Thursday 24 March 2011

A new member of the family!

Hello, my name is Kerry and I am a shiny new intern at Grassroots Training. I am a graduate of Psychology with a working background in mental health and charity infrastructure. Over the next few months I will be involved in a range of research and evaluation projects for Grassroots as part of my post-graduate certificate in community enterprise. 

At the moment I am implementing a new evaluation system for our courses, which we hope will be a useful tookit to help us measure what you think of our services.  Later I will be working with Miranda on creating a set of quality standards around our monitoring and evaluation, and helping Xander in the ongoing pilot of our ASIST course. 

On the research side of things I am just starting work on a very interesting project which will look at the repercussions of giving personal accounts of mental health issues in our 1 in 4 course.  All very exciting and interesting work!

I feel very settled and at home in the team already, and I am honoured to be contributing to such a worthwhile and important cause.


Wednesday 2 March 2011

Grassroots receives emergency funding!

We very recently learned that we have been awarded £35,200 from the Department of Healths's Financial Assistance Fund.  Without this emergency funding, we were projected to fold in Auguest 2011.  We are all pretty much over the moon about the news, and now that the press embargo has been lifted we can share the good news :)

The economic downturn has affected us badly, as it has many others.  This injection of financial assistance gives us a lifeline.  We are confident that now  will meet our aim of becoming a healthy and resilient company, enabling us to ensure staff and community members’ access to effective, quality training that promotes mental well-being and helps to prevent suicide. 

Our training is known to be very effective. Health professionals who took ASIST (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training) during 2010 note “Probably the best training I have had and ever will have; I have used it countless times since” and “This is essential training for all frontline staff, delivered brilliantly and intelligently.”

Grassroots believes that our work is needed now more than ever.  Predictions based on an analysis in the Lancet of economic changes and death rates say rising UK unemployment could mean at least 290 additional suicides per year.  Professor Martin McKee, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said suicide rates were just the tip of the iceberg and that many more would suffer from high levels of mental distress (BBC news 08.07.2009).

With the economic situation hitting people so hard we are keen to train as many community members and health/social care workers as possible to become suicide alert and responsive.