40th anniversary for charity helping people facing mental health issues in Bedfordshire

Mind BLMK marks 40 years - High Sheriff of Bedfordshire Julian Polhill , Caroline Lewis, CEO, and Margaret Stockham Turner, chair
Mind BLMK marks 40 years - High Sheriff of Bedfordshire Julian Polhill , Caroline Lewis, CEO, and Margaret Stockham Turner, chair

A charity which has been supporting people with mental health issues has marked its 40th anniversary.

Mind BLMK celebrated its 40th birthday at its annual general meeting held at The Rufus Centre in Flitwick, on Friday, October 19.

The event was attended by 120 service users, volunteers, health care professionals, staff and trustees, as well as the High Sheriff of Bedfordshire, Julian Polhill.

Mind BLMK started as The Befrienders in 1978 when it was identified that people with mental health needs required additional support to that offered in hospital environments.

Since then, Mind BLMK and its predecessor organisations have supported thousands of people to improve their mental health across Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes, and promoted awareness and increased understanding of the challenges people face.

Some of those people attended the meeting and were brave enough to share their stories with the audience. A number of the speakers have now gone on to volunteer or gain employment with Mind BLMK because they are keen to give back to the organisation and their peers.

Caroline Lewis, CEO at Mind BLMK said: “Although 40 years is a long time, what has been clear throughout is the need to provide a range of services that support but also prevent mental ill health. We have been fortunate to have a committed and highly experienced workforce, including trustees and volunteers to provide this focus.”

Mind BLMK will continue to work in partnership with many other local organisations to provide the services that people need to improve their mental health, including a peer support service across Bedfordshire and Milton Keynes. Mind BLMK’s goal is to make sure that no-one has to face a mental health problem alone.