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Dorset Mind HQ

Let’s celebrate 75 years of support

We are proud to announce that this November Dorset Mind will celebrate 75 years of supporting Dorset’s mental health! To honour this sensational milestone, we’re looking back at our history, exploring recent challenges and achievements, and sharing our exciting celebration plans.  

Read on to learn more about your local mental health charity and ways that you can get involved in our celebrations. 


Established in November 1946, Dorset Mind was initially known as the Bournemouth Association for Mental Health (BAMH). Doris Odlum, a local Psychiatrist, founded the association to provide a space for mental health professionals to meet and discuss mental health.  

In 1971, the BAMH opened a group home for those with mental health problems. Unfortunately, this home was sold in 1977 due to low demand.  

Later in the 1980s, the closure of large mental health institutions triggered a rise in demand for community and volunteer mental health services. In 1987, the BAMH provided a befriending service, shortly followed by a charity shop, a women’s group, and other services.  

In the 2000s, the BAMH became a local Mind under the standards and branding of national Mind; since then, the BAMH became known as Dorset Mind as it is today.  

Only in recent years has the reach of Dorset Mind grown exponentially to support people all over Dorset. We have no plans of slowing this progress; we will continue to work hard every day to provide support for people in Dorset who are experiencing mental health difficulties.   

Recent Challenges and Achievements

This last year has been extremely tough for everyone. Due to COVID-19 and subsequent lockdowns, Dorset Mind was faced a sudden funding emergency; our funding nose-dived dramatically, while some funding sources ceased entirely. Many events and fundraising opportunities were postponed or cancelled entirely.  

Despite these challenges, our wonderful staff and volunteers worked tirelessly to continue supporting the people of Dorset. It was important to us not to let anyone feel that they were alone. Our first challenge was moving our face-to-face support services to online or telephone delivery – this was managed in a matter of weeks. It was no mean feat mobilising our teams of facilitators to ensure they were confident working online from home. We also ensured that our service-users were supported by contacting them regularly to check in. Our Adult and Young People’s team were awarded a High Sheriff Award to recognise the dedication and determination of both teams during lockdown. 

Additionally, we supported the wellbeing of our staff and volunteers, by offering wellbeing resources and services, as well as advice for keeping them safe. Further achievements included launching our low-cost Adult Counselling and surviving our funding crisis.  

Celebrate with us

While the last 75 years have not been without their setbacks, especially the last eighteen months, Dorset Mind has grown and achieved a considerable amount. 

This calls for a notable celebration! We have multiple celebratory challenges that you can get involved in to help support mental health in Dorset throughout our anniversary year. This important year will start by having 75 people skydive for Dorset Mind on the same day! We are offering a discounted fundraising target to encourage people to take part in this bucket-list challenge; visit to take advantage of this offer. It’s a remarkable achievement – and a fitting way to celebrate.

And for our corporate partners, we have ‘The Accumulator’ challenge. This involves raising as much money as you can from an initial kitty of £75 – will your team be crowned the winners? We can’t wait to see what our partners come up with.

All fundraising for Dorset Mind stays within Dorset and helps support local people with their mental health. All donations also protect the future of Dorset Mind as we work hard to meet the increased demand for our services in these uncertain times.  

Join us to celebrate 75 years of support – and a further 75 ahead. Help us to transform lives and ensure that no one in Dorset has to face a mental health problem alone. 

Help and Support

If you are in crisis, ring 999 or The Samaritans free on 116 123. Visit our help and support pages for resources, signposting, and information about our individual and group mental health services.

Our guest blogger:

Huge thanks to our Ambassador and Assistant psychologist Lucy for writing this blog to help us celebrate.

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