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Mental Health Awareness Week

Well, it’s that time of year again – Mental Health Awareness Week!

This year it is taking place from 15th to 21st May and is being celebrated by us with a BIG GIVE match-funded campaign. We are delighted to have had our application to this Campaign approved, and to have been awarded £5,000 of match funds by the Big Give Kind to Mind fund. To benefit from this match-funded grant, we need to raise £5,000 of donations and any donation, no matter what size, will be doubled to help us reach this target.


Please visit our Campaign Page or scan the code to donate.

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Our Outreach Programme

We are delighted to have expanded our Outreach Service into the Winchester area and are now working closely with the local Community Mental Health Teams there. Winchester University is proving to be a wonderful source of volunteers to work with us and we are extremely grateful to those of you that have joined the team.

Our volunteers spend their time visiting our clients and supporting them in their daily lives, relieving loneliness and isolation and helping with anything they may be struggling with. By encouraging social and community interaction they really are making a difference to people’s lives and we are getting some very rewarding feedback.

Now that our Outreach Programme is stable and sustainable for the next three years, we can begin to concentrate on raising capital funds towards establishing our first Hammersley Home. Watch this space!

Our Team is Growing

We are delighted to welcome 6 new members of staff to join our hard-working team, all part-time – including 4 new Outreach Home Visitors, and:

Clare Dark – our new Volunteer Co-ordinator.


Clare Dark

We have needed a “Clare” for ages, and are thrilled now to have her on board. She is sourcing and training our volunteers, and is working closely with our expanding team of very kind volunteers who give their time and expertise to help us with all sorts of aspects of our project. We have people helping us with our eBay selling (see feature below), our PR & Marketing, researching relevant articles in the news, office admin, our Outreach service, organising fundraising events, improving our website and Search Engine Optimisation – and lots more that we so desperately need help with.

Gemma Clapcott – our new Finance Officer.

Gemma Clapcott

Gemma manages our accounting software, matching our spend with restricted grants that we receive, keeping all our book-keeping up to date. A truly invaluable member of our team. So hopefully we won’t have to wait so long for our 2023 Charity Report and it will include our end-of-year accounts next time!

Hammersley Homes Artwork

We are still working towards our big Fundraising Exhibition, gathering a wide variety of art works, including some high quality works by some high profile artists. Since the venue for our planned May 2023 event fell through before Christmas, we have been in discussion with a couple of fabulous possible venues in Southampton and are hoping to have more news about this for you soon – but now it’s unlikely that this exhibition will take place until Autumn 2024. However, this gives us more time to make sure it’s going to be a really GREAT exhibition, which we are all very excited about.

In the News

  • Son receives apology and settlement after psychiatric unit executives say, “It is very clear to us that we have failed your mother”.

  • Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health NHS Trust have been issued a warning and are working with inspectors to improve their care. There are currently irregular observations, poor paperwork and unsafe environments which inspectors noted had been exacerbated by short staffing.

  • Three teenagers and a 37-year-old man died in the care of West Lane Hospital in Middlesbrough. The family of the man stated that the hospital was “complete pandemonium” and were shocked to find that he could “come and go as he pleased”.

  • The Edenfield Centre, responsible for the care of those who are a risk to themselves and others, has been found by Panorama to “have a toxic culture of humiliation, verbal abuse and bullying” brought about by poor training and the normalising of poor standards.

All of these cases show that Mental Health Support facilities are struggling.
Whilst we need to be holding these facilities to a high standard, we need to ensure we are supporting the staff within them and their management teams in making the improvements that need to be made, rather than holding irregular inspections and in worst cases, closures.

It’s occurrences like these that highlight the need for our Hammersely Homes Project. These people need a safe and secure place to call home. With this in place, they are then free to devote time to looking after their health that they simply cannot do otherwise.

  • With 80 school counsellor jobs at risk of redundancy, college principals ask for clarity on next year’s mental health funding… no news as of yet. With 54% of students showing moderate to severe signs of depression the need for mental health support could not be clearer.

  • A mother has set up a support group for parents of children with autism who are suffering from suicidal thoughts. 14% of children with autism struggle with this as opposed to the 0.5% of people who live without the condition – a fact that is not currently reflected in the support they are offered.



A new phone line has been opened in Portsmouth to challenge the “confusing, daunting and unclear” process of getting help. You can speak with trained call handlers who can put you in contact with organisations such as Positive Minds or your doctors according to your needs.

Mental Health Awareness Week is around the corner and this year’s focus is anxiety. We’ve all experienced feelings of anxiety at some point in our life. A quarter of us say that anxious feelings have stopped us from doing some of the things that we want to do, but for some people, it is a constant state of being that is hard to manage. This year’s aim is to raise awareness for people who struggle this way and provide some helpful pointers on how to manage anxious feelings when they do creep into our lives.

Meet the Team - Micaela Oyono, Volunteer

Micaela Oyono Ndo

You very kindly joined our team of loyal volunteers in 2022, to help us with our eBay shop, which is a feature on our website. What can you tell us about this work?

Helping out with the Hammersley Homes eBay shop has been great; I was lucky enough to be offered training from a specialist eBay Charity Shop mentor, and as a result, I can certainly say that my knowledge and understanding of an e-commerce shop have expanded. This job requires a little bit of passion for clothes and selling, and to be good at online searching. If you believe that you have this in you then jump on. This job is flexible and rewarding because it provides a lot of knowledge while you are helping a Charity grow through eBay. Not only does it raise funds for the Charity, but also it raises the profile of Hammersley Homes, as more people get to hear about it.

We know what your wonderful volunteering does for us – what does it do for you?

As I said above, I have learned so much, and I continue to learn and expand my knowledge of eBay; I’m now working with another volunteer on this project and it’s nice to connect with like-minded people. Altogether, it’s a good experience.

Without the work that volunteers and charities do to support the vulnerable people in our communities, suffering would be much greater. What made you want to volunteer in the first place, and why us?

In the first place, because I believe that we are all here to help and share, so I found myself in a moment in life where I could help, where I could make something big for another person so I found Hammersley Homes and they gave me a chance. I believe in the work that Hammersley Homes does, it’s important, and I’m pleased to be able to do my bit to support them.

Do you have any tips for others who might be considering volunteering with a charity?

Do it with your heart, and be open to learning and meeting new faces and having new experiences.

Support our work

If you are able to make regular donations to Hammersley Homes, be that £1 or £10, the progress that we can make would be enormous. If you’re considering regular donations, please click the donate button below. As always, thank you for all of your support! We really couldn’t do it without you.

Please spread the word about our vital work OR DONATE just £3 a month to change a life, by texting 3HOMES to 70580.

Texts cost £3 plus two standard rate messages and you’ll be opting in to hear more about our work and fundraising via telephone and SMS. If you’d like to give £3 but do not wish to receive marketing communications, text 3HOMESNOINFO to 70580.

Hammersley Homes – Registered Charity Number 1180673