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Birmingham and Solihull Mental health NHS Foundation Trust
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Community comes together for family fun day

The sun shone on Saturday July 27, as several hundred service users, carers, family member, staff, governors and members of the local community came together for our family fun day at Mary Seacole House.  The event aimed to de-stigmatise mental ill health and mental health services.

A host of activities were on offer, from face painting, mehndi and a ‘smoothie bike’ to football and a bouncy castle for children. 

Entertainment was provided by, amongst others, our Trust’s Wellbeing Community Choir and musicians from the Musical Connections, a community project which uses music as a tool to create positive change.  A number of our service users also performed on the day and many of those who appeared on stage also went onto the wards to undertake activities with service users.

Two of our governors, Peter Tinsley and Faheem Uddin, spoke on stage about their important role in representing the public and service users in the Trust.  Alongside them were local councillors Paulette Hamilton, Waseem Zaffar and Sybil Spence.  As well as enjoying the activities, the councillors spoke about the need to raise the profile of mental health issues in Birmingham. 

Cllr Paulette Hamilton, from Handsworth Wood Ward, said she would be championing mental health issues and that “mental health can’t remain as a Cinderella service…we need joined up thinking and to work together.”

Waseem Zaffar, Councillor for Lozells and East Handsworth, thanked everyone who’d organised and attended the event and said: “No-one has taken mental health seriously and that has to change.” 

Feedback from those who attended has been very positive, with comments including:

“The day was excellent it was enjoyed by everyone and we need to keep up the good work, well done.”

“Well done. Patients and staff loved it. Lovely atmosphere.”

“It was such a full day with lots of variety and fun things to do…Our grandchildren loved it, making smoothies, face painting and running around generally, playing football… Thanks for your kindness and understanding for community interactions, which is good for my friends and family to see in action rather than the negatives in the media.”

Lakhvir Rellon, Director of Community Engagement and Partnerships at the Trust, said: “The day really captured the essence of community and the strength and importance of partnership working and was a great success. In addition more than 50 people signed up to become new members of our Trust. We are now looking forward to our next event at Endeavour House in Erdington on Saturday August 24.”