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Birmingham and Solihull Mental health NHS Foundation Trust
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Tamarind Centre celebrates first birthday

The Tamarind Centre had a lot to celebrate on December 3, 2013. Not only was it the first anniversary of service users being welcomed into the building, it also marked the official opening of our men’s medium secure centre in Bordesley Green, Birmingham, with staff, service users and external partners coming together to celebrate this special milestone.

Special guest, Stan Collymore visited wards, met with service users and even had a kick about! He then finally did the honours of officially opening of the Tamarind on its first birthday with the ceremonial cutting of the ribbon.

To an audience of staff, service users and the local community Stan spoke candidly and shared his own experiences of mental health and the support he received, as well as the benefits of being cared for close to family.
Stan Collymore at Tamarind
Whilst an advocate of mental health in social media, Stan also talked about the prejudices he still faces today through Twitter and other mediums, but felt that things were changing for the better.  He finally praised NHS staff and carers and told them never to never underestimate the role they play in helping people help themselves.

Jeremy Kenney-Herbert, Clinical Director for secure services then went on to speak about the commitment of staff in driving forward the Tamarind centre from a formative idea, to what it is today, something that wouldn’t have been possible without the creativity and drive of many staff.  He also talked about whilst the building may be state of the art, what also really counts is what goes on within it, and that too is something he is very proud of.

Sue Davis CBE, Trust Chair,  spoke about the importance of the role of carers and the local community in recovery, and also the previous issues faced by the West Midlands of not having enough secure bed capacity meaning service users were often placed out of area, and so were often away from their family and carer support networks.  A view that was also echoed by Mrs C, a carer of a service user at Tamarind who spoke highly of her son’s care, and who also said ‘what we have hoped for for so long has finally become a reality’.

Congratualtions to the Tamarind Centre on their first birthday!

Stan Collymore Tamarind opening