100km Nightrider Challenge

Last year we had a number of staff who work in heritage Care who completed the London Nightrider Event in support of our learning disability services.

This year we have a colleague in our Community Options, mental health services who is completing the ride to support our horticulture project that operates in the Bromley area.

Please see below for the message from Joanne about her motivation for taking part in the event to raise funds.

As Joanne points out any donation no matter how small will help to make a positive impact on the lives of others.

“I plan to cycle 100km in the Nightrider London event on the 8th of June to raise funds for Heritage Care to support the Branching Out team. The work they do is amazing. I am raising funds to enable the volunteer team to continue building a community horticulture workshop space to support mental wellbeing in the community. People with mental illness, learning difficulties, physical health issues and dementia will benefit from therapeutic horticulture workshops which gives them the opportunity to learn new skills, connect to others and engage in meaningful activity. I hope to raise £300 to enable the team to purchase seeds, bulbs, clothing and gardening equipment for the project.

This kind of project is close to my heart as it is a lifeline for many who, like my father, are prevented from working due to poor health but want to give back to their community. In my Just Giving photo (see below) you will see Sad Bear. Sad Bear was special to my father and helped him during the years of dementia and ill health. Sad Bear will be completing the 100km ride with me in his memory.

Donations can be made via my just giving fund raising page.


Thank you for any small contribution you can make. It all counts.
Best Wishes

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Residents get snookered!

Staff and residents at one of our projects in Sutton were joined by local Police Officers last week and challenged to a game of snooker.

It was a great chance to break down barriers and get to know each other.

Despite some amazing efforts, you’ll be pleased to hear that residents and staff from Community Option’s won however a rematch is being scheduled for early 2019!

Thanks go to the local constabulary for helping make the evening so much fun!


Read about Anthony’s journey with mental illness and how we are helping him…

Anthony has been using services from Community Options for a number of years.  He asked us to share his story to inspire hope in others that there is a good life to be had after a mental health diagnosis.

“I became unwell at 19 years of age when attending college. I began hearing voices. The doctor diagnosed mental health and I was prescribed medication. At this time I was approaching modelling agencies for work. I found a lot of closed doors. They did not want to know due to my mental health. Society dealt me a savage blow. This felt very depressing.

At school I always struggled. I found out I had dyslexia but at the time. It was difficult to view myself positively with such negative messages.

My strong faith and positive attitude helped me through these tough times. I always look to find ways to move forward. I want to challenge people’s perceptions of mental health. We all have mental health and people should not judge. There is more to me than mental Health and this is the key message I want to share with others to challenge their thinking.

Here are some interesting facts about me:

  • I have a very good memory and love to learn languages especially French and can speak this fluently.
  • I take pride in my appearance and love to wear nice, well tailored clothes in bright colours which are well coordinated. I love dazzling white socks and polished shoes.
  • I can make clothes and once made a bright lime suite.
  • I love shopping for clothes.
  • I take care of my health and eat a balanced diet and remain active
  • I love taking part in sports such as Frisbee, table tennis, volley ball or basket ball.
  • I am very sociable and have a lot of friends.
  • I am always open to new experiences.
  • I really care about others

In 5 years time:

  • I’d like to be living in Brighton near the sea.
  • I’d like a busy social life with lots of friends
  • I’d like to be modelling & designing my own clothes
  • I’d like to have made a difference for people who hear voices offering support and guidance

I have lived with voices for years and have learnt to manage them. The support staff at Community Options have always believed in me, offered me good guidance and advice. They see me for who I am and not just my mental health needs. They have supported me to manage the challenges I experience and move forward with my life. I am currently being supported to fulfil my ambition to model. I am now at a stage where I have the confidence to help others who hear voices and offer support to help them to move on with their lives. Community Options are supporting me to be more involved in training staff to have a better understanding of how to support people who hear voices. I am also considering developing a support group for other’s whop hear voices so we can come together and support each other.  I would like to challenge people’s perceptions of mental health

There is more to me than mental health….”