Newsletter: May 2017

The last newsletter was in December 2016 and it is amazing how much progress has been made in the last 6 months.  Our mission is to promote mental wellbeing in Dorking and surrounding community and I think you will be impressed by our latest news.  Our plans for 2017 in December last year were:

  • Create a Mental Health Directory of all services in Surrey

  • Run Mental Health First Aid courses in March, June and October

  • Set up a Low Cost Counselling service

  • Setup and run a service of workshops for Mental Health Week in May

  • Monthly Newsletter

  • Mental Health Blog

  • Invite national Mental  Health Champions to speak in Dorking

  • Peer Support Groups

  • Fundraising

  • Mindfulness courses


Our progress so far:

  • Mental Health Directory: Many thanks to Jeff Zie and Chris Knight for working on our directory.  They are putting a lot of energy into keeping it up to date.  You can access it through the website here.


  • Mental Health First Aid (Youth) Training: The 3rd course will be on the 10th and 17th of June at the Malthouse Youth Centre.  The feedback we have been getting is that the course is transformational, for example, one participant wrote "It has been a life changing two days.  I think a great accessible course like this is an excellent way to get the message out about mental health". We have two slots that have become available for the June course and a few spaces available for the October 7th and 14th course.  If you are interested in attending these courses or next year (dates not confirmed yet) please email The longer term goal is to train a local person to carry out the training bringing the skills into the community. Watch this space!


  • Mental Health Blog: This will be going ahead shortly by a local service user and it will be posted on the website.


  • Peer Support Groups: The first Running for Wellbeing group organised by Richard Horne set off on a 5K on the 14th of May and a beautiful sunny morning resulted in a great turnout.  It was part of our Mental Health Awareness Week activities and raised £200.  The plan is to have a monthly 5K run. If you would rather walk then that is ok too.  A reminder will be sent out with the monthly meeting email.  Below is a picture of happy runners, families and dogs.  A good time was had by all.

  • The Help the Helper talk on the 8th of May was also part of our Mental Health Awareness week activities. Susan McGrath, one of the founders of Dorking Minds and a local therapist, presented her ideas about how carers and parents with a young person experiencing metal health issues can best take care of themselves. The idea is that we have to take care of our own needs before we can really be of help to another.  This was the launch of our Help the Helper ongoing peer support group.  Below is an image of the Help the Helper presentation.


  • The first ongoing meeting of the Help the Helper group will be on the 3rd of July at the Malthouse Youth Centre, Mill Lane, Dorking from 7.30-9pm.  Please email if you plan to attend.  It will be an ongoing group held on the first Monday of the month.  The plan is to have a space to express challenges, successes or anything else that aids helpers to support their young person.  We are open to suggestions of how to run this group but initially there is a plan to facilitate it as an open group starting with refreshments, silence, check in, inspirational reading and an open section for sharing which is timed and encouraged to be personal rather than general.  It will be totally confidential and will be followed by time for members to get to know each other better.


  • Good Fest Dorking: We had a stall at this local event and it was a great opportunity to reveal our new tablecloth and network with local people whilst promoting our ideas and plans.  Thanks to Sally Elias and Sara Knight for organising our stall and being there on the day.


  • Plans going forward: Many people at the 'Help the Helper' talk asked for workshops promoting wellbeing.  Some of the suggestions included Art Therapy, Play Workshops and Mindfulness.  We hope to start regular workshops soon.  We would also like to roll out some Suicide Intervention training courses in the same way we have been providing Mental Health First Aid training.  This depends on our ability to raise funds outlined below. If you have any skills you could offer then please do email


  • Fundraising: We have teamed up with the Dorking Radical Film Festival to screen the film "Mad to be Normal" on Mental Health Day at Dorking Halls on the Tuesday the 10th of October.  It is a film based on the work of the  psychiatrist RD Laing and stars David Tennant.


There are many more ideas for fundraising including Teas On The Green, mental health workshops and a pop up restaurant so please do follow us on facebook and twitter our social media links are at the end of this email.  If you have any other ideas then please do join us at our next volunteers meeting, details below.  If you would like to make a donation then please go to our website every penny helps us provide more local services.  Our main fundraising challenge is £3000 to train our own trainer to provide our Mental Health First Aid courses. If you could consider a regular small donation we can send our bank details to you.


Next Volunteers Meeting

Out next volunteers meeting is on Saturday the 3rd of June from 10-11.30 upstairs at Burgundy and Black, Dorking.  Please do join us.