Sunday, 29 March 2009



British Summer Time

Yes, British Summer Time began this morning, the time now is 07.28 on Sunday 29th March 2009 !


Thursday, 26 March 2009

Derbyshire Mental Health Carers

Wednesday 25th March 2009 I attended the monthly meeting of Derbyshire Mental Health Carers in Chesterfield, Derbyshire {Ashgate Road, Friends Meeting House - pictured above}.
It was (and always has been) a nice meeting chaired by Gwen Wallace and has some very topical speakers on core subjects that matter in the delivery of adequate mental health facilities. For more information on the work of Derbyshire Mental Health Carers, I recommend a visit to their website...


Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Chesterfield ~ End of the Rainbow.


Today's (Wednesday) destination, a rather long and picturesque journey by train through three Counties.

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Sunny Manchester

Tuesday 24th March 2009

Best time of the day for a bike ride........ when the roads are quiet and everyone is asleep.

Monday, 23 March 2009

Hub 2

Updated technology and cheaper monthly payments for Broadband ~ from BT.
Easy to install and upload the software, impressive indeed.


Wheels for the World.

Jeff Edwards and his wife Sue,are helping a registered charity called "Wheels for the World"
collect wheelchairs in order to send these to developing countries. The chairs are re-conditioned by prisoners in a workshop at Parkhurst Prison and arrangements are made for a distribution in those countries where contacts have been established and where there is a great need for wheelchairs. A team of professional volunteers arrives after the container of chairs and other mobility aids has arrived. Those people with mobility needs are matched with the available chairs. There are never enough children’s chairs to meet the demand so children’s chairs would be particularly welcome. If you know of any manual wheelchairs that are available, please consider donating them to Wheels for the World, by contacting
Jeff or Sue Edwards in Glossop, telephone number 01457 855227 or on e-mail

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Chris Hoy Edinburgh Half Marathon.

The Course for 2009.

View Interactive Map on

Sunday 5th April 2009


Monday, 16 March 2009

Buxton Rambling Club AGM & Buffet Supper.

Saturday 14th March 2009 was the Buxton Rambling Club's AGM & Buffet Supper at St.Annes Church Hall, Buxton.

More details of Buxton Rambling Club can be found at

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Making Recovery Real

“Making Recovery Real” Conference.

The Scottish Recovery Network’s (SRN) “Making Recovery Real” Conference which took place on Thursday 26th February 2009 at Perth’s Concert Hall was excellent, a truly inspiring event and a beacon as to how a Mental Health Conference should be staged, as the whole day was seamless from beginning to end and a lot of content was offered to accommodate everyone attending.

From the moment I arrived at Perth Train Station, there was an SRN representative guiding Delegates to a Coach that would transport everyone to the Concert Hall, where there were welcoming Reception/Registration tables where SRN Staff gave out SRN Conference Packs in a black cloth bag , big enough to hold any other material that Delegates might choose from the numerous Stalls situated around the Hall. Teas/Coffees were close at hand, as were the endless supply of biscuits/cookies.

The Conference got under way bang on time, everyone was welcomed by the Chair, Jenny Graydon who was direct in her greeting before handing the floor to Simon Bradstreet, SRN Director, whose contribution was entitled “Learning and Next Steps”, which was delivered with some conviction and belief and some positive examples to back up his vision of how ‘recovery’ should evolve. Although I found Simon’s contribution easy to understand and I could agree with most of the content of what he spoke of, one thing I disagreed with was Simon’s idea that “recovery” should be institutionalised – as a user of mental health services myself, my first thought was, wasn’t it an institutionalised society that deemed me to be ‘mad’ enough to give me a diagnosis – now there may be an “institutional recovery programme’ that can make me recover ? I don’t buy into this idea, as each and every individual need’s their own individual ‘recovery’ route and no way should it be institutionalised or this, in my view, would devalue and demean the personal journey that everyone in recovery takes. There is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ when it comes to recovery.

The Keynote Address followed, Mary O’Hagan, International Consultant and Trainer, was a colourful character with some very colourful powerpoint images that were funny & serious at the same time, which kept everyone’s attention. Mary’s contribution was titled “Two words, One Agenda”, I can’t remember what the two words or the agenda were, because it was intriguing to hear someone talk of similar experiences from the other side of the World yet feel total empathy and understand completely where she was coming from and which direction mental health services are going, not only in Mary’s native New Zealand, but around the world. Mary’s humour was very reflective of her own personal experiences, which is therapy in itself, and I felt inspired to hear her share both humour and experiences in such an easy-going manner.


The Lunch provided at the Conference was very nice, very healthy and very quickly eaten as the sun was shining and I was keen to venture out around the town of Perth, not only to get some exercise and fresh air, but to see for myself how things are by getting amongst the local folks and see what the shopping facilities were like – my main concern was to find out if Perth had a Post Office (as Post Offices are becoming rather an extinct commodity) so I could post some cards to the USA.

There was a good selection of shops in the town, and I visited most of the Charity Shops as this is a good indicator ( to me anyway) of the standard of living in the vicinity. There was a lot of good stock in all of the Charity Shops, though no ‘high-end’ designer labels as such, but the price of goods was relatively low compared to other towns/cities, for example in Shelter they were selling 3 videos for 50 pence (elsewhere Charity Shops sell one video for 50p -99p).

The Post Office was ((( packed ))) - it took me best part of half an hour to stand in the queue to get stamps for the postcards I was sending. There seemed to be a sort of resignation amongst those queuing that waiting was the everyday ‘norm’, even though there were 4 counters open. It left me wondering what everyone in Perth would do without a Post Office, as there were a good cross-section of age-groups accessing the services on offer.

After Lunch, the Session I had booked for was ‘full’, but I managed to attend “Carers, informal supporters and recovery” which was very well attended and had some lively interaction between the Contributors ( Jean Johnston, Trisha Mullen, Lorraine Keith and Hester Parr) and the Delegates. One question I posed was ‘ How does someone with a severe and enduring mental health problem { Service User } get a Carer, if the person diagnosed has no family/friend/partner in place to be their Carer ?’ ~ there was no outright answer to initial question which led to another question ‘Is there any evidence that someone diagnosed with a severe and enduring mental health problem recovers quicker/better with a Carer in place, or with no Carer at all ?’ ~ again, no definitive answer but the consensus in the room was that having a Carer in place makes it a so much smoother path for the Service User in recovery.
Again, the second Paralell Session of the afternoon, which I had booked, was full and I could not attend – so I went to the main Conference Hall where Mary O’Hagan, Phil Barker, Poppy Buchanan-Barker gave presentations on ‘Recovery focussed systems and practice’ and this was chaired by Nigel Henderson. This proved to be rather illuminating and spontaneous for me, as these guys were talking my ‘language’ when it came to “Recovery”. I had never heard of Phil Barker/Poppy Buchanan-Barker before hearing them speak and was seriously impressed with the model of Recovery they had developed – “Tidal – Model” -
With that, the Conference, for me came to a close as I made my way back to Perth Train Station (via the Coach provided by SRN) and I witnessed the same group of men that I spotted travelling in my direction that very morning. It turned out they were a group of Service Users/Carers from Falkirk, The only difference was that they had a collective exuberance about them as (it is my guess) that they too enjoyed the SRN Conference and for them (as for me) it is Events like this that serve to put purpose in peoples lives and certainly provide good evidence that ‘Making Recovery is Real’

‘Making Recovery Real’ – Scottish Recovery Network Conference
Took place on Thursday 26th February 2009 at Perth Concert Hall.