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

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

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.

MHNE Supports Volunteer Week 2019

Volunteers Week 2019Volunteers' Week is a chance to celebrate and say thank you for the fantastic contribution millions of volunteers make across the UK.  It takes place 1st-7th June every year and is an opportunity to celebrate volunteering in all its diversity.

MHNE CEO Lyn Boyd said ‘I would like to thank all the many wonderful volunteers who have supported our charity since it’s inception over 14 years ago!’.

‘MHNE is proud of our record of helping volunteers with mental health issues back into employment and education, and of the many achievements of MHNE volunteers over the years’.

Greening the Gap 2 - Summer 2018 update

Glorious weather has contributed to the successful delivery of Greening the Gap 2 by Mental Health North East and Muddy Boots, in partnership with the Stanley Area Action Partnership and Durham County Council Wellbeing team in Stanley. The scope of sessions offered to local people has been expanded and participants have been able to discover the fun of trying new activities.

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The 46 participants who have joined us over the last four weeks have been able to access holistic therapy, well-being activities, and guided walks through the countryside. The installation of a large polytunnel has enabled participants to plant and care for a range of plants, including cucamelons, cucumbers, tomatoes and aubergines. As these crop, participants will be able to harvest the crops they have cared for. Participants have also planted vegetables in large outdoor pots which can be taken home for harvesting later in the year.
In preparation for our 2019 programme an outdoor area has been cleared to create a wild flower meadow which we look forward to seeing in full bloom next spring and summer. This is particularly important to provide a natural environment for insects.
Participants have been able to make raised beds and work on creation of a strawberry mountain. Completion of these activities will be part of the exciting programme on offer later in the summer. 

Please contact us for more information.

Autumn/Winter Edition of our Bulletin

Welcome to the Autumn/Winter Edition of the MHNE Bulletin with its usual exciting
blend of news, articles and announcements. Thanks for the editing of this issue go to
Gareth Cooper as our previous voluntary editor Beth Boyd has been successful in obtaining
full-time work and, although continuing to volunteer with MHNE in a reduced
capacity, she will have to stand down from this role. So, many thanks and congratulations
to Beth, and thanks again to Gareth for agreeing to step in.

MHNE e-bulletin Autumn-November 2017


The team at Mental Health North East would like to give a big vote of thanks to the students of St Chads, Durham University for choosing to support MHNE as their charity of the year. The students organised a well-attended launch event which looked at how mental ill health affects us all and in particular young people. Following the launch a spectacular fashion show – all organised and executed by the students themselves – was held to raise further funds. Our representatives at the show were particularly impressed by the professionalism, enthusiasm and commitment of the students.

A special thanks to Izzy, Hetty and Philippa for heading the event and for the courtesy shown to the MHNE team throughout.