We’re experts: We bring focused mental health expertise to our partnerships and the services we provide.
We’re positive: We help people to take an active role in their recovery.
We work in partnership: In Buckinghamshire we know that bringing together different perspectives can help identify solutions to different problems.
We’re community focused: In Buckinghamshire we work with people in their communities. We believe in supporting people to live the lives they want, as fully as possible.
We’re inclusive: We support people so that they can be open about who they are, without worrying about discrimination, knowing they will be accepted.
I’ve been doing some data analysis work for Bucks Mind to look at deprivation factors across Buckinghamshire and how these factors might affect the mental health of residents who may then need the services of Bucks Mind.
There are 32,844 wards across the UK, each with it’s own Multiple Deprivation Index rank and ranking for factors that affect deprivation such as barriers to housing and services, education, skills & training, and employment.
This shows how wide the problem is with some of the areas surrounding the town as greatly affected as those in the town.
There is a very pronounced east/west split for Educational, Skills and Training, and some wards in Aylesbury Vale are in the 10% most deprived in the UK and the majority of Aylesbury is in the bottom 50%.
Employment also shows quite a divide between the east and west areas of Aylesbury and again the majority of the town is in the bottom 50%.
I attended a meeting of the Accommodation Subcommittee to consider how we can ensure the buildings used by Bucks Mind are fit for purpose for our current needs and what the future needs of the charity might be.
It also bought up some interesting questions around where our service users live compared to where our services are provided, where areas of need might be, and how we might be able to map all of this in a way that guides the future development of services.
As I was driving home I also thought about how it’s possible to take a ‘digital’ approach (using data to drive decision-making) using non-digitally obtained information (the location of current and possible service users).
This year’s Annual General Meeting of Buckinghamshire Mind included a really good overview of how the organisation has progressed over the past year and all the new services and partnerships that have been developed.
We were also privileged to have the rt Hon John Bercow, the speaker for the house of commons, as our guest speaker. John talked about how mental health issues can affect anyone, from any area of the country, and any age. He also talked about how the demand for mental health support will always exceed what is available from the NHS, and how important it is that charities like Bucks Mind are there for people who need support.
We had some difficult discussions at today’s board meeting, and had to make decisions that feel like a compromise between what is best for the service users and what might be better for the organisation in the long run.
Having to make these kinds of decisions is exactly why a charity needs a board of trustees with a diverse range of skills and broad experience, to bring different opinions to the discussion, and a good chair to ensure that all opinions are heard and considered, and that a clearly understood decision is reached.
As Bucks Mind’s board of trustees grows in size with each new recruit and each board member gets to know each other with every meeting, I think we are becoming a board that can balance complicated and conflicting discussion and reach decisions that are as good as they can be for all concerned.
New Futures is Bucks County Council funded program that supports local charities by providing consultancy. For this round of support we’re looking at ways of improving our business efficiency and continuity by improving our IT infrastructure.
In preparation for this we need to do some extensive process mapping to understand how people work, what they need to help them work smarter, and how data flows through the organisation. From these maps we’ll be able to work with the IT consultant to develop the infrastructure we need.
Reviewed the management accounts for March, the petty cash situation, the cashflow and balance sheet, and the budget for 2017. I still feel like I’ve got a long way to go to be completely comfortable with understanding the finances of the organisation but it is something I really want to improve my knowledge around.