Mind in Croydon Wins National Award for Transformi

Mind in Croydon has scooped a National Health and Social Care Award for its work transforming the lives of people with mental health problems.

The local charity put together a programme to improve the physical and mental well-being of people with mental health problems, as research shows people with mental health problems are more likely to smoke, be overweight and have a poor diet.

With funding from partners including the local Primary Care Trust, the Local Authority, the Big Lottery, Film London and Comic Relief, Mind staff put together activities including sailing, boxing, horticulture and going to the gym. They also ran a documentary film group allowing service users to tell their own stories. Mind in Croydon is part of the national mental health anti-stigma campaign "Time to Change".

Three-times world champion boxer, Duke McKenzie, also helped Mind to set up a boxing project, aimed at introducing exercise and healthy living back into clients’ lives. Participants lost weight and half of the first group went on to join a gym and continue training. Some have achieved qualifications in health and fitness. Fifty people have now benefited from the Boxercise programme.

The ‘Mental Health Wellbeing’ award is for improving the quality of life for people with mental health problems or promoting the wellbeing of the general population.

After winning the award at the regional heat of the Health and Social Care Awards, the team was short-listed for the national award, and saw off two other finalists to take home the accolade at an event At the Excel centre on the 8th July. 

Richard Pacitti, Chief Executive of Mind in Croydon said: “We’ve enabled clients to benefit from excellent opportunities such as crewing a 30-tonne yacht and training with a world champion boxer. People have completed recognised sailing and gym instructor qualifications and for some people these have been life-changing experiences. This type of activity really helps people with mental health problems to gain confidence, so we’re delighted that we’ve been recognised in this way.”

The Health and Social Care Awards, which are run in partnership between the Department of Health and the NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement, are designed to recognise breakthrough ideas from frontline staff that improve care and access to services. The awards this year received 4,000 applications, an increase of over 30% on last year.

Bernard Crump, Chief Executive of the NHS Institute, said: “These awards recognise the frontline NHS staff who are leading the way, pioneering new ideas and methods to improve the quality of care for their patients and increase productivity. Once again the awards have demonstrated that frontline staff in the NHS have the skills and understanding to radically change our health service for the better.”


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