Carers' News issue 14

October 2021

New service for veterans

There is a new NHS service for armed forces veterans experiencing mental health problems across Norfolk and Suffolk.
The Veterans Integrated Service is a partnership between NSFT, Walking with the Wounded and Outside the Wire.
The service will provide mental health support, specific stabilisation programmes, substance misuse support and welfare services across Norfolk and Suffolk for armed forces veterans.
Diane Palmer, lead nurse at NSFT said: “NSFT is committed to supporting our armed forces, veterans, reservists and their families.
“We have signed the Armed Forces Covenant, are completing the Veterans Covenant Healthcare Alliance Accreditation and are proud to be launching our innovative new Veterans Integrated Service.
“The new service will enhance core mental health services, providing specific stabilisation programmes, substance misuse support and welfare services across Norfolk and Suffolk.
“We will also be working collaboratively with the NHS Operation Courage services in our area.”


Relaunching the Triangle of Care
We will be relaunching the Triangle of Care in the week beginning 22 November, with a virtual event organised for Carers Rights Day on 26 November. Please see the next issue for more information.


Let’s meet

Gary Walker, People Participation Lead, Great Yarmouth & Waveney plus Older People’s Services, Julian Hospital

First record: A vinyl 45 speed by Lieutenant Pigeon, Mouldy Old Dough. That brought back some great memories of Christmas with my nan. 
Fave food: Spaghetti Bolognese.
Money can’t buy the role I do. I am passionate making sure that the people we serve are the heartbeat of our Trust, ensuring their voices are heard.
I want to make sure our hard-working staff embrace participation by working hand in hand with service users and carers to make our services world class, so other Trusts look to us and see what we are achieving.
My aim is to empower service users and carers to take back control of their lives, embracing CHIME, making connections, giving them hope, having a meaning and purpose in life.


Young people who care for someone with a mental health condition were given the chance to enjoy the thrills of Pleasurewood Hills to give them a break from their caring roles.
Howard Tidman, lead Governor and carers champion, arranged for around 100 carers aged between 12 and 16 to visit the Lowestoft theme park.
“These young people face a lot of responsibility in their role as carers, which they have to juggle alongside schoolwork and other commitments. We hope everyone that came along had fun,” said Howard.


A message from our CEO

Stuart Richardson

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of joining the Friday Virtual Coffee Morning for Carers.
The past 18 months have been difficult for us all but I was humbled by how difficult this time has been for members of the group as they have continued to care for their loved ones during lockdown, whilst having limited access to normal networks of support.
It has given me the opportunity to really focus my mind on what is important in my first few months of being the Chief Executive at NSFT.
The relaunch of the Triangle of Care is high on the list of priorities. Having spent time with the group, it makes it really apparent to me that when carers and families are involved in all aspects of people’s care then the experience is so much more positive for everyone, really focusing on what will make a difference to people.
The group also reminded me that, although there may be lots of transformation plans in the pipeline, what is really needed is support for the next few months to support people with severe mental illness and also for people who have traditionally fallen between our wellbeing and secondary care services. This is a conversation we have continued within NSFT and also with our commissioning colleagues.
So thank you for inviting me and I really look forward to coming back soon.


Mindfulness for later life
Norfolk Mindfulness Groups are running courses at Gatehouse Charity East Anglia.
The six-week courses (two hours per session), funded by Norfolk Community Foundation, are open to carers, and former carers over the age of 65.
Suffolk county council is also running similar courses.
There are  similar courses, one-hour sessions for carers 18+.
Dr Adele Pacini said: “Former carers in particular seem to respond really well to the course and I would be very happy to see more applications from them.”
For further information please see


Free wellbeing pack for carers
NSFT has been offered further packs from Norfolk County Council.
Alongside some PPE (personal protective equipment) and some information to support carers, the pack also contains some pick-me-up items for carers to enjoy, including chocolate, sweets, bubble bath, a bag, tea, coffee, biscuits.
Please contact us for your free pack via the email

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