MHNE News

On this page catch up on all the latest news on MHNE's activities,

MHNE Summer e-bulletin: July 2020

Here's MHNE's July 2020 e-Bulletin with news and articles relevant to the North East of England mental health sector.

Updates and news from across the sector and an appeal to help with materials to open our training failities at Muddy Boots more safely.

Please contact MHNE if you would like us to include your information, or spotlight your organisation in a future issues.

MHNE Summer and Young People's e-bulletins: June 2020

Here's MHNE's June 2020 Summer e-Bulletin with news and articles relevant to the North East of England mental health sector.

Updates on Mentally Sound, some lockdown diaries from our correspondents, news from across the sector and how we have been keeping busy.

We are also proud of our young people's group, who produced issue 5 of our Reach Out e-bulletin. The e-zine contains many short articles with their experiences of lockdown, being away from school and other perspectives of young people.

Please contact MHNE if you would like us to include your information, or spotlight your organisation in a future issues.

Greening the Gap—Appeal for help to make our training COVID-19 safe

We will be soon be launching the next phase of our overall Greening the Gap project which will take individuals and groups to enjoy a day in the countryside. However because of the current pandemic we need to put additional safety measures in place at our venue and would welcome and appreciate any donations of the following:

  • Timber -to construct safe distance potting stations of various sizes
  • Emulsion Paint – in door and out door for therapy and training rooms
  • Paintbrushes
  • Paving slabs
  • Door mats
  • Old greenhouse or shed
  • Water butts and guttering
  • Watering cans for adults and children
  • Stacking chairs
  • Paper cups, plates and disposable cutlery
  • Cleaning facilities ie Belfast sinks
  • Storage space

Please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you can assist us in any way to make this happen!

Roy’s April Planting Tips

with Roy White from Northern Aspects Landscaping

Now that mid spring is here, you can make use of the warmer weather by clearing out any old soil beds, borders and raised beds/planters ready to begin again.

Flowers like Hardy Geraniums, Nasturtiums and Alchemilla for example, which can withstand any late frosty mornings. Don’t be fooled into sticking all your newly purchased Bedding plants in just yet, in case there is one or two more cold nights to come!

You may have a large area in your garden that is not practical for proper use. Why not turn it into a Vegetable garden, or even have a section for Salad crops as well!

Preparing the soil well and making sure you have a good water source, you can plant straight into the ground, Beetroot, Carrots, Cauliflower, Lettuce, Leeks, Turnip and Onions. You may prefer to buy small veg plants already part grown, cultivating from seed is always cheaper and you have put the work in yourself, to achieve the goal of raising Seedlings.
For other Salad crops like Tomato and Cucumber, you will need a small Greenhouse or Polytunnel to get the best results. If you don’t have the space, a good size window in your home that lets in plenty of light would suffice.

Growing in a Raised Bed

A good use for a raised bed is for crops that need a good depth of nice soil and manure mixed together to aid good growth and crop yield.

Another use can be for an ornamental garden that gives you the ability to work at an easier height when maintaining what you have planted in it. You could have the bed as an exclusive wild flower haven for Insects and Bees without having to worry about them being cut down or trampled on by accident.

Raised beds can be built from a variety of materials in order to achieve the height you want, which can be a good way of re-using any rubbish you have earmarked for the tip!  Big planters in stone, wood, metal or plastic would do, even if you can only plant a few things in each. Try to grow enough in your raised beds to feed you and your family if space is an issue.
As I have mentioned above, you can grow all sorts outside in the soil of your raised beds and that includes fruit as well! Raspberries, blackcurrants, strawberries or gooseberries for example.

Whatever you decide to do, enjoy the Physical and Mental benefits that gardening and growing your own brings!

Storms don’t stop Muddy Boots’ prep for spring trainees

georgeganderWe’ve had a busy time in recent weeks with some necessary tasks including clearing tree branches blown down by Ciara and Dennis, not to mention whole trees! One large silver birch managed to take out two smaller trees with it, so necessary urgent action was needed to minimise further damage.

Those two have also managed some minor damage to the polytunnel and they’ve up-ended the Portaloo. No worries though, nothing major and we’ll get some much needed late winter exercise and fresh air putting things right. Projects have also included installation of a footpath stile and demolition of a small haybarn. This work will allow us to prepare the site for improved facilities.

The gander, Lonesome George is still enjoying his role as greeter to our guest. Unfortunately, apart from his neighbours, (the chickens, Mr & Mrs G) he hasn’t much company. We launched a search for someone to spend more time with him- “respectable middle aged male goose, G.S.O.H. would like to meet similar female goose to share country walks, corn and maybe more…”

He has had some interest from a lady goose who is currently based in the Durham Dales, so watch this space.

The 2019 General Election and Mental Health - What do we want from a new Government?

At time of writing, the two main parties have not yet published their full election manifestos, so we are taking this opportunity to speak openly to candidates and pass on our own hopes and priorities.

Here are five issues important to MHNE which we would like to see on any agenda for change:

  1. Service user peer networks and workers funded in all regions of UK
  2. Non medical interventions such as access to the countryside and countryside activities to be funded as action research projects and findings published – in addition to social prescriptions
  3. Re-establishment of an effective CAMHS service— with investment in research and emphasis on prevention of childhood mental ill health
  4. Medications to be monitored and produced by a government run organisational
  5. All parliamentary papers on mental health to be written by Independent Organisations without interference from drug companies

The Money and Mental Health Policy Institute have published a manifesto (which MHNE would like to endorse) with five ways the next government should take action to boost the mental and financial wellbeing of people across the country. In it, they highlight the link between suicide and financial difficulty, suggesting that money advice be made available as part of NHS care and making it easier and safer for carers to support loved ones with money management.

They want to see more help for people with mental health problems to stay in work — and greater support for those too unwell to do so. Finally they are advocating for greater regulation to stop firms profiting from consumers’ poor mental health.

The Centre for Mental Health focuses on inequality:   "If the next Government is to make a real difference to the nation’s mental health, election promises and policy ideas need to look beyond the ‘one in four’ rhetoric to grapple with underlying inequality. It means tackling poverty, homelessness and school exclusions among the most disadvantaged and marginalised young people." Link here.

Mind say that real change is urgently needed, as people’s lives continue to be put at risk by overstretched services, outdated legislation and employment issues, crumbling NHS mental health buildings, and services that continue to struggle after decades of underfunding.  Here is their manifesto.

MHNE e-bulletin: November 2019

Here's MHNE's November 2019 e-Bulletin - packed with news and information on organisations, services, training opportunities etc. from around the North East of England.

Please contact MHNE if you would like to advertise your events and activities, or spotlight your organisation.

Please Support Joseph running for MHNE in the Great North Run 2019

Our young runner in this year’s Great North Run introduces himself:

“I am Joseph Hodgetts and I’m 20 years old, I have just finished my A-levels at Gateshead College and hoping to stay and study in Newcastle. Specifically, Newcastle University to sit a 3 year Bachelor of Arts degree in Media and Film studies. I help in the running of a pop up store with my friend Jack, we sell vinyl records at vintage venues across the North East. I am wanting to run the Great North run for MHNE as I understand the importance of mental health through personal experiences with myself, family and friends. Conclusively, understanding the impact that it can have on people.”

Joe with Jordan and Jack

This year’s run takes place on Sunday September 8th 2019.

His gofundme page is now open for donations https://www.gofundme.com/f/gnr-mental-health-north-east

Please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with any other questions about donations, all funds will go to Mental Health North East.

Planting for the Future— Enjoying a Spell of Summer Wellbeing

Planting for the Future discussionKeen local gardeners met at Muddy Boots again last week as part of the Planting For The Future project in Stanley, supported by Karbon Homes. The sessions are always busy and project lead Yvonne Ritchie said “We need more hours in the day. The gardeners are always busy exchanging ideas and tips about growing and nurturing their plants. A little late, but at the last session there was just enough time to pot on some tomato and cucumber plants, which are now happily living in our gardeners respective gardens.”

The group also work together to help each other with their garden preparation and layout. Karbon Homes will be providing wood to make some raised beds which will be planted up with some late summer vegetables, which all helps to keep the cost of buying fresh produce down.

Potting onAs well as nurturing their plants, the group also has a focus on their wellbeing, lead by MHNE’s own holistic therapist, Sarah Wayt. Sarah encourages the group to explore their health and wellbeing against the backdrop of complementary and alternative medicine. Providing practical take-home tips alongside chats about how holistic understanding can aid everyday life; Sarah’s sessions provide a safe space to nourish mind, body and spirit.


For more information about Planting for the Future, growing your own fruit and veg on a budget, and how to get involved, contact MHNE by email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit our Facebook page.