Free entry to Wimpole Hall for Community Groups

Wimpole Estate have launched an exciting new initiative offering local community groups free admission to the estate and its facilities.

This is a fantastic opportunity to encourage creativity and connection with nature in a perfect setting to promote happiness, health, and wellbeing and also provide much needed respite for your beneficiaries, their families, and carers.   

Polly Ingham-Watts, the General Manager of Wimpole Hall, is passionate that everyone can enjoy all that Wimpole has to offer and recognises that National Trust membership or the standard admission charges are not accessible to everyone. Each pass they issue under this initiative would provide free access for up to 16 people. 

Passes may be used on any day except on bank holidays and the weekends preceding bank holidays.  Those intending to use the pass are asked to email Wimpole Hall. or call the estate before coming, stating the name of your group, the number of people and approximate time of arrival.  Where practical, community groups are encouraged to visit during weekdays as Wimpole can get very busy at weekends when there may be less scope to cater for additional needs.  

If your group would be interested in receiving free admission passes, please return the application form via email. If you’d like to speak to someone, please ring: 01223 206000 and state the best phone number and time for them to call you back.  

Wimpole Estate consists of a historic mansion, beautiful gardens, a show farm and extensive parkland, there is plenty of free parking for cars and minibuses, a visitor reception centre, electric buggies to assist people with limited mobility, as well as cafes and shops.  See website for more information.. 

Wimpole look forward to providing a Wimple Welcome through the Community Group Admission Pass and hope that visits may be life-enhancing, as they have been for the many who love this special place.  

Cambridge Older People’s Network 

By Chris Trevorrow. April 2022.

Networking for charities and services to improve the lives of older people in Cambridge 

So far 16 different organisations and services benefiting older residents in Cambridge have met online to share what they are doing, make useful contacts and collect valuable information. 

The aims of the network are: 

  • to come together to establish an informal network that meets regularly. 
  • find out what others are doing and to examine challenges together and share experiences.  
  • collaborate more effectively and avoid working in isolation  

Attendees have expressed interest in pursuing a number of initiatives including mapping services in the City for older people, sharing communications and creating an event in the Autumn aimed at promoting activities and services for older people in the community.   

The network is chaired by Cambridge United Community Trust following an initiative from U3AC and COPE with organisational support from CCVS.  The next meeting will be in June.  To join the network or find out more get in touch with Christine.

Mental health matters. You matter.

By Lorna Gough. January 2022

How important is yours and your team’s mental health and wellbeing to your organisation?

Hopefully it’s top of the priority list.

However, wanting it to be top of the list, and actually making time to ensure steps are taken to protect and enhance your own, and your team’s mental health may not always feel easy.

One in four adults in England have at some time been diagnosed with mental illnesses, while one in five, report experiencing mental health issues without a diagnosis.1 Workplaces are seeing ever increasing stress levels, especially during the last two years negotiating a way through the pandemic.

It’s vital that we all play our part in helping to keep ourselves and our colleagues as mentally healthy as possible.

The World Health Organisation 2014 statement defines mental health as:

“A state of wellbeing in which every individual realises their own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to their community.”

Here at CCVS we take health and wellbeing seriously.

We look out for each other.

We make sure we have occasional (Covid permitting) face to face meet ups, with a walk (usually ending with a cuppa and cake!)

We have weekly coffee time catch ups, where we chat for 15 to 30 minutes about random every day, non work-related things. (Recent topics have included the fact that such a thing as penguin covered gaffer tape exists; luxury dog beds; cats sleeping in flowerpots; and the childhood trick of ‘apple-pie-ing’ sibling’s beds. Readers of a more mature age may know what I’m talking about here, it’s a bed which, as a practical joke has one of the sheets folded back on itself so the person cannot straighten their legs when they get into bed – sorry little brother! Being the only boy in the family, with three sisters, my brother put up with a lot!)

CCVS has recently taken two positive steps to improve how we look after ourselves and our team.

  1. We have created and implemented an organisational health and wellbeing strategy which states:

A healthy workplace is where everyone feels able to share that they’re having a bad day, with no feeling of stigma, where spending 15 minutes, or even 5 minutes, away from a desk for self-care is an investment in wellbeing, which will enhance work in the long run.  

A workplace where the team spend time together, if they feel comfortable doing so, taking part in occasional activities to benefit wellbeing and build strength as a healthy team. (Demonstrated by our recent participation in the volunteer tree planting session with Cambridge Past, Present and Future)

The strategy lays out ways in which we can look after ourselves, and what we can do if we’re having a bad day. Every week we share a wellbeing tip in our Slack (communication platform) channel. There is no obligation to take part, or to feedback. We agree to be non-judgemental, respectful, and maintain confidentiality.

The wellbeing tips include suggestions such as :

  • Sit outside and listen for 10 sounds 
  • Sit outside and look for 20 things 
  • Pick up a book and read for 15 minutes 
  • Write down what has gone well for you this week 
  • Do 15 minutes of exercise 

Spending time away from the screen, and from work tasks, concentrating mindfully on something else for a short period of time is a way of relieving stress. Doing something enjoyable like listening to the birds outside can be a real mood booster.

Encouraging the team to take breaks and emphasising that taking time for ourselves is not only permitted, but positively encouraged, gives us all confidence that our health is important, and that it’s ok to invest time in staying well. What a wonderful positive message that gives to us all, that we matter, our health and our wellbeing matters

2. One of our team has completed the Mental Health First Aider certificate training. That’s me.

Over the last two weeks I’ve attended the Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) England course. MHFA England has a goal to train 1 in 10 adults in the UK in Mental Health First Aid. The number currently stands at 1 in 56. Good progress is being made, but there is still a way to go. The more people that understand, and can support those struggling with poor mental health, the better.

The course, which is either two full days, or four half day sessions, plus a number of hours of additional coursework, empowers attendees to provide initial support to those developing mental health issues or in mental health crisis.

A mix of tutorials, discussions, activities, and case studies make the course interesting and interactive. Even though some of the content is emotive, it is covered in a sensitive way with no pressure to take part in any activities you may find upsetting.

I thoroughly recommend the course to anyone feeling undecided about it and encourage organisations to consider enrolling a team member onto a MHFA course.

In the meantime, the MHFA England website, contains a wealth of resources and information for all.

If you would like to know more about our health and wellbeing strategy, and what you can do for your own team and organisation, to promote better mental health, do get in touch: lorna@cambridgecvs.org.uk

A mentally healthy community, is a productive and creative community.2

1MHFA England statistics.

2MHFA England quote