Dorset Mind West and David Upshall

There are currently few mental health services in Dorchester and West Dorset without large waiting times.​  The recent Dorset CCG Review (Sept 2017) recommended that vital statutory services should move eastwards.

This means that many people in West Dorset will have little or no access to mental health services. 

This is combined with the fact that many parts of West Dorset are very rural.  A lack of accessible help will leave people with poor mental health in a vulnerable position.  This can lead to greater isolation, which again has a huge impact on their wellbeing and physical health.

What are we doing about it?

Dorset Mind believes that when someone is experiencing a mental health crisis they should be able to find help straight away.

We have designed a series of support services for West Dorset that are a mixture of talking therapies and befriending.  This format is successful in Bournemouth and surrounding areas, and we have committed to expanding our services westwards.  We intend to start in Dorchester.

But of course this will cost money…

David Upshall Dorset Mind WestAnd so we have joined forces with David Upshall, Senior Partner of David Upshall Insurance Services to fundraise specifically for this project.  David is a highly influential and well-connected Dorchester businessman.  He is also keen to invest financially in the mental health of his community – he sees this as his legacy.

David said, “Mental illness and stress are a growing problem, especially when you consider the pace and pressures of everyday life.  Here in West Dorset it’s no different.  I’m truly delighted to link up with Dorset Mind and help them build services in this part of the County.”

We are very lucky to have the support of key local people, such as the ex-Mayoress Anita Harris, and Nigel Reeve who is the founding director of Marketing West.  It’s with this invaluable local knowledge that we can make sure our services are responsive to what is needed in Dorchester.

How much will it cost?

We estimate the cost of setting up initial services and running them for a year to be in over £35,000.

‘Dorset Mind West’ will include:

  • Talking therapy support group with the opportunity to access professionally facilitated peer support.​ The group will focus on managing depression and anxiety and teach coping skills
  • Activity support drop-in style group for people with mild to severe MH problems.​  Again, this will be facilitated by qualified professionals and aims to improve physical/mental wellbeing.​
  • Befriending: 1-2-1 help to build resilience, reduce isolation and empower people who are really struggling

Please note, that these are our initial plans, and they might change once we finish conducting our research.

Fundraising starts…

The Dorset Mind West appeal began officially on 29th June with a launch at Kingston Maurward College in Dorchester.  The event raised a staggering £2,130.40 – with a considerable donation of £1,000 from David Upshall.  Sir Philip Williams, former High Sheriff of Dorset also matched David’s generous donation.

Dorset Mind West Auction of PromisesThursday 9th November saw a unique ‘Auction of Promises’ held at Dukes Auctioneers in Dorchester.  David and Anita organised the evening which saw some fantastic prizes.  Dorchester Mayor Susy Hosford attended and also bid for lots.

Auctioneer Gary Batt had the room in stitches with his humourous commentary.  A grand total of £4,500 was raised!

Marketing West are holding a series of breakfast networking events in aid of Dorset Mind.  The first breakfast had a thoroughly entertaining talk by Valerie Singleton, former Blue Peter Presenter.  The second event features Professor Adele Ladkin talking about the effects of Brexit on the workplace.  You can find the details here.

Keep an eye on our social media for details of all fundraising.  David Upshall will also announce upcoming events via his website and social media.  See here for his Facebook page, and here for his Twitter feed.

How you can support Dorset Mind West

You can make a donation directly towards our Dorset Mind West fundraising appeal here.