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News and Updates

It's been some time since we have updated you all with our exciting developments and feel it is time to  give you all the news of what has been happening behind the scenes.

Since 2014 there have been some significant changes to our organisation one of which is a change in Senior Management. In September 2014 Greg Hutchins succeeded our previous Chief Officer and joined the team as Chief Executive Officer. Greg had been involved with Healthy Friendships as a volunteer for three years before being appointed to oversee all Charity operations and staff.

Greg works closely with his Deputy Nicky Vaughan who since September 2014 has been responsible for all aspects of core funding, research and completion of funding applications.

Greg and Nicky have been busy strengthening the organisation and securing funds for new projects throughout Mid Powys and South Shropshire. During this period £556,000 has been secured for current and soon to be launched projects. In addition we are always looking at possible new services to support our membership and are working hard to secure funds to offer our services in new areas.

Both staff members worked closely with Adrian Dobson who was Chairman between September 2014 & September 2015. Adrian gave many hours to the organisation and imparted positive wisdom and knowledge which strengthened the Charity in all areas.  Sadly Adrian passed away in late 2015 and is deeply missed. Before Adrian passed away he kindly secured a suitable successor who would continue to drive the organisation forward in his absence. Dave Rix was appointed Chairman by our Trustees on September 23rd 2015.

Dave has a background in business and is a successful entrepreneur. He owned and ran a well known brand franchise for 10 years and won an award for 'Franchise of The Year' in 2000. Dave brings positive business acumen to the organisation and is an asset to the Charity.

We are delighted to finally announce our new 'People Together' project which shall take place throughout South Shropshire. We have provided group work and befriending to support those enduring emotional or mental distress throughout these areas for the last four years. This was a successful project funded by ' Big Lottery- England' which came to an end in November 2015. During this period Nicky conducted extensive research which highlighted areas of need and gaps in provision relating to the current project and requirements in the South Shropshire & Bridgnorth area. This information was used to design a wholly new project in which Healthy Friendships would be able to meet this need. The newly designed project 'People Together' consists of :

  1. Group Work
  2. Memory Cafe's providing respite to Carers
  3. Outreach services within the home
  4. 1:1 short term support for those attending appointments and are in need of support to attend.  

Nicky completed an application to 'Big Lottery-England' for £249,032 and a further £8,000 building capablilities grant which has been successfully awarded to Healthy Friendhsips. We shall commence this project in April/May 2016 following the recruitment of five part-time staff members and one sessional worker. All job descriptions and application forms shall be available shortly.

We are looking forward to a successful three years in both South Shropshire and Mid Powys and would like to express our thanks to all Staff, Volunteers, Trustees and of course our Members.