A big thanks to our present funders
In May 2019 we were fortunate to be granted funding by The National Lottery Community Fund (previously known as Big Lottery Fund) for 3 years, secured until April 2021.
This funds 12 employees, including 10 therapists who work one to one with children and young people, and adults, including an Art Therapist. A major proviso of this funding is that we develop a more business like way of working, whilst still providing our charitable work. As a result we are charging for our services based on household income, and seeking to generate enough income to sustain our services without only relying on grant funding.
We are incredibly grateful to have been supported by the NHS to survive the brief gap in funding between grants.
We have recently secured a Transpennine Transform grant to delivery group Art Therapy to children, teenagers and adults for 3 months, April to June 2019.
In March 2019 Healthwatch granted us the opportunity to participate in their community connections project.
In May 2019 we secured funding for 6 months from the Molly Hurst Memorial Trust to provide one to one and group therapy to young people with complex needs.
We would like to take this opportunity to give a big thanks to all of our past funders who have given us the freedom to grow and achieve wonderful things
Open Minds has been providing counselling since 2006 when we had only two volunteer counsellors.
In 2007 the founding team of Helen, Craig, Avis and Jennie decided to see whether Open Minds could be taken to a bigger level and Open Minds became a constituted organisation in December 2007.
With the help of Doncaster Communities For Health we employed a worker in early 2008 to research the health infrastructure of Doncaster, particularly the Vol-com sector, and whether there was a need for a free/subsidised counselling service in Doncaster which would work with adults and children on any issue and for as long as it was necessary. The results of this consultation were positive and we made the decision to commit wholeheartedly to making Open Minds work. Previously Open Minds had been run around our founding team's other work.
With Doncaster CVS' Social Enterprise Team's help we identified premises and opportunities. The support of Key Fund Global Grants enabled us to employ Helen as our Managing Director, and we moved into our own premises at 28 Christchurch Road in Doncaster town centre in May 2008. At the time we had only 4 counselling rooms, an office and waiting room.
The Social Enterprise Development Team at Doncaster DCVS empowered Open Minds to incorporate as a company in September 2008.
New Deal for Communities funding then meant we were able to continue and expand our good work between September 2008 and March 2009. This included employing Avis Straw as our Finance Officer part time, and two wonderful community researchers and being able to promote our work throughout Doncaster.
Between April 2009 and February 2010 we didn't have any grant funding and were completely reliant upon income from clients and the organisations with whom we work, so thanks also to every client and beneficiary.
Through the kindness of PRISM CIC we were able to generate income by our Managing Director providing consultancy support to PRISM. We were also blessed by the support of our landlord, the DDPA (Doncaster Disabled People's Alliance) who allowed us to use the building at reduced rent temporarily.
However we would have been forced to close had we not been lucky enough to secure grant funding;
In March 2010 we began providing training funded by Humber Learning Consortium, a grant which although small and only lasting until September 2010, massively contributed towards our survival as an organisation during this lean time for Open Minds.
This frightening period of thinking Open Minds would have to close ended in May 2010 when Big Lottery Fund Reaching Communities granted us funding for 4 years to employ the Managing Director, Finance Officer and continue to develop our wonderful work. This was an amazing and wonderful opportunity and during this time demand for our services increased on average 88% every year in terms of the number of people who benefited from Open Minds' services whether as clients, trainees, volunteers or employees.
We also had the joy of being granted funding by Awards for All to employ a children and young people's counsellor and a family support worker from November 2012 - November 2013.
We were fortunate to again be granted funding by the Humber Learning Consortium to deliver training and mentoring to trainee counsellors and the public for 6 months March - September 2013.
In May 2014 we were granted funding by the Humber Learning Consortium to deliver training and mentoring on a career and personal development pathway; anger, relationships, self-esteem, and professional skills. This ended in October 2014 at which time we again had no funding.
In May 2015 we were thankful to be granted funding by Big Lottery Fund again, secured until March 2019. This grant helped pay for 12 employees, including 10 therapists who work one to one with children and young people, and adults, including an Art Therapist.
We would also like to thank the DDPA (Doncaster Disabled People's Alliance) for help with their premises, Key Fund Enterprise Discovery for support, motivation and help accessing many resources, DCVS (Doncaster Council For Voluntary Service) and CEN (Community Empowerment Network) for information, support and guidance and support with business planning and incorporation, and NDDT (North Doncaster Development Trust) for their help through Success Doncaster and all of the above and many more for moral support.