It’s our Birthday!
We’re two years old. How on earth did that happen? Another year of being a formally established as a charity, and BOY has it been a year of change and growth – so once again we thought we’d share some of amazing things we’ve achieved in those twelve months and the plans we can share.
This past year has been another one of blossoming; with even more trials and tribulations, and thankfully, more ups than downs. None of it would have been possible without the support of kind donations, some seriously big fundraisers and a burgeoning team that rocks our world daily.
In Person Workshops
We realised early on that whilst we might be able to access funding for workshops; what we didn’t have was the referrals. It’s no good having a grant when you don’t have the people to support. As a new charity, it can be tough to be taken seriously – something that is now a thing of the past.
Over the last year, we have partnered with the charities Mind and Shaw Trust and have successfully delivered workshops for them to the service users on their books that are struggling with their mental health.
Mind secured a Lottery grant to cover two lots of ten week workshops, the first of which was a great success and we look forward to delivering the next in Mid Herts next year and hopefully territories beyond for them.
The Shaw Trust are doing great work getting people of all ages back into jobs via the Department of Work and Pensions. We’ve been helping their people manage depression, anxiety and social alienation through six week workshops in Stevenage and now Luton. We’re rolling more of those workshops out Herts, Beds and Bucks and plan to do the same nationwide.
We are talking to a fair few other organisations and look set to be delivering our 6, 8 and 10 week workshops to an ever-growing base of struggling people. Those challenged my mental illness, injury and circumstances.
One to One Workshops
We have trained and will continue to train a team of people that are suitable to deliver our workshops in any of the environments listed here. They are all lovely, wordy, many will have struggled with their mental health and will all know how to read a room and gauge when a group vibe needs a discussion rather than a written excercie – or vice versa.
They will also now be able to offer our 6, 8 and 10 week workshops as personal sessions that can be paid for privately. These can be in person or via Skype and will provide a more personal option of everything PoetsIN does. There will be a finance offer in place to allow spreading the cost.
This year we trialled our workshops and techniques in schools to 13 and 9 years olds. We have raised funds at out Stress Ball fundraiser to allow us to offer subsidised taster sessions to schools in our local areas with view to rolling those out further to all ages – 5, 9, 13 and all the way up to school leaver age. We are also planning to license what we do so that schools can deliver the workshops themselves with their trained, excellent staff.
A Young Minds survey found that 66% of young people could not find support when they first needed it and 75% of those young people had to manage their mental health on their own. ONLY 17% felt confident doing this. This is something we intend to change with PoetsIN Schools.
Facebook and online
Our closed Facebook group continues to offer a rare troll-free online community that is safe, supportive and monitored 24/7 by a team of amazing volunteers from around the world. With over 1,200 members, and growing daily, it adds another inclusive and sympathetic layer of support to what we offer our community and service users.
Did you know that 96.7% members feel more informed, and 98.2% feel happier through being a group member? Come join us to find out why.
In addition to the huge level of support offered in Facebook that we give to those struggling with their mental health, we also now have a listening service via our website. If you need someone to talk to, via messenging, you can reach out and we’ll be there to lend an ear or a word or two of support.
And watch this space for a full compliment of our workshops available soon online, for those challenged by geography or the mere thought of being sat in a group. They will run for up to twenty weeks to ensure success.
We hope to secure a tech grant in the near future, so that we can make sure that the things we offer are available at all times to all people – everywhere.
Life is stressful enough without the pressures of work. So add that to the mix and us adults can really need an outlet for mindfulness, wellbeing, tools to manage our mental health and just having a good team vibe.
Our corporate workshops are modular, team or individually driven and can be delivered in ongoing workshops or half or full day sessions. We are already talking to some huge organisations about implementing them; which will do great things, financially, for the growth of PoetsIN Charity.
We’ve had even more fundraisers over the last year where wonderful people have committed time and money to raising much needed funds for us. Two skydives, the Art and Soul wellbeing event, a London Marathon, a portion (financially, not bits of potato) of every patatas bravas at Los Reyes Tapas Bar; and of course our Stress Ball Fundraiser.
These things are our lifeblood, and we cannot thank people enough for their kindness. Keep your eyes peeled for more details!
Books and Merch
We can offically announce the release today of our second anthology of poetry and prose from service users and group members from around the world! The digital and physical Stop The Stigma and Stop The Stigma II books are available on Amazon and are truly beautiful.
We will soon have merch for you to purchase. All things PoetsIN and wordy will be on tee shirts, mugs, badges and suchlike. It’s gonna be awesome.
Sammie and Paul continue to head everything up. Things are busy and at times overwhelming, but they are the ying and yang that help this charity thrive and grow; with continual brain burps as to how we can help even more people manage their mental health. They hold each other and those around them up as best they can, and rise above the mental health challenges that were the catalyst for this charity coming to be.
Karen continues to deliver incredible branding and artwork, Lish supports Sammie and Paul and online we have Beth, Frank, Bruce, Simon, Madilyn, Karen, Emma, Lauren, George and Veronica ensuring we remain safe, we are supportive and always, ALWAYS troll free. THANK YOU ALL!
The team continues to grow as the workload increases, and PoetsIN would not be able to do what they do without them all. Make sure you meet them all in the Facebook Group. We have a number of voluntary positions available at the moment as well as paid positions delivering workshops for those that fit the criteria so email at firstname.lastname@example.org if interested.
And so we look into the gaping maw of our third year with a mixture of excitement and pride and with grins on our faces. We’ve done so much in such a short space of time. They said it wouldn’t work – yet it’s excelled; and we have no doubt that the next year will be one of more strength, more innovation and above all: helping more people in a world that needs it. PoetsIN are here to stay and we’ve got you covered.
From Sammie and Paul, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts for lifting us up, your belief and abover all, your friendships these two years. Here’s to many more, and all the people we’ve not yet met!