The Success of The Being Well Works Well Conference 2018

“FANTASTIC CONFERENCE!!” 

October 10th 2018 (World Mental Health Day) saw the “Being Well Works Well” Conference come to fruition through the leadership of Common Unity.

 

Its aims were to provide networking opportunities locally, regionally and nationally in respect of the wellbeing agenda, highlight upstream services being delivered currently under The Connecting Community Networks programme, present new and innovative approaches that seek to ensure early engagement with wellbeing support opportunities and actively promote the opportunity for improved wellbeing in a range of arenas.

….and we believe it achieved this and more.

With in excess of 150+ delegates, 80 represented organisations, a range of experiential wellbeing stalls and a diverse set of forward-thinking speakers from across the board, The Being Well Works Well achieved way beyond our expectations. 

We are still going through all the evaluations but 80% of the attendees that completed theirs told us the Conference was “excellent.”

 

To sum it all up!

We will be sending out more information in the next couple of weeks about the day and thanks to all of you who attended and made this day the success it was. It showed us that Birmingham and Solihull have a lot to celebrate about when it comes to Wellbeing services.

A special thank you to all our Speakers on the day – Cherry Dale, Councillor Paulette Hamilton, Pete Trainor, Adam Page, Terry Rigby and Tom Howell.

Connecting Community Networks

What is Connecting Community Networks All About?

Life can be hard…but for some, because of particular circumstances, and more often than not, through no fault of their own, life can be much harder still. Connecting Community Networks recognises this and looks to protect and enhance citizen well-being and promote life quality. It oversees the delivery of a number of much needed holistic services that has real, evidenced based wellbeing benefits for some of our most vulnerable members in the community. CCN takes a different approach from many other traditional services by starting from a premise of vulnerability and risk due to life challenges and looking to demonstrate a positive resolution for the individual based on improved wellbeing.

 

 

 

The Organisations Behind CCN

Common Unity is the central driving force behind all of the CCN programmes with external expertise being brought into the process to best deliver all elements of each and every programme. This partnership arrangement means that from conceptualisation right through to the point of evaluation, specialist support is realised to demonstrate the potential for such approaches to improving well-being.

 

 

 

What Programmes Are in Place?

 

  • Urbrum – web based community centred platform, is all about discovering innovative ways of engaging communities with their own health and wellbeing and the health and well-being of those around them. Its approach to engagement, information and intelligence sees communities as both the recipients and providers of health and well-being intelligence with a view that through such an organic process, services and support will continue to best reflect what communities need and want.
  • ASIST/safeTALK – Delivery of the world renowned suicide prevention programmes across specific Birmingham sectors to best identify and support those who are vulnerable in respect of suicidal ideation and behaviour.
  • ManMade: Through The Gates – Utilising the ManMade Peer Led support approach that enables men to survive in modern day society, ManMade: TTG is an exciting opportunity to test the model and its impact with men at HMP Birmingham who are soon to be released back to the community.
  • ManMade: Cruse – Men often find it difficult to engage regarding their losses in life and thus can play a negative part in men coping with crisis through loss. This programme looks to achieve greater resilience and well-being through providing men with the opportunity to engage with the area of loss and bereavement as part of a Peer Led Support Programme led by specialists in the field of Bereavement.
  • Bloom in Birmingham is a unique project aimed at reducing social isolation and improving the physical and mental well-being of women living in Birmingham and at risk regarding their health utilising a peer led support approach.

The Key Ring That Saves Lives

At the age of 17 I knew there was something that had changed about my Auntie. The things she was saying didn’t make sense; It’s as if overnight she had suddenly started to see the world very differently to how she used to.

I felt like I had lost my Auntie and things got progressively worse for her.

As a strong family unit, we tried to support her every way we could both within the family and through locating services that supported people’s mental health. But services were very hard to come by and we struggled to find her the right support to help her quickly enough. Because of this Auntie was sectioned under the Mental Health Act and it was long time before I started to see glimpses of my Auntie again…that is, my real Auntie of old.

Fast forward 32 years and it struck me that its much the same today as it was then.

Services are hard to come by and for those services we do know about they often only come into play when the person has got to their most critical point. But this time I could do something about it as now I am a Company Director of a Birmingham Social Enterprise that has, through the development of social media and I.T. evolution, developed a way of linking people who are struggling to cope with services that can best meet their needs.

I got the idea for a solution to seamlessly linking individuals with support services when I realised the number of people who would carry the Supermarket Key Fobs on their person. By marrying the key-fob with a QR code which took the user straight to a local directory of intervention services and direct telephone call opportunities, I had found a way of discreetly and almost instantly, linking individuals with a mass of services that could help them in a range of areas.

Society is getting smart – so should the way we provide access to support in society. It was a case of no more wasted paper or out of date information.

The Waiting Room Resource Key and The Waiting Room Directory (TWR) housed within our Urbrum Website is gathering momentum in respect of demand locally including the Charities sector, the Local Authority, Police, Probation, HMP Birmingham, West Midlands Fire Service, Jaguar Land-Rover, Educational establishments and the local NHS.

Further interest outside Birmingham has escalated with Public Sector and Private Sector Organisations across the West Midlands and further seeing the benefits of this virtual one stop shop for Health and Wellbeing approach – being right at your fingertips and easy to bring to other parts of the country.

Recent reports concerning the NHS, Social Services, Mental Health Services, Charities, suicide and self-harm rates, the welfare state, debt, domestic violence and abuse, housing, sexual health and social isolation tells us that this approach has come at just the right time – this simple yet effective life changing intervention where communities are both informed and empowered to find solutions, is one big positive step forward to meet the challenge of helping people to best help themselves in an ever more turbulent climate of austerity.

In less than 6 months we have had 10,000 hits with over a third of all visitors coming back for more information. TWR keys are proving to be a vital way of ensuring people get in touch with local services when they need them.

TWR is an intervention in its own right

 

 

 

Want to know more?

Visit our website at www.the-waitingroom.org

If you are based in Birmingham and want to add your service to one or more of the 24 Life Domain Areas then get in touch and if you aren't based in Birmingham but believe TWR would work for your organisation or your area then please get in touch.

TWR Resource Key – A Road To Somewhere

It's a clever way of linking people with local support with the least amount of stress, hassle or disappointment

 

Back in the 80's there was a song called "Road To Nowhere" – pretty good as well – but when I think of online resource directories, or worse still, paper directories for health and social care services, they are often just like this song. They are, too often, a Road To Nowhere. The telephone numbers are often wrong or discontinued; the organisation you are searching for has either moved, closed or changed the services they provide; the website links don't work or the pages you are looking for don't exist anymore – so we designed The Waiting Room in Birmingham (known as TWR) and the TWR Resource Key.

 

It's a clever way of linking people with local support with the least amount of stress, hassle or disappointment – access to information is instant, information is current and making contact is do-able for both professionals and the public.

 

In December of last year we started testing the TWR Resource Key with 25 GP Surgeries to see how it went down with their staff and their patients. The results are astounding and demand for TWR both in Birmingham and wider is growing fast with both Professionals and the public realising that access to local services can be up-to-date and are quite literally at their finger-tips.

 

Please check out our Pilot Overview document by clicking on TWR below and tell us what you think of it.

 

We think it's a road to somewhere.

The Waiting Room gathers speed in Birmingham

The Waiting Room (TWR) Resource Key provides an alternative approach to taking control of our own health and well-being – it does this by providing a virtual bridge between services in the community and the people that need those services. 

 

 

Tested initially with 25 GP Surgeries across the South and Centre of Birmingham and several third sector providers, TWR continues to gain momentum with direct engagement from both the public and private sectors both within Birmingham and further afield.

 


This innovative approach to linking communities with local services and national support has witnessed a tide of support from agencies including the Birmingham Mental Health Foundation Trust, the Local Authority, BITA Pathways, Birmingham Mind, HMP Birmingham, West Midlands Fire Services, Jaguar Landrover, Probation services to name but a few.

 


Our vision that each and every citizen of Birmingham has access to this ever-growing resource that ensures instant access to best support opportunities in “their own back yard” is becoming a more likely achievable goal. Within only 3 months of its initial launch, with a limited number of keys, TWR has now received over 3000 website visits from all parts of Birmingham of all ages.

 


We are now being approached by a range of sector areas across the country with a keen interest in a tailored Waiting Room Resource Key for their communities – whether these communities are within a specific organisation, a specific area or have specific health related needs.

 



Check out TWR at The-Waitingroom.org

 

 

 

TWR Resource Key

The Waiting Room Resource Key

Common Unity have designed a mobile-friendly directory for services across Birmingham

 

The Resource Key works with all devices, from handheld to tablets.

 

Accessing information to specific services can be difficult at the best of times. In modern day life technology plays a key role in ensuring information is at your fingertips.

 

The Waiting Room Resource Key gives you the opportunity to access your local services whilst on the go. The Quick Response Code on the Resource Key will take you straight to The Waiting Room, a place where you will be able to access information about local services that can support you. 

 



Visit www.the-waitingroom.org. 

 


mobile-link


iphone-urbrum

 

follow us on instagram @commonunity

follow us on twitter @common_unity_

Connecting Community Networks

What is Connecting Community Networks All About?

Life can be hard…but for some, because of particular circumstances, and more often than not, through no fault of their own, life can be much harder still. Connecting Community Networks recognises this and looks to protect and enhance citizen well-being and promote life quality. It oversees the delivery of a number of much needed holistic services that has real, evidenced based wellbeing benefits for some of our most vulnerable members in the community. CCN takes a different approach from many other traditional services by starting from a premise of vulnerability and risk due to life challenges and looking to demonstrate a positive resolution for the individual based on improved wellbeing.

 

Connecting Community Networks

 

The Organisations Behind CCN

Common Unity is the central driving force behind all of the Connecting Community Networks (CCN) programmes with external expertise being brought into the process to best deliver all elements of each and every programme. This partnership arrangement means that from conceptualisation right through to the point of evaluation, specialist support is realised to demonstrate the potential for such approaches to improving well-being.

 

 

 

What Programmes Are in Place?

 

Urbrum – web based community centred platform, is all about discovering innovative ways of engaging communities with their own health and wellbeing and the health and well-being of those around them. Its approach to engagement, information and intelligence sees communities as both the recipients and providers of health and well-being intelligence with a view that through such an organic process, services and support will continue to best reflect what communities need and want.

 

ASIST/safeTALK – Delivery of the world renowned suicide prevention programmes across specific Birmingham sectors to best identify and support those who are vulnerable in respect of suicidal ideation and behaviour.

 

ManMade: Through The Gates – Utilising the ManMade Peer Led support approach that enables men to survive in modern day society, ManMade: TTG is an exciting opportunity to test the model and its impact with men at HMP Birmingham who are soon to be released back to the community.

 

ManMade: Cruse – Men often find it difficult to engage regarding their losses in life and thus can play a negative part in men coping with crisis through loss. This programme looks to achieve greater resilience and well-being through providing men with the opportunity to engage with the area of loss and bereavement as part of a Peer Led Support Programme led by specialists in the field of Bereavement.

 

Bloom in Birmingham is a unique project aimed at reducing social isolation and improving the physical and mental well-being of women living in Birmingham and at risk regarding their health utilising a peer led support approach.

Help Before We Know We Need It?

ptManMade // Pete Trainor

It’s been a week since ManMade | The Conference at Himley Hall nr. Dudley there’s been a lot to think about. I was fortunate enough to spend time with the other speakers on the lead up to the conference and each one them, along with all the organisers, are inspirational, brave and fighting this epidemic in their own way. All of them are helping to make it easier for men to find help without shame or stigma. It feels like we’re just at the tip of the iceberg on this one too.

 

If over a third of local authorities do not collect information about suicide, and do not have a suicide prevention action plans, or a multi-agency suicide prevention groups, then the issue is going to need to be tackled outside of the system.

As I explained on Monday 13th June to all the delegates, I’m fighting the problem with the gifts that I’ve been given — technology, design, psychology & a passion to disrupt traditional problems with unconventional methods. I’m also a man, so I know full well how tough it can be to carry on in this ever-changing world. I’m a fairly typical bloke about a lot of things and have had many a “crisis of masculinity” in which I failed to seek help even when catastrophic events hit my life. It could have led to tragic consequences for my families and I’m thankful it didn’t. I’m one of the lucky ones.   I’ve worked in technology for 20 years now and have been fortunate enough to work all over the world, with the biggest tech companies on the planet. When we set the business up several years ago, we vowed to use all the technological knowhow we’d accumulated and all the emerging technology we’re exploring with our clients, to actually do some good for society. We could build you a behavioural analytics platform that tracks browsing behaviour to sell people better products, or we could use exactly the same technology and build a platform that helps people with more human issues.  

The rising suicide rates among men should be treated as a national public health issue on a par with smoking, obesity or pollution and yet the government does so little to support the amazing organisations tackling the problem. So I figured — maybe we could have a crack at helping there.

A large portion of men never talk to anyone about their problems, variously because they feel ashamed, do not want to discuss feelings or simply don’t “want to make a fuss”. What if we could give these men something they are happy to talk about? There’s a generation of men whose adult lives have been marked by major social changes affecting the workplace and family. They’re in pain.

 

They don’t have a way of offloading all that stress and inner turmoil that speaking so often releases. Maybe technology can help them to talk?   In the technology world we recently hit an inflection point that’s going to give us a huge opportunity to do what I always dreamed we could do — help vulnerable people, even before they know they need help. Artificial intelligence, which has always been the subject of science fiction, is now mature enough to handle some of the most complex challenges. Perhaps even the kinds of human challenges that traditionally a trained professional would be relied upon to handle. Now, that statement might sound controversial, but I just want to point out that we have to train a machine to learn in much the same way that a human needs to train to be a fully qualified professional.

 

So we can really get a machine on par, if not smarter than a human on any given subject. The real challenge comes with empathy  — because surely that’s a trait that only humans can learn, right? To a degree yes, but we now have such sophisticated emotional and sentiment analytics software at our disposal, that we can generate dialogues between a human and a machine that are so intelligent and delivered in such an elegant style, that they become almost as good, if not better than the real thing. It’s worth also keeping in mind that artificial intelligence doesn’t sleep, it doesn’t eat, it can’t make mistakes or have a bad day and it can service tens, hundreds, thousands, even unlimited numbers of people simultaneously.  

The implications, although uncomfortable to some, are profound and game changing for others.

In my talk at ManMade I covered the three types of artificial intelligence, from narrow (basic decision support tools) to general (services like Siri) through to super intelligence (cognitive intelligence) which is already used by a lot of companies to sell us more products or monitor our patterns in order to market to us in a more tailored way and all this is going on while suicide, like a virus we don’t fully understand, is killing men in record numbers. It kills three times as many British men as women, although nothing has ever adequately explained why. While almost all other leading causes of death are being slowly eroded by medical and social progress, deaths caused by suicide are at their highest for decades.

 

So it seems such an incredible waste not to use these wonderful, powerful technological advancements on tackling the bigger issues, rather than trying to sell more shiny things to people.   Let’s just imagine a man who is lonely, introverted with difficulties expressing his feelings. He’s unhappy because of his impending divorce from his childhood sweetheart. He’s connected to his phone almost constantly because the void created by his loneliness is filled with hours browsing the internet, reading news (which is usually contributing to the unhappiness!) being on social media and so on.

 

What if I could give that man a talking operating system with artificial intelligence, designed to adapt and evolve like a human being. He can choose the gender and personality of this operating system and it will adapt very quickly to the individual just by listening to his voice bio-metrics, by reading all the environmental and other data factors from that smart phone. It can’t judge him because it’s not programmed to judge — just support. The artificial intelligence has the ability to learn and grow psychologically, and bond with the man over discussions about past times, life events and maybe even eventually learn to talk to the man about the factors that make him so lonely and unhappy. It’s Socratic, so it asks a lot of questions and he’s happy to talk, because he knows he’s not being judged. It’s literally ‘artificial’ and ‘intelligent’.  

It might sound like science fiction, it might also sound a little sad to some people who think our reliance on technology is already eroding some of our humanity, but I see the opposite — an opportunity to give some vulnerable people back something missing.

I get the impression that we still think that the type of men who will die by suicide are the unwell, the disturbed, the unlucky; the ones who stumble at life’s biggest hurdles and are too weak to get back up. But in reality 75 per cent of people who take their own lives have either never been diagnosed with a mental health problem or been in touch with mental health services in the previous year and only five per cent of people who do suffer from depression go on to take their own lives — they’re what society would deem to be normal. But they still need someone to ask them how they are everyday. Someone to talk with, someone to analyse behaviour in intimate detail and provide help, wisdom, and guidance and potentially even warn a family member, friend or professional if it is felt that the man is a danger to himself.  

When asked what counts as emotional support, many men do not describe relationships based primarily on ‘talking about feelings.' What we count as support is ‘being there’, ‘being alongside’ and understanding based on personal experience, or knowledge of the person, and being reachable if needed. We can do that with technology in so many ways.

Let start to conclude by telling you about an experiment we recently conducted with 200 male volunteers who were studied using a chatbot we’d built that asked men questions about how they felt about life. On the back of the chatbot was a powerful sentiment analysis tool to track how the men responded. We told half of them the chatbot was being controlled by a person ("like a puppet"), while the other half were told it was computer-controlled ("fully-automated") and there was no human on the other end.

 

The volunteers who thought they were talking to a computer tended to engage in less "impression management" and also displayed emotions like sadness more intensely they also said they felt less afraid to disclose personal details about themselves than those who talked with the supposedly human-controlled program. Who says the machines aren’t as valuable as people?   At Nexus we want to build a future where stretched, professional people are augmented by smart, accessible, beautiful technology. We believe the future of supporting men of all ages, in an ever changing world, is predictive, reactive, artificial intelligent support and lies between two important things: anonymity and rapport.

 

We’re not trying to diminish the role of the professional in this battle against suicide; we’re trying to take up some of the slack. If this kind of approach, using technology like artificial intelligence, is enough to keep somebody vulnerable talking in the black spot between an alert and a response from a community mental health team or the police? Is that itself not worth exploring? I vote yes.  


About Pete Trainor & Nexus   Pete Trainor is a behavioural designer, mental health campaigner, accidental polymath and founder of Nexus, The Human Centred Design Company. He talks all over the world on creative & social technologies & the physiological & psychological effects on their audiences. Pete regularly appears in UK national and international press as an analyst on mental health, digital media, creative industries, emergent technologies, and tech markets. He has a very simple mantra for the business: Don't do things better, do better things.   @petetrainor / @nexushcd / www.nexus.design  


  ManMade|The Conference was organised by Midlands-based social enterprises Forward for Life and Common Unity. Together, they conceptualised, designed and delivered ManMade, an innovative peer-led support service aimed at reducing male suicide. Initially piloted and recommissioned in the Midlands, the developers of ManMade are looking to establish it as an approach further afield. Terry Rigby – Co-Founder of ManMade @ukManMade // @forwardFORlife  // www.manmade.org.uk e. [email protected] t. 07585776800  


  If you are having thoughts of suicide or concerned about someone else please go to The Urbrum Waiting Room Or contact – Samaritans // Listening service – 24 hours a day, any day – CALL 116 123 (UK, ROI) // EMAIL [email protected] CALM // Suicide Prevention support for Men (5pm – Midnight) CALL 0800 58 58 58 // SMS (text messsage) 07537 404717  

ManMade | The Conference

mm

We hope you have your ticket ready for Man Made the Conference June 13th 2016! with just 4 days to go, there are very limited spaces available and now tickets are sold on a first come first serve bases.

 

For those of you who haven't booked yet, or are maybe new to ManMade…here is a little information for you.

 

ManMade: The Conference // This is a Man's World?
We know that suicide does not discriminate. It impacts across the board, on all walks of life at all levels in modern day society. But still…statistically…men account for over 75% of all completed suicides in England.

 

 

slidemm1
 

With Keynote Speakers including Jonny Benjamin, Rohan Kallicharan and Chief Inspector Sean Russell as well as a variety of workshops being delivered by leaders in their field, ManMade The Conference is a unique opportunity to consider ways forward to hit the devastating issue of suicide amongst men head on. 

 

If you have booked your place(s) that's fantastic! We cant wait to see you at ManMade | The Conference Men Surviving Change in an ever Changing World June 13th 2016 click here to go to manmade.org.uk
However, if you haven't booked and want to come, please be aware that it's not long to go and there are verylimited places remaining,

 

 

To find out more about ManMade please use the links below.

 

To book your place through Eventbright click here

 

Click here to visit ManMade

 

DELEGATE COST: £110

 

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to give Terry Rigby a call on 07585776800 or email him at [email protected]

 

 

 

Accessing information anywhere

key

Common Unity have developed the very first mobile designed support directory, giving its user direct access to support services anywhere across the UK. Within a few clicks on a smart phone the user will have direct access to a huge support service library colour coded to make it completely user friendly.

 

mobile-link

Our easy to use navigation system

iphone-urbrum

 

Colour coded support areas

 

Connecting Community Networks

CCN-flyer

 

UPSTREAM SOLUTIONS FOR COMMUNITY WELLBEING

Life can be hard…but for some, because of particular circumstances, and more often than not, through no fault of their own, life can be much harder still. Connecting Community Networks recognises this and looks to protect and enhance citizen well-being and promote life quality. It oversees the delivery of a number of much needed holistic services that has real, evidenced based wellbeing benefits for some of our most vulnerable members in the community. CCN takes a different approach from many other traditional services by starting from a premise of vulnerability and risk due to life challenges and looking to demonstrate a positive resolution for the individual based on improved wellbeing

 

Download the flyer for CCN here

The digital age of mobile technology

iphone-mobile-friendly

 

Accessing information to specific services can be difficult at the best of times. In modern day life, digital technology plays an increasing  role in ensuring up to date  information is at our fingertips. 

 

The URBRUM resource key gives you the opportunity to access your local services whilst on the go. The Quick Response Code on the resource key will take you straight to The Meeting Room, a place where you will be able to access information about local services that can support you. Scan the QR code to access the URBRUM Resource Key video or visit urbrum.org. 

 

 

 

 

Why not download a copy of the ManMade news issue one

manmadenewsl

 

Why not download a copy of the ManMade news issue one or better yet visit the manmade.org.uk #ukManMade Newsletter

 

Download the full version of the ManMade newsletter here

 

Why not download a copy of the ManMade news issue one or better yet visit the manmade.org.uk website for the latest information on the manmade campaign to promote men's survival.

 

Suicide is the biggest killer of men under 45. Every two hours, a man takes his life in the UK. ManMade | The Conference throws on the table an invitation to meet this challenge head on with personal stories and new approaches being highlighted to help men survive.


ManMade | THE CONFERENCE

“men surviving change in an ever changing world”

Has renowend keynote speakers: Jonny Benjamin, Cadi Lambert, Rohan Kaillicharan, Jamie Harrington and Sean Russell


Manmade.org.uk | twitter: @ukManMade | #ukmanmade

As ManMade was first piloted in Dudley through support of Dudley Metropolitan Borough Councils Office of Public Health, it seems only fitting that the first ManMade conference be set at Himley Hall, a 17th Century Manor House set within 180 acres of parkland within the Borough of Dudley.

 

Himley Hall and Park

MANMADE | THE CONFERENCE


COMING TO DUDLEY
JUNE 13th 2016


manmade.org.uk
#ukmanmade
@ukManMade

Our very own: Common Unity Presentation

Understanding Common Unity, what we do and how we engage with the community.

 

Common Unity Social Enterprise

Is a Health and Social Care organisation specialising in working on mental health and well-being with ‘hard to reach’ communities. It was established in 2009 by community activists from BME communities who were also mental health professionals, and who had grown up in the inner city areas of the West Midlands. Our personal and professional experiences have formed our instincts about, and specific insights into, what works in communication with a wide range of audiences.

 

We help individuals, communities and service providers to overcome barriers to communication and the fulfilment of potential, ensuring that services are both accessible and relevant. Common Unity has been commissioned by the Local Authority, NHS Primary Care Trust, and a number of Third Sector organisations in Birmingham and Sandwell, to support them in research and consultation with specific communities.

 

Founder and Director of Common-Unity Social Enterprise:

Caron works alongside agencies and organisations, developing and delivering a range of mental well-being projects. Management: Caron has worked in the Health and Social Care sector for Twenty years and has gained a vast knowledge and experience in working with individuals of all ages living in the care and support setting. Caron has managed housing support services and support & care staff team and contracts for Heart of Birmingham PCT NHS and Solihull Mental Health Trust.

Service Development:

Common Unity has developed services with Third Sector Organisation by assessing the quality of the service, the systems, structures and protocols. We also measures the current practices in line with organisational policies & procedure and government legislation. Common Unity works with organisations to develop their services to its full potential by building capacity.

Project Management:

Common Unity developed and project managed an award winning community film Breaking Silence (that explored the complex social and cultural issues that South Asian women faced who were experiencing mental ill health). Breaking Silence won the Mental Health and Wellbeing category for Regional Health and Social Care Award 2008

BBC Dan Kelly Talks about suicide in the West Midlands

BBC West Midlands 95.6 presenter Dan Kelly talks about suicide within your communities and ways of preventing them with the help of Common Unity and Forward For Life.

Master Trainers Caron Thompson and Terry Rigby, talk about training members of the public as well as professionals to look for signs within their communities and help tackle suicide at the source, by spotting the signs early and implementing prevention measures.

Offering help and advice while sign posting that individual to an organisation that could offer them more support is crucial to preventing suicide.

bbc

Media attention to suicide prevention came on the back of the story of Jamie Harrington, a Young Ambassador for Dublin becoming the next European Capital of Culture in 2020, who helped a man find reasons for living on a bridge in his home town. This story went viral with Jamie being repaid in a very special way. The man who had kept in contact with Jamie since their encounter on the bridge told him the news that his girlfriend was having a child, and they were going to name the child after him.

 

#reasonsforliving
@common_unity_
@forwardforlife
@bbcbreakfast
@jamieh_official

 

BBC One Healthy Conversations

Common Unity were approached by the Royal Society for Public Health to be highlighted as a best practice example of an organisation that empowers communities through Healthy Conversation. Common Unity have a longstanding trusted relationship with communities across Birmingham and wider, engaging effectively through a variety of innovative means with communities that are often viewed as hard to reach. One of the ways in which Common Unity do this is by engaging and training community facing professions to pass on positive health messages and signpost post people to services that can best meet need – One such profession is hairdressing, or more specifically, the Barbershop.

This ground breaking work, originally conceptualised in Preston, has recognised that for many African Caribbean Men, one of the only places they would truly talk about their feelings and concerns was whilst sitting at the Barbers’ Chair. Barbershops for the African Caribbean Community are seen as welcoming, safe, social hubs for opening up – Recognising this Common Unity adopted the Barbershop approach in Birmingham through the Barbershop Magazine – written by members of the African Caribbean Community for the African Caribbean Community on topics that were relevant to them.

This Birmingham Joint Commissioning Team NHS funded service has gone from strength to strength since it began in 2007 developing into the City Wide URBRUM Project that through magazines and varied Social Media avenues engages diverse communities across Birmingham on areas of life that impacts on their health and wellbeing. Alongside their Grassroots Associates specialising in supporting communities to support themselves, Common Unity continues to gain a reputation in Birmingham and wider for developing, designing and delivering forward thinking innovative programmes that have the benefit of the community at its heart.

 

The Pamper Zone by Common Unity

The Pamper Zone // Pampering Zone

The-pamper-zone

Face painting // Barbers and Hair Styling // Hair Braiding // Nail Art // Head and Shoulder Massage // Mehndi / Henna

The Pamper Zone is a great way for you to look and feel refreshed. Why not relax, enjoy and revitalise the inner you?


The Pamper Zone was established to aid the well-being of communities through using a range of therapists and skilled entrepreneurs. The Pamper Zone was created by Common Unity to offer the citizens of Birmingham an opportunity to engage with their own selfcare and improve their well-being. 


Community Events//School Fetes//Organisation Away Days//Promotional Stalls//Grand Openings//Festivals//Themed Events and more

 

The CDW Journey Video Podcast

 

The video explains the partnership of Common Unity and Birmingham Mind for the development of the Community Development workers (CDWs) , How the CDWs work, the Assets and community relations, Targeting all audiences and all communities around Birmingham.

 

Seasons Greetings From Common Unity

Seasons Greetings From Common Unity

It's that time of year again, we hope you have had a fantastic year so far, this is a little look back on a small selection of our projects. 

 

Common Unity has worked closely with our associates to deliver a wide range of community projects and has also forged new partnerships expanding to Warwickshire, Dudley, Hertfordshire and Wolverhampton. We feel our services have helped to support, grow and inspire your health and well-being across the West Midlands and further still.

 

 

IMG_9572another one

IMG_9617another one

Dr Andrew Coward addresses delegates at the Common Unity and Birmingham Mind Community Development Worker event in Edgbaston.

 

Five Ways to Well-Being – a range of programmes that help you help yourself to better mental health and well-being. 

 

 

urbrumwearsite

IMG_9588another one

Bringing in the New Year. Common Unity has developed URBRUM Wear working directly with young people to develop and promote URBRUM products.

 

Bringing together organisations and the public by giving them a voice to be heard directly at the source. 

 

send-to-lana

IMG_9433another one-2

New for 2015 The Pamper Zone bringing the talent of young people to the public.

 

URBRUM Issue 3 is available now to download through Common Unity's website.

 

IMG_0068

IMG_9507another one-2

We know that working in partnership is the most effective way to achieving the best outcomes for everybody.

 

 

Our Communities, Watch the journey of the CDW Service on the Common Unity Website.

 

 

IMG_9539another one

IMG_9571another one

At the CDW event we found a new way of captivating the audience with a unique way of story telling.

 

Ground-breaking solutions through creative approaches.

 

 

IMG_9549another one

IMG_9608another one

Pamper Zone!!!! The pilot road-shows – a great success in 2014

 

South Central CCG, Common Unity and Birmingham Mind working together for better mental health for all.

 

 

 

CDW Journey – Testimonies

A handful of testimonies that talk about first hand experience of the CDW service and how it has benefited there communities and them selfs.

Working on our own skills, and those of the partners, individuals and communities we come into contact with. This is done directly by ourselves or through linking to training providers. It is about ensuring quality, and about fulfilling potential through the building of confidence and a sense of agency.

To learn more about the CDW Service: click here

 

Making Well being a reality in Birmingham

Download the Flyer here edgebaston flyer

In 2014 Common Unity and Birmingham Mind, Aided the CDWs (Community Development workers) in the Making well being a reality conferance.

The Concerence will highlight the work achieved by the service and you can have your say in how it can continue to influence the health and social landscape of Birmingham

 10 11

 

URBRUM ISSUE 3 OUT NOW

Common Unity has continued to work in partnership with young people to develop the URBRUM project which is now one of the leading young people programmes across the city of Birmingham. 


Issue 3 of URBRUM features:


The waiting room – which offers easy and useful contacts for well-being services.
The latest youth movement across the city – Local talent, URBRUM Gamer and much more.
What’s happening in your local community – Community stories, events and advertisements.

 

 

Talk Speak Yell Event:

 talk-speak
THE EVENT Organised by Common Unity Social Enterprise and the Community Development Workers. TALK, SPEAK, YELL event was designed to promote URBRUM Youth Inclusion Programme and the Community Health Champion project which are both part of the Community Cohesion Programme currently being delivered by the Community Development Team and partnering organisations. Though the weather on the day was grey and chilly with only the occasional glimpse of the sun, there was a lot on offer to brighten the day… read more

 

The Waiting Room:

waiting
Welcome to the waiting room the first online signposting resource develop by young people to support their needs on subjects such as: Community organisation, Mental Health services, Young people services, Housing and homeless and much more…read more 

 

What is Recovery?

recovery
When anyone mentions ‘recovery’, most people’s first thought is ‘from what?’ This is because recovery is usually about regaining something we have lost or our need to do so. Recovery, for us, could mean something physical such as recovering from a cold, virus or broken leg; or something emotional like a traumatic event, a relationship breakdown or the stress of moving house or changing jobs… read more

 

The new URBRUM Magazine (Issue 3) is now available to view online click here to read.
Hard copies will be available hot off the press at the end of July 2014.

 

The 5th anniversary of Common Unity

Caron Thompson of Common Unity Giving an overview of the last 5 years of being established. This includes aims, achievements, projects partners and future plans.

 

Common Unity Social Enterprise is a Health and Social Care organisation specialising in working on mental health and wellbeing with ‘hard to reach’ communities. It was established in 2009 by community activists from BME communities who were also mental health professionals, and who had grown up in the inner city areas of the West Midlands. Our personal and professional experiences have formed our instincts about, and specific insights into, what works in communication with a wide range of audiences. We help individuals, communities and service providers to overcome barriers to communication and the fulfilment of potential, ensuring that services are both accessible and relevant. Common Unity has been commissioned by the Local Authority, NHS Primary Care Trust, and a number of Third Sector organisations in Birmingham and Sandwell, to support them in research and consultation with specific communities.

 

SAVE THE DATE – CDW Service

THURSDAY 9TH OCTOBER 2014

You are invited to celebrate the achievements of The Community Development Worker Service over the past three years.  This will take place in conjunction with World Mental Health Day.

save the date

 

CDW-SAVE-THE-DATE

 

BBC – Your Voice! in Birmingham

Your Voice!  BBC FREE SPEECH IS COMING TO… Birmingham!

 

b01s4sk3


We are a youth debate show looking for over 100 people to join our live studio audience & share their views on BBC Three If you would like to be sent more details then get in touch We will be broadcasting live on BBC THREE on WEDNESDAY 12TH MARCH 2014 You will need to be available between 5:30 and 9:00pm BBC Free Speech is presented by Rick Edwards with social media jockey Tina Daheley.

 

BBC3’s Free Speech is back, and looking to meet young people who want their voices to be heard. This live political debate show, aims to give young people aged 16-34 a platform to voice their opinions to the people who can help make a difference. The first episode is on the 12th March in Birmingham Central Mosque and will be focusing on the issues that young people want to talk about.

 

If you’re aged 16-34 and are interested in being part of the interactive audience, you can fill in this short application form (Download Here) 
You’ll need to be free from 5.30-9pm on the day. You can check out the show here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01s4sk3

 

THE PLATFORM PARTNERSHIP PROJECT

platimg

Common Unity Social Enterprise have been approached as part of a lotteries programme in partnership with The Digbeth Trust to gain a greater understanding of how the new Health and Social Care Commissioning Landscape is viewed by Voluntary and Community Organisations (VCO) and to look at ways of influencing networks and partnership across the Health and Social Care spectrum for the future.

 

Birmingham South and Central (BSC) Clinical Commissioning Group have agreed to support this process as part of their "Big Conversation Campaign" which looks to engage organisations in supporting BSC to identify existing opportunities around relevant, local Health to best inform future commissioning priorities. By engaging with this survey you are starting an engagement with future service provision.

 

Caron Thompson and Nihal from BBC

Caron Thompson and Nihal from BBC Asian network discuss suicide within local communites.

BBC Asian Network is a British radio station serving those originating from and around the Indian subcontinent.

Nihal brings up the issue of Suicide within the asian community. With Caron Thompsons background and experiance from working within BME and Local Communities the issue of suicide/suicide prevention is one aspect Common Unity specializes in.

 

 

Your Mind, Your Health and Get Into Reading

photo 3Dance

Common Unity supported the Community Development Workers health promotion event.

 

The Your Mind, Your Health and Get Into Reading Event was a local event held at the Birmingham City Football Club to promote well-being to organisation and community members.

The event was very well attended with over one hundred people attending. 

 

 

BITAAudiencephoto 4photo 5

 

The Talk Speak Yell Event

urbrumbadges

The Talk, Speak, Yell


event held at the newly built Lighthouse, Lozells, on 30th May 2013, was attended by over 100 young people.

The event, organised by Common Unity and was designed to promote the URBRUM Youth Inclusion Well-being Project. Though the weather on the day was grey and chilly with the occasional glimpse of the sun, there was a lot on offer to brighten the day. There were free haircuts, Henna, Nail Art, and Message. Some of the young people enjoyed playing football and basketball.
The musical entertainment was supplied by Touch Agency.

A special feature of the day was the award ceremony presentation to members of Edgbaston United, a local football team sponsored by URBRUM.
The event was also a great opportunity to engage with young people around issues such as drugs, alcohol, sexual health, diet, wellbeing, art, music and sport.
Special thanks to the Princess Trust, Edgbaston United, Pertemps, Aquarius, Trident Reach Charity, Health Exchange, Freshwinds, Touch Agency and others for their support. We would also like to thank all the volunteers who worked so tirelessly to make the event a success.

 

 talkspeakyellevent

photo photo 3 ad4 ad3 photo 3

 

The TALK SPEAK YELL Event

talkspeakyellevent

Common Unity would like to give a big thank you!

To all the stall holders, partners, venue hosts, members of the public and volunteers that took part in making the "Talk Speak Yell Event" a big success, because of the event we managed to collected some amazing feedback on:

  • What people thought of the event
  • What we might have missed
  • and what could make it better

 

Rebecca George – Brave Project (Victim Support)
Love to hear about future events as I would like to get involved

 

Anonymous –
The event was amazing i got to meet more people with an interest in mental health.

 

In The Future –
The event was nice and colourful, I would really like to know about Common Unity events in the future.

 

 

Again thank you to everyone for taking an interest in mental health and wellbeing.

The Common Unity table was flooded with people taking copies of the new brochure as well as asking some awesome question to do with mental health and what Common Unity does regarding this field. We also managed to let people know about the "Five Ways to Wellbeing app" for iPhone and iPads which is available to download from the app store and will shortly be available on Android devices.

Please find the link to the 5ways app in the footer

 

 

URBRUM and the new feature for the event the "URBRUM GAMER"

 

urbrumbadges

 

The URBRUM Table featured the new URBRUM GAMER, a section of the website to get more young people involved in the URBRUM Magazine and what the URBRUM website has to offer. 

 

The URBRUM Project is community driven. It aims to promote a much needed dialogue on issues related to mental well-being. It is specifically targeted at young people who may have been given a raw deal or people who just need a second chance. But URBRUM is not exclusive – it aims to include everyone and to appeal to everyone.

 
A number of young people are likely to experience mental ill health every year and there is still a great stigma attached to mental health problems. Unfortunately, our young people are the ones who are least likely to engage with health, social care and well-being opportunities.

 

To download the URBRUM magazine click here

To go to the URBRUM website click here 

 

 

Shakes- TAUK
Its great local news, I would definitely recommend it to a friend as well as promote it on our site.

 

Azmat Hussain- Citizenship Advice
I really like that the website offers a directory of courses all over Birmingham

 

 

Community Health Champions

cdw

 

Creating a healthy lifestyle was just one of the main areas the Community Development Workers discussed, the promotion of the Community Cohesion Programme and the strands the Cohesion Programme offers.

For more information on the Community Development Workers and the Community Cohesion Programme please click here