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News The 3rd Sector celebrated at the Bath Life Awards 2021

The Bath Life Awards 2021 took place last night at the Bath Pavilion and hundreds of brilliant local organisations were shortlisted for 22 categories!

BaNES Third Sector Group (3SG) were honoured to win 2 Bath Life Awards, in the Civic category and the Platinum Award, which is the judges overall 'Winner of Winners' on the night. The work 3SG has carried out in response to the pandemic wouldn't have been possible without thousands of local people, partners & charities working tirelessly to support our community.* The award is therefore recognition to every single member of the local community who has played a part in supporting others during the last 18 months. There are 3SG volunteers that continue to play a vital role in supporting the Bath Racecourse vaccination centre, 7 days a week, so a huge thank you to all of them.

A lot of the pandemic response carried out by 3SG was in partnership with the Community Wellbeing Hub, which also won an award in the Health & Wellbeing category. The hub continues to provide a central place to access a range of services for people living in Bath and North East Somerset.

The third sector** took the awards by storm, with local charities winning across the categories. A massive congratulations to all the local charity winners outlined below:

Organisation Award Category

Bath Mind (full press release below) Charity Winner

Children's Hospice South West Charity (Highly Commended)

The SU Bath People Services Winners

Bath Festivals Arts Winners

Share & Repair Environmental Winners

*A special thank you to Sarah Williams-Martin who has led the Compassionate Community Emergency Volunteer Response right from the start of the pandemic, words can't describe how incredible she is!

**The 3rd Sector consists of voluntary and community organisations such as registered charities, associations, self-help groups, community groups and social enterprises.

Bath Mind - Winner of Bath Life Awards 2021 ‘CHARITY’

Bath Mind is delighted to win the prestigious ‘Charity’ award at Bath Life Awards 2021.

CEO, Kate Morton said “This is an amazing achievement and it is thanks to all of our colleagues and volunteers for going above and beyond over these very challenging 18 months.”

The pandemic created a mental health emergency. Bath Mind responded immediately. Within the pandemic, Bath Mind has been fighting an epidemic of mental ill-health. This epidemic knows no boundaries; we have supported people aged 16 to 94 suffering anxiety, depression, loneliness and bereavement, some feeling suicidal, as well as those with more complex mental health diagnosis.

Prior to the pandemic, Bath Mind’s services were all delivered face-to-face, they had little experience of digital communications and the pandemic presented them with a huge challenge. However, within days, their services all adapted to provide continued support. While some places closed, Bath Mind remained open throughout, increasing their services at a time when many were cutting back. They adopted a hybrid model of online, telephone and face-to-face support depending on restrictions.

Covid-19 presented Bath Mind with an overwhelming increase in demand. Whilst adapting to virtual presented many new challenges, it also created a wealth of new opportunities to support more people in different ways. Through online services, they have been able to increase the number of people they support and it has helped them reach people who may otherwise have been isolated. Many of their clients have been shielding and Bath Mind’s services may be their only connection with the ‘outside world’.

When restrictions were eased in the summer, some people were not comfortable attending a group - Bath Mind maintained virtual services which enabled them to have a wider reach without the limits on numbers which restrictions enforced. Bath Mind’s telephone support lines, by this stage, were so busy that they knew we had to keep these vital services running.

Bath Mind adapted their services:-

Breathing Space - their evening crisis space immediately adapted to a telephone service.

Counselling - they developed online assessments and counselling provision.

Greenlinks - members/volunteers received weekly newsletters and activities, visiting individually to enjoy time in nature and collect fresh produce.

Wellbeing groups - groups adapted to meet online, entering a whole new world of ‘breakout rooms’ and ‘raised hands’. People were also supported with 1:1 welfare calls.

Community Support - Bath Mind continued to support our extremely vulnerable clients in their own homes, offering telephone support, then socially distanced walks to those not comfortable with home visits.

No 82 - Bath Mind’s residential home worked tirelessly, keeping all residents safe and well.

Bath Mind responded to the needs of our community with new services:

•Community Wellbeing Hub: Bath Mind were instrumental in establishing the hub and providing vital mental health and wellbeing support and resources.

•Befriending Service set up to meet the huge increase in callers experiencing loneliness and isolation.

•Safe Space - a new youth service, to support the growing number of young people needing support.

•New online resources, Wellbeing Activities resources, and increased online support, information and signposting.

•Social Media awareness increased.

•Mental Health Training - new courses delivered online supporting individuals and local businesses.

•Open-access Free Courses created for the Wellbeing College.

•University Students supported with 1:1 calls, gardening activities and mental health wellbeing workshops.

Bath Mind creatively adapted, rising to every challenge. Unable to operate as usual, their Food for Thought staff delivered nearly a tonne of food to individuals, food banks and community hubs to support local people in desperate need.

Bath Mind’s crisis line helps prevent people calling on NHS services or attending A&E, their services reduce pressure on the NHS and emergency services, freeing up capacity and saving costs of treatments and hospitalisations. Bath Mind have worked with local GPs, contacting patients who have been unable to get through, helping reduce the pressure on GP surgeries.

Bath Mind have worked tirelessly to support everyone in our community, collaborating wherever possible with other local organisations, such as Age UK, DHI and the universities.

Bath Mind support local businesses with staff wellbeing, providing mental health training to Curo, RUH, Bath Spa University, Julian House, Bath Rugby Foundation, LoveHoney, Bath Swindon Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group, Buro Happold and more.

Everybody has mental health and everyone is affected by it - whether directly or via a friend, family member or colleague. No image can convey mental health. We all know someone who is suffering. Many are afraid to speak out, or unsure of how to get help.

The past year has made everyone more aware of the importance of taking care of ourselves, and others.

Bath Mind’s dedicated, caring team, is passionate about tackling mental health stigma, so that everyone feels able to seek help, and can be supported on their own personal journey to improve their mental health and wellbeing.

Bath Mind’s work will continue, towards our vision of a society that promotes and protects good mental health for all, treats people with experience of mental ill health fairly, positively and with respect.

If you, or someone you know needs support, Bath Mind is here for you. You can find further information on our website . You can access and download a copy of our Services Brochure with full details of all the services we provide here:

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