Join our annual walk in Inverness to help end the stigma surrounding mental ill health. This year we hope to increase attendance and show suport for people batteling mental ill health and those who support them.
Starting at Eden Court we will march through the main streets of Inverness towards Falcon Square.
When: Saturday 26th May 2018 - 11 a.m.
Where: Eden Court Theatre, Inverness
Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival
This year's SMHAF is due to take place throughout the month of May, with a number of events also occurring throughout the Highlands. Click below to find out more.
Staff are reminded to familiarise themselves with the most recent policies approved by the Board:
- Health and Safety Policy
- Treasury Policy
The new policy list has also been reviewed and you can view it here.
Starters and Leavers
A warm welcome to those who've recently joined us:
Gonzalo Medina, Support Worker - ISS
And a fond farewell to the following:
Understanding Autism – 4th June
Social Stories (Highland Autism Support) - 5th June
Mental Health First Aid - 7th & 14th June
Adult Support and Protection – 12th June
Health and Safety – 15th June
Behaviour that Challenges - 19th June
Adult Support and Protection - 21st June
Working with Young People: Sex and Relationships - 26th
Further details on all training can be found on the Training Calendar on SharePoint.