Fun Day event at The Barberry MBU!

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A lot of fun was had at The Barberry Centre Mother & Baby Unit's annual FUN DAY event on Sunday 3rd September! Arts and crafts, bouncy castle, face-painting, tea parties and lots more took over the the Rowheath Pavillion in Birmingham for the afternoon.

This year's theme was Alice in Wonderland (spot the Cheshire cat!) and by the looks of it everyone had a great day!

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 APP were delighted to have a stall at the Fun Day event and it was great to meet everyone and join in the fun - many thanks to our volunteer Katy as well!

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Jill runs the Royal Parks!

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Three cheers for Jill who successfully completed the Royal Parks half marathon on Sunday 8th October!  Jill lucked out on the weather with a fantastically sunny day on Sunday alongside the other 16,000 runners taking part, running through four of London's eight Royal Parks including Hyde Park, The Green Park, St James’s Park and finishing at Kensington Gardens. 

Jill said: 'Legs are a bit sore today but not as bad as I expected! Thanks for all the support and for all the work you’re doing with APP – I’m very privileged to have been able to play a small part!'

You can still donate via Jill's Virgin Money Giving page here - and a very big thank you to Jill!

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APP Workforce Training launches

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Last month Jess, Ian and Anna ran the first of our exciting new APP Workforce Training days at St. Ann’s Hospital in North London. These days, commissioned by NHS Trusts from across the county, have been designed to equip medical professionals with an in depth understanding of all aspects of PP. This first group of twenty spanned a broad spectrum of professional roles within the Perinatal Mental Health Service for this area, including Midwives, Social Workers, Health Visitors, Psychologists, Psychiatrists and CPN’s.

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We did it!

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Congratulations to Rik & Hannah who successfully completed the Barns Green Half Marathon on 24th September!

They said:

'Thanks to all of you who have supported us and donated to this fabulous charity. We did it! It was a hot, hilly, lovely day with lots of other great charity runners we met along the way. Our official chip finish times were 2.11 and 1.59 - so very happy with that! So stiff I am struggling to get down stairs or walk in a straight line today!'

The donations are still coming in on their Just Giving site, please do donate what you can.

Hannah got in touch after the event and said:

'It's by far the furthest I have run since having children and I still ache today! We did it in a very respectable 2.11 and 1.59 ( Rik went ahead for the second half and I got chatting to some wonderful fundraisers for another great mental health charity ' young minds' )

Fundraising for App and Running in the App vest and talking to people about my experience was a really big thing for me and the whole event was very emotional. Having PP really tested Rik's and mine relationship and ultimately made it stronger - also I experienced PTSD after my PP hospital admission and it took a long time for me to really own the experience of having had Postpartum Psychosis and understand that it was not my fault. So running in a vest and talking to people about it was a real achievement in itself ( perhaps more so than the distance! )'

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What a great achievement for Hannah & Rik. Thank you both so much for supporting APP!

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Fiona & Henry raise awareness & a National Peer Support Award for APP!

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'APP attended the first Annual UK Maternal Mental Health Conference which was a sold-out event, with over 250 people converging on Imperial College, in London on 13th September 2017.  I was looking forward to seeing others involved in APP, including our Trustee & Vice Chair of MMHA, Clare Dolman, Regional Rep & Media volunteers Kathryn Grant, Fiona Putnam and Eve Canavan, and those from other organisations involved in Perinatal Mental Health.  It was a day full of passion, with so much expertise in the room, and a prestigious line-up of speakers from the UK and beyond.

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Gill completes the Great North Run!

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A very BIG THANK YOU to Gill Wood for successfully completing the Great North Run on 10th September, in aid of APP!

Gill says:
'I have just about recovered now, I've been on a couple of short runs to get my legs moving again! I'm amazed at how generous everyone has been and I hope that the sponsorship really helps APP.'

We are so grateful to Gill and to everyone who donated and supported her along the way - and you can still donate via her Just Giving page here.

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...and if you're interested running the Great North Run next year (9 Sept 2018) then why not sign up to their reminder service and they'll send you an email as soon as the ballot opens!

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Thank you to the fundraisers of Derby!

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Warm thanks go to all those who donated items for a recent quiz & pop-up shop at The Leopard in Tutbury, also to the ladies at Helping Hands from Swadlincote who utilised all the remaining pop-up shop items at another table top sale for APP and finally to Alex and Heather Heron who hosted an annual barbeque (with blow up assault course!) for MVH Triathlon club at "Hoon Ridge" at the end of August.

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Heather said: 

"Great evening at Hoon Ridge even though the weather forced folks inside for some of the time. That said, it did not daunt those competitive types who wanted to win the massive, blue blow-up assault course race."

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The combined total raised for APP was £720. 

Wonderful support from all of our APP friends! Thank you so much.

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Two marathon runners on the same day!

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Catherine Labourn will be running the Brighton Marathon, she says:

'Having supported the charity by providing administrative assistance a few hours a week during my final year at University, I have observed first hand the incredible work of the charity Action on Postpartum Psychosis (APP.) Since then, I have known that my first marathon will be in aid of this important cause...My aim is to raise £1000 to help APP continue their fantastic and vital work, whilst improving awareness for the charity at the same time.'

Please support Catherine's fundraising and visit her Just Giving page here.

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Meanwhile, Nicholas Grindlay is taking on the Great Welsh Marathon, which is also (coincidentally!) taking place on the exact same day, Sunday 15th April! He says:

'I have chosen to run my first Marathon.  It was only in the last 12 months I started running with any intent and have managed to complete my first half marathon back in June 2017.  So I hope I now have plenty of time to make the step up to a full Marathon....This will be a massive challenge for me to complete a Marathon as a lot of you know I do like my food and it is already proven to be a tough mental challenge for me!'

Please donate what you can, and support Nicholas on his Just Giving page here.

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A very BIG Thank-You to both Nicholas and Catherine for undertaking their marathon challenges in aid of APP, we are very grateful for your support!

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6 down, 6 to go - Holly reaches half-way!

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A big CONGRATULATIONS to Holly Haywood who has reached the half way point in her challenge of completing 12 marathons in 12 months in aid of APP!

Holly bravely battled the heat and sunshine in August to complete her fifth and sixth marathons, and was joined by some of her colleagues to help her and keep her spirits up along the way. Holly says:

'The fifth marathon was on 1st August with my work mates. The route was much better, completing an out and back route. Really enjoying being closer to the half way challenge point!! The weather was hot, which is bad in the running world, feeling more drained and takes more of your energy to keep going. Have to thank my amazing friends Dave and Charlotte for again running with me step for step and keeping the 'good chat' along the way, despite my moments when I completely ignore them because I need every cell in my body to just focus on keeping going!!'

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Holly then took on her sixth marathon on 27th August in Woldingham, she said:

'It was a really tough run on Sunday though. 28 degrees the high and the route was not very shady. I managed to complete the half marathon as started feeling the effects of the sun. The route started from Woldingham school in Caterham and did a lap of the North Downs way. It was a trail run with lots of steep inclines. Not for the faint hearted!! 4 hours later I completed the half and was pleased to have some water and shade to recover!'

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We can't thank Holly enough for taking on this enormous challenge in aid of APP, especially battling through the heat in order to reach her half-way point, what an achievement already! 

Please donate what you can to support Holly's amazing challenge via her Just Giving page here.

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A visit to Preston North End FC for Lancashire Care Trust Perinatal Mental Health event

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n the 3rd August 2017 Lancashire Care Trust invited a range of stakeholders, including people with lived experience, to a discussion day to work through pathways, priorities and good practice to ensure their new eight-bed perinatal mental health inpatient unit for Cumbria & Lancashire, and the experience of care, as effective as possible for everyone. 

APP's Peer Support Coordinator, Hannah, was delighted to attend alongside Dr Giles Berrisford (APP Chair) and recounts her visit to Preston North End Football Club...

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'It was a rainy, grey day as I drove over to Preston North End football club for the Lancashire Care Trust Perinatal Mental Health (PMH) event – hardly summer weather, but this is the UK after all, and being from Yorkshire, I have to say it was also due to being on the “wrong side” of the Pennines!  APP had been invited earlier this year to become involved in the development of one of four new Mother & Baby Units (MBUs), with Lancashire Care Foundation Trust being the provider for a new unit in Chorley. The event was held as a discussion day to work through pathways, priorities, challenges and good practice to make the unit and the experience of care as effective as possible for everyone, so I was really keen to hear more about it and see and hear from other key stakeholders.

I was also really pleased to be meeting two APP volunteers at the event, Jane and Gillian, who both experienced PP and are from the North-West. It was great to be able to link them with other professionals at the event as being some more local contacts for APP – we all left having given our details to be involved in the continued engagement work ahead of the new unit opening in 2018. There were others with lived experience there too and it was nice to be able to give some APP literature to people directly affected, as well as the professionals in the room. We consistently get really good feedback about our peer support and Insider Guides, so it meant a lot to know what a difference it can make. There were also representatives from other voluntary and community organisations and I hope we all did a good job in getting the APP message out. Feedback from the group work in the afternoon particularly mentioned Gillian’s input and how the things she talked about and the support that professionals can give had really impacted on them. Well done Gillian!

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The morning was a very full session of speakers, introduced by the Trust’s Chief Executive, who had special dispensation to attend her Board meeting late – such is the priority for PMH and the interest and engagement from all involved. This was also reflected in the number of psychiatrists in attendance, both general and specialist perinatal, as I counted at least 6 from as far afield as the Midlands and Morpeth! Dr Giles Berrisford, Associate National Clinical Director with NHS England (NHSE) for Perinatal Mental Health, and APP’s Chair of Trustees, had been caught in traffic on the M6 so we swapped time-slots and I talked about my experience of PP and my involvement with APP, which seemed to be well received. The social media activity was also great to see, with some really touching comments.

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Giles’ presentation about the National Perspective followed, and we also heard from Leeds and Manchester about their services and shared learning about both in-patient and community services, as the new MBU will also offer Outreach. Dr Gillian Strachan, Consultant Psychiatrist with Lancs Care and a current PMH Bursary Holder with NHSE, kept the morning moving to time and we also heard about the development so far of the MBU.  There was also an interesting presentation from the architects and designers about their vision for the Chorley MBU, and their engagement with other stakeholders including those with Lived Experience of PMH. The MBU & Outreach will cover Cumbria as well as Lancashire so it was especially valuable to hear about challenges such as travel and rurality, something I know from my experience living in rural North Yorkshire.

Lunch was an opportunity for further networking which everyone seemed to take advantage of; with the room overlooking the football pitch, there was also a few mentions of people feeling that they were being disloyal to their team by being there! The group work in the afternoon, focussing on questions which were approached by people working in different teams, also produced lively discussion and feedback. Before long we were all headed home to various teams, towns and homes in the North-West (and me back to Yorkshire!) with a renewed passion and determination to make sure that women and their families have access to the best PMH care, as locally to them as possible. Thank-you to all at Lancashire Care Trust for having APP as part of your event and we look forward to further involvement and the MBU opening in 2018!

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