We are so proud of our entire team at South Kent Mind and I thought that we should publicly acknowledge some of the incredible feats that have been achieved in a difficult year.
In any average year we know how hard the whole team work to support the people of South Kent and ensure that nobody has to face a mental health problem alone, but this year, 2020 specifically, the entire workforce – staff and volunteers – have really gone the extra mile.
Our Trustee board set us a challenge of securing £100,000 in additional funding for this financial year. So far we have managed to secure a total of £72,075 which includes £32,075 of grant funding and £40,000 of government relief funding. We have around £133,000 of funding bids still pending consideration and more to submit in the coming weeks.
In the last 2 years, we have managed to diversify our funding (there is still more to be done), and we have restructured our services to be fit for modern times.
We have moved from paper files to computer systems and not only implemented GDPR protocols, but we became experts in GDPR to the point where we have been consulting and offering advice to other charities about data security.
We have rebranded from Folkestone & District Mind to South Kent Mind, successfully, and increased the reach of our communications and outreach programmes – all whilst maintaining our previous good reputation and building on that further. We have included people in our area of service that had not been able to access our services previously and we are building wellbeing programmes to enable permanent remote support for the most vulnerable.
We are still working on building regular monthly income and longer-term grants that will ensure long term sustainability along with a trading income from training courses, MHFA, and the retail shops’ development – work in progress that will be picked up again quickly as we return to the office.
Our Trustee board has diversified and we have a wealth of different experiences and a balance of public and private sector knowledge – both of which are essential.
We stood up and met the Covid-19 challenge and engaged with more people in eight weeks than we had in the preceding two years.
South Kent Mind is in a stronger position than it has been for a very long time, and the groundwork we have all put in – is paying off and has much further to go. I personally am more excited about Mind than I have ever been, including my time spent as a trustee.
We have a great opportunity now, and all the staff are working tirelessly to make it a reality. There is a lot of hard work ahead and we are by no means complacent about what needs to be done and the remaining financial gaps.
We thank the board for their continued support and we thank our members – the people who use our services for their belief and the way that they contribute to the decisions we make and the services we deliver.
2020 may have presented us with unforeseen challenges, but as we look ahead, and as our charity shop in Hythe reopens this coming week, we are positive and optimistic about the future.
Well done everyone at SKM, thank you for your hard work, and may we achieve more than ever before – together, as a team.
Adam Colthorpe, Director of Communications, 20 June 2020