Meet the MindMap and Discover CIF’s Impact on the Voluntary, Charitable and Social Enterprise (VCSE) sector…
Below is a blog by Phil Bridges, Founder of The Mind Map and beneficiary of CIF investment; in his blog Phil reflects on his journey and CIF’s important role.
I founded Liverpool based mental health organisation The Mind Map after experiencing OCD and anxiety as a young person. Reflecting on my youth as an adult made me realise how the support I needed wasn’t quite there.
After embarking on a career in communications, I began to realise I wanted to combine my love for writing with a desire to make life easier for young people, in regards to them talking about their feelings and accessing support. But I knew I lacked knowledge on how to develop my concept.
So three years ago, I completed a year long social entrepreneurs course before joining an innovation cluster which included Liverpool John Moores University and the NHS. This allowed me to advance The Mind Map offer by gaining valuable insights from young people on what they felt they needed. We were awarded a small lottery grant which we used to build our website and are now growing day by day.
Our team is now made up of industry leading mental health researchers, BACP accredited psychotherapists, journalists and Mental Health First Aid instructors, so we’re covering a lot of bases.
We wish to promote a ‘New Normal’ where people can talk about their emotions, as comfortably as they’d talk about last night’s game or the latest TV series. We also want to increase access to mental health services for young people and train more organisations in Mental Health First Aid.
I was introduced to Sara Lawton, the Director of CIF by a mutual friend – GIRLFANS founder Jacqui McCassey. I never foresaw what the introduction could mean but CIF has played a part in our future sustainability by commissioning works for Mental First Aid Training with Universities across the North West. Sara has been instrumental in us training students in Mental Health First Aid so they are able to spot the signs and symptoms of mental ill health, listen non judgementally and signpost effectively.
By commissioning these works we have been fast forwarded significantly in terms of the types of clients we’ve been able to work with as a new company.
By helping us to sustain, CIF are allowing us to bring support together holistically in one place – awareness raising, counselling, signposting to free services and Mental Health First Aid training. It’s about adding tangible support, whilst continuing the conversation. We’ve interviewed a wide range of sports and music figures about how they stay mentally well from Leighton Baines to Blossoms and Sleaford Mods.
Sara Lawton, Director of CIF stated “Public-sector partners are choosing to buy social from CIF in the knowledge public-sector monies will be re-invested into social projects/initiatives; to see the impact our investments are having not only on those most vulnerable in our society but also across the VCSE sector is amazing. Our approach to delivering Social Value is unique making CIF a framework like no other on the market, this is something we and our public-sector partners are very proud of”.
The Mind Map