An Oxford mental health charity wins Brookes volunteering award

Monday, 16 February 2015

Restore mental health charity

Restore, a charity based in Oxford that supports people with mental health issues celebrated in style earlier this month after winning the Oxford Brookes Management of Volunteers Award.

The charity was recognised at the annual Oxfordshire Charity and Volunteer Awards 2015 on 4 February held by Oxfordshire Community and Voluntary Action (OCVA).  OCVA is the main umbrella organisation for the voluntary and community sector in Oxfordshire.

The awards are designed to celebrate the fantastic work of all of Oxfordshire's charities, voluntary and community groups and their volunteers.

Students at Oxford Brookes volunteer with Restore in a variety of roles through their mainstream volunteering route.  Restore also work with the university to host work placements for occupational therapy, social work, nursing, and health and social care students.

Paul Inman, Pro Vice Chancellor at Oxford Brookes University said: "Restore is a fantastic local charity making a real difference and I’m delighted that they won the award this year.  Every year, almost 2,000 Oxford Brookes students volunteer regularly in the local community in a wide range of activities including conservation projects, supporting vulnerable people and mentoring in schools. Overall, they contribute thousands of hours. The benefit to the community and to the development of the students is invaluable."

Oxford Brookes University has sponsored the Management of Volunteers Award for the last three years.  It recognises a group demonstrating good practice in how volunteers are involved in the delivery of services and the support the volunteers receive.

Overall, they contribute thousands of hours. The benefit to the community and to the development of the students is invaluable.

Paul Inman, Pro Vice Chancellor

Jeanne Humber, Director of Volunteering and Training at Restore said:  “We were astonished to win the award, it is such an honour.  At Restore we aim to offer our volunteers the best experience we can and are so thankful to them for all their hardwork, enthusiasm and dedication.  We thank Oxford Brookes for their sponsorship and support.”  

Restore supports people with mental health problems to recover, develop and secure paid work or volunteering.  The charity are always looking for more people to join their team, anyone can volunteer visit www.restore.org.uk for more information.

Brookes Union mental health campaign 2015

Brookes Union are running a mental health campaign this year working to create an ethos on campus where people are encouraged to be open about their mental health and are signposted to the appropriate support services that meet their needs.

Through their campaign #MyMIND they are seeking to counter myths about mental health issues, and try to foster a campus-wide atmosphere of acceptance.  

The university has a range of support services for students including health and wellbeing services.  Brookes Union will be working with the Wellbeing team to ensure that there are appropriate levels of support available, and that support is easily accessible to all students.

Already Brookes Union has a series of blogs on their website to raise awareness and de-stigmatise mental health issues writing with students writing about their experiences.  In October last year they held an awareness day for World Mental Health Day and in December they gave out stress relievers and advice for students around exam time.

Brookes Union have also developed a strong relationship with Oxford Nightline and Student Minds to promote their work and support services to students. They intend to implement Student Minds Peer Support Workshops in the next Academic Year. 

Find out more about Brookes Union and their campaign here www.brookesunion.org.uk/campaigns.  

University Mental Health and Wellbeing Day is Wednesday 18 February 2015.