KINDRED MINDS UPDATE and forthcoming activities this week: PoP-In & Women’s Group @ Cambridge House…

Dear beloved Kindred Minds members

As you’ve already heard from Southwark Association for Mental Health (SAMH), Kindred Minds have received 3 months funding to continue with the development of our project into the future.  Big thanks to them for seeing our worth and potential!

We wish to let you know of our forthcoming activities that proved to be very well attended and hope to see you back again :

Fortnightly PoP-In starting this Thursday 24th April 4-6pm ( Derron & another will be facilitating) @ Cambridge House.

Monthly Women’s Group starting this Friday 25th April 12-2pm (Geraldine and Shirley will be facilitating) @ Cambridge House.

Light lunch and refreshment will be provided.

SAMH are currently supporting us to put in new fresh funding bids and It is important we hear from you.

Add our NEW email to your contact list and let us know you are there!  Come support the development of our unique genuine user run/led project bu emailing us on and have your say into it’s next phase.  Or come to our next 3 months activities.

On behalf of Kindred Minds Steering Group

ps Please circulate to any friends/family/groups who would like to know about us and spread the word.


Lewisham Consultation with Victims-Survivors of Violence Against Women and Girls

My name is Amena Zaman and I am working for Imkaan ( Imkaan have been commissioned by Lewisham council to consult with women who have exited violence living in Lewisham. The outcomes of the consultation will inform the council’s VAWG strategy, which is due this summer.

We are looking to interview and run focus groups with women who have experienced domestic and other forms of violence, such as stalking, sexual violence/rape, forced marriage, sexual exploitation and those who have exited prostitution, to collect their experiences about services they may have accessed in Lewisham.

We are particularly interesting in interviewing a woman from the LBT community and a women living with a registered disability.

Please do take a look at the attached documents and please do let me know if you have any service users that may want to participate, via

(1)Information sheet for women and girls

Imkaan Intro VAWG consultation 2014

LBL Consultation Briefing

Thank you very much for your time.

Kindest regards


Via Peter

Disabled people are trapped in assessment ‘nightmare’ by PIP benefits regime, says Dr Stephen Duckworth

The head of the testing scheme at outsourcers Capita  – who is disabled himself – reveals his worries about the ‘dire consequences’ of the current system

The PIP scheme is being phased in to replace Disability Living Allowance, a non-means tested benefit designed to help with the extra costs of living with a long-term health condition.

It has proved deeply controversial, however, taking some people more than six months to find out if they are eligible for the payments – causing “severe stress and uncertainty”, according to an official report by MPs last month.

Dr Duckworth, who is himself disabled, serves as chief executive of Capita PIP, which is overseeing the roll-out of the benefits system in the Midlands, Wales and Northern Ireland. He said the evaluation process was adding to a wider culture of prejudice, particularly in the workplace.

“When it comes to recruitment, there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that there is discrimination taking place,” he said in an interview. “In the corporate setting, women sometimes argue there’s a glass ceiling that means they can’t get through into the boardroom – but for disabled people lucky enough to be in employment, they often remain on the ‘sticky floor’.

“There’s often little career advancement, they enter a job and stay in that job and can’t go any further.” Dr Duckworth, who has been confined to a wheelchair for over three decades after fracturing his spine during rugby training when he was 21, has faced some vitriolic criticism from sections of the disabled community for his involvement with PIP – with opponents to the scheme claiming that up to 600,000 people will lose out on vital support, partly through alterations in eligibility criteria.

Under PIP, only those unable to walk a distance of 20 metres will qualify for the Higher Rate Mobility component. This shift away from the former standard benchmark in assessing severely limited mobility of 50 metres means that in future many highly compromised individuals will no longer receive support they have previously relied on.

PIP has also added to wider concerns about disability benefits, with the Government saying last month that it would be seeking a new contractor to replace Atos in carrying out the separate Work Capability Assessments, or “fit-to-work” tests, after the firm became widely reviled within the community for lengthy waiting times and wrongly saying people are ready for employment. Dr Duckworth has faced abuse for working on PIP, with one web forum member calling him “Judas”, while he was dubbed “Capita’s flagship supercrip” on Twitter.

However, Dr Duckworth said he was well aware of the worrying impact benefits assessments can have – and said his firm is committed to disabled people filling half its management team to ensure they fully understand the pressures involved. “Assessments can be a stressful and difficult experience for claimants. We know that prior to an assessment there’s a tendency to worry and focus on health problems, which makes them seem bigger, that’s just human nature,” he said.

“PIP assessments may be followed by a Social Care Assessment, Work Capability Assessment and perhaps one for a blue badge. It becomes one assessment after another and people end up getting stuck at home with nothing to do other than focus on their problems.”

Dr Duckworth said the Government should make an effort to reduce the burden placed on the disabled by repeated assessments.

“There are decisions that politicians can take to change things,” he said. “We could, for example, have one assessment in which 80 per cent of the information across Social Care, PIP and the Work Capability Assessment, which is ultimately mostly the same information, could be captured. At the present moment, a disabled person has to share this three times with three different people.”

A spokesperson for the Department of Work and Pensions said: “We will continue to work with disabled people… to assess what improvements we could consider to refine our processes. We have committed to at least two independent reviews of the PIP assessment.”


Hear Us Open Forum meeting – 1st April 2014 – “The April Big Benefits Meeting”

Matthew Mckenzie attended this very informative meeting.

He has done great audio and video blogs as well as taking some photos.

There were presentations from Active Minds and Employment Support — a new service. Kam Patel: Personal Independence Payment — replacing DLA (Disability Living Allowance). Croydon Discretionary Scheme (CDS), Replacing social funding e.g. crisis loans and Access to Work with Special Guest Mary Dunleavy, Q and A session on PIP.

The audio and video blogs contain a huge amount of information on benefits, access to work, PIP payments and more!  They are well worth a watch or a listen.

You can find Matthew’s video blog here:

His audio blog here: 

and his photos here:

Thank you Matthew – great work!

Maudsley Charity Showcase Event

Maudsley Charity showcase event

On Tuesday 13 May 2014, Maudsley Charity is inviting the public and SLaM staff to learn more about how it benefits service users and the community.

The showcase event, which is being held at the ORTUS Centre between 6pm-8pm, coincides with Mental Health Awareness Week, which runs from 12 – 18 May.

There will be opportunity to learn about the wide range of projects that the charity supports, including:

  • Hearing Things – a drama-based programme which explores mental health care experiences using theatre techniques. The project aims to build rapport with service users and help educate the public on mental health.
  • Anxiety Arts Festival 2014 – a sneak peek at the new London-wide arts festival organised by the Mental Health Foundation. The festival will explore the causes and effects of anxiety and will bring leading and emerging artists, musicians and performers together for a dynamic programme of events.
  • Mind and Soul Choir -a community choir which aims to break down barriers associated with mental health and improve wellbeing through singing. The choir was formed in Lambeth in 2006 and their director, Lea Cornthwaite, is also Musical Director for The Royal Opera House Youth Company.

It is entirely free to attend and promises to be an informative and enjoyable evening.

For more information, please click here.

And to book your place, contact or 020 7848 7915.

Mon 21 April at The Dragon Cafe

Stuff & Nonsense 3 – Celebrating our Senses and Shakespeare!

This Bank Holiday we will be open as usual and our monthly creative theme of Stuff & Nonsense continues. On Monday we will be trying to make sense (or perhaps nonsense) of our senses and celebrating the famous playwright’s 450th anniversary. Treat your hands, eyes and mind with Nail-Works at 2 pm, Optical Poetry at 5 pm, and Sensing Our Senses talk by Neuropsychology researchers at 7 pm. There will also be music for your ears and a tasty fresh menu from the kitchen to enjoy too!

DC Programme- Monday 21 April 2014

Historical Perspectives on ‘antisocial personality disorder’ and ‘moral insanity’

This conference is a collaboration between an ESRC funded project called ‘Cross disciplinary Perspectives on ‘Anti-social personality disorder’ and the: Centre for the History of the Emotions

When: Monday May 12th: 9-30 -> 5.00pm

Where: Queen Mary University of London

There is a fee  of £15 waged/ £0 unwaged;  places are limited so booking is essential.


Historical Perspectives on ‘anti-social personality disorder’ and ‘moral insanity’

This conference aims to explore the history of the highly contested diagnosis of ‘antisocial Personality disorder’.  This label has been used to describe individuals who have major problems with their lives and relationships with others. At their most extreme these difficulties can involve criminal offending, violence and other perverse and harmful behaviours. It is possible to trace histories of similar diagnoses (such as ‘moral insanity’, ‘feebleminded’ and ‘psychopathy’) over 200 hundred years. Despite descriptive similarities there have also been very marked differences in the way that the diagnoses have been conceived and treated.

The conference features speakers from Europe and North America. The key note is by Professor Nicole Rafter who has written extensively on the history of criminological research.

Other speakers:

Felix Schirmann (University of Groningen, Netherlands)

Emilia Musemeci (University of Catania, Italy)

Bolette Larsen (Lund University, Sweden)

Katariina Parhi (University of Oulu, Finland)

David W Jones (University of East London, UK)

This is the first event of a three year ESRC sponsored series: Cross Disciplinary Thinking about ‘Antisocial Personality Disorder’.

For more information about the series, contact Dr David W Jones (

Via Hanne


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