Hub of Hope Update: Meeting our Fellow Trustees

After starting to build the Hub of Hope just over a month ago, we had our first trustee meeting with Chasing the Stigma.

During the meeting, we got to meet some of our fellow trustees and show the group some of the (almost) finalised designs for the Hub of Hope. The designs went down really well and we also got to hear some exciting news about Chasing the Stigma’s ambitions.

A New Experience

This is our first experience of being trustees on a charity’s board – so we were looking forward to meeting the other trustees and finding out how we’ll all be working together to grow Chasing the Stigma and support more people.

Chasing the Stigma is a recently launched charity founded by comedian Jake Mills. After his own experiences battling depression and attempting to take his own life, Jake realised that finding somewhere to turn to for help was not easy. Chasing the Stigma aims to break down these barriers to getting help and let people know that they are not alone and that support is available.

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We were thrilled when Jake asked us to become trustees as mental health is something that’s really important to us as a team. A lot of our team have been affected by mental health issues – whether suffering themselves or having a family member/friend who has suffered. We’re on board with Jake’s mission to help more people find the support that they deserve and to do our bit in helping people to realise that they are not alone.

Meeting the Trustees

It was great to meet some of the other trustees who we will be working closely with to help Chasing the Stigma support more people.

Although there were a couple of trustees who couldn’t make it due to professional commitments, we were joined by Jake, Chris Clarke and Angela Samata.

Chris is development manager at Alternative Futures Group, helping the Board of Directors to implement new business ventures. He also does a lot of work with social good projects including previously working at Everton in the Community, helping people in the local community to improve their lives through sport. We’re fortunate enough to say that we’ve worked with Chris a number of times in the past – and he’s a great person to work with!

Angela recently completed her tenure as chair of Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide, after 7 years of leading the charity and supporting people bereaved by suicide. She sits on the All Party Parliamentary Group looking at Suicide Prevention in England and Wales.

In 2015, Angela presented the BBC One BAFTA-nominated documentary Life After Suicide. The film addresses the stigma surrounding suicide and looks to encourage people to open up about their mental health. After her partner took his own life in 2003, the films sees Angela describe her own experience, speaking to people from across the UK who have also experienced bereavement by suicide – including Downton Abbey actor David Robb, whose wife Briony McRoberts took her own life in 2013. The film has over 3.5 million views to date.

Life After Suicide will be aired on BBC One on Tuesday 16th May at 23:45pm – and will be available on iPlayer for the following month. You can watch it here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b05n2922

For us, it’s great to be working with some amazing people who share our passion and belief in what Jake is doing. We’re looking forward to working together with Chris, Angela and the other trustees to help tackle the stigma surrounding mental illness and connecting more people to the support that they deserve.

An Update on the Hub of Hope

During the meeting, we were able to unveil the (almost) final designs for the Hub of Hope – we were delighted that the designs got some really positive feedback and Angela, Chris and Jake had some great things to say.

The Hub of Hope is a digital platform that offers a place to go to for those who are struggling, showing what help is available based on where they are in the country. The platform will show people a list of charities and organisations nearby that they can contact for help, based on their geographical location.

The app aims to be a friendly place that’s open 24/7 for people to find support near them. If there’s nowhere open or nearby in their area, users will be given the contact details of some nationwide organisations that can provide immediate support. People who use the app will never be told that no one can help them.

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Angela, Chris and Jake all commented on how friendly the app was and how easy it was to use. User experience design is something we pride ourselves in, so this was great for us to hear. The use of colour has steered away from the sometimes clinical style of some mental health services.

A number of other features stood out to them – including the use of Google Street View to show the outside of the buildings/centres on the app, which lessens the anxiety of finding a place that you have never been to before. They also liked the service filters, designed to allow people to find help with specific illnesses or feelings.

It was great to hear such positive feedback from our fellow trustees as we move towards the final push to getting the app launched.

Looking Ahead

Going forward, there are some really exciting future developments for the Hub of Hope and Chasing the Stigma to come.

We’ve already started to talk about possible improvements we can make to the app in future releases to make it even easier for people to get support 24/7. We have a large number of organisations nationwide who have signed up to become part of the Hub of Hope and we can’t wait to launch soon!

And although we can’t give too much away at the moment about where Chasing the Stigma is heading – we’ll just say that there’s A LOT to be excited about. We can’t wait for the next meeting!

We’ll be keeping you updated on the Hub of Hope and Chasing the Stigma via our blog, but you can also keep up-to-date with our Twitter @mashbo to stay in the loop.

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