The Northgate Project is funded by the People’s Health Trust.
The project is highly successful and brings individuals from the Northgate ward in Canterbury together to support them to share their interests and skills with one another. This is assisting them to build an ‘Active Community’ in an area that is considered to a have a high proportion of people living isolated lives, with other barriers, which prevent them engaging with others. At the moment this group meets weekly to prepare, cook and eat a meal together and on another day learn new IT skills.
A key objective for Take Off is to provide support to those who are socially isolated, who would like to meet new people and build strong relationships with those in their local area. The peer workers who are involved with the Northgate project all bring a different skill set to the group and can help the members gain new skills and rekindle interests. This, in turn, leads to improved mood and increased mental and physical wellbeing.
Take Off acknowledges the support of the People’s Health Trust in providing funding for this project which will help local people to build capacity, form stronger relationships and build cohesive community networks.
Peer Support Self Help Groups
Several years ago Take Off made a joint bid with the Canterbury and Coastal Clinical Commissioning Group to an NHS England ‘innovation fund’. This was successful and Take Off was selected from a pool of 40 applications to provide a number of Peer Led Self Help Groups from our base in Canterbury.
Our Peer Support Workers are trained to use their lived experience to help others to understand a diagnosis, its impact on life, how to recover and stay well. A number of self-help groups have developed from our membership as a result and we regularly receive inquiries from people who have identified a need for mutual support and guidance with a particular diagnosis.
We have bespoke training for the facilitators of these groups and have at least three facilitators per group. All the groups are run by the members for the members and run at least once a month from the Take Off office and other venues across East Kent. Some examples of our peer support groups are: Eating Disorders, Borderline Personality Disorder, Autistic Spectrum Disorder, Young Peer Support, Depression and Bipolar Disorder.
Please see the Our Groups pages for up to date lists and referral forms.
Peer Support Crisis Group (PSCG)
This is a referral only service for people in crisis or experiencing suicidal ideation. A small number of people come together in mutual support, with trained peer support staff, to cook and eat together and engage in other social interaction. This service operates every Sunday between 4-8pm. It has been highly successful in helping people in distress to deal with difficult times when many other services are closed. This includes Bank Holidays, Christmas and New Year’s Day if these happen to fall on a Sunday. Please talk to your GP, Psychiatrist or Care Co-ordinator if you wish to engage with this service.
The PSCG would like to thank the Canterbury and Coastal CCG for its support.
To download the form use this link: PSCG Referral Form
Take Off runs an award winning Patients’ Council at the local psychiatric hospital, St Martins in Canterbury.
This has been developed by Take Off over many years and provides an audited, independent, patient led view of daily life in the four secure wards. This has led to an improved ward experience for those detained as well as providing an anonymous route for in-patients to express their experience of the ward environment.
Our trained Peer Support Workers visit each ward regularly. This provides the patients with an opportunity to discuss the ward environment and seek support. It has been an outlet for frustration but also a way for patients to compliment staff when things are going well.
Mental Health Service User Forum
Take Off operates the mental health service user forum for Canterbury and district. This is operated on behalf of and is funded by Kent County Council. The service user forum is a means of people who use local mental health services to feedback to and influence the commissioners and service providers.
In this role, we co-chair the local Mental Health Action Group (MHAG), have a place on the Canterbury and Coastal Health and Wellbeing Board, attend the Local Leadership Group (KMPT) and chair the Canterbury and Coastal Clinical Commissioning Group (CCCCG) Community Network Mental Health Sub-Groups in Faversham and Herne Bay. We have excellent working relationships with the CCCCG and take part in the Local Leadership Group with our local Community Mental Health Team.