Latest News Being in the Mix During this time of crisis, we have maintained our values and ethos in commitment to our workforce and people we work alongside. We can already see the positive impact that prizing personalisation, respect, empathy and equality has on those individuals at this time of crisis. Essentially, it is about being kind. In all of our work in bemix, our intention is to create an organisational culture where everyone can be seen, be heard and belong. Our mission as an organisation is to influence wider society to create a wider community, society and world in which the same is true. This means that the social impact of our work is more sustainable and meaningful. Through our projects, we have been thinking of different ways we can not only show ourselves kindness, but use our time to reach other people, too. Our Self Advocacy team launches our #Right2Home campaign on Monday 18th May. For 5 days, people with and without learning difficulties and/autism are taking action to make sure that the Government sticks to its promise to make sure that people in secure mental health care are not kept locked up away from home and the support they need. Our Music groups have been interviewing musicians to find out how they have been affected by the pandemic. And we have been facilitating virtual Open Mic events to give people the chance to get together online and share a love of music and performing. Kindness Monday 18th - 24th May is Mental Health Awareness Week, and this year, the theme is kindness. We thought that fit perfectly with how we have been approaching the current situation and we have been collecting examples of how people with and without learning difficulties and/or autism in bemix have been extending our bemix values during the pandemic, and helping create the kind of community we want to live in. We all need support sometimes, and at other times we all find ways to support other people. We do not expect people to be helping out in their community at this time - we know it is hard enough just to keep ourselves happy and well at the moment. Showing ourselves kindness and understanding is just as important as being kind to others. Here are some of the ways we have shown kindness to ourselves and others during the past few weeks: "We've been talking out the window to a lovely lady we never met before who has a little old dog who has to stop for a regular breather" Baking cakes for friends and family to help bring a smile to their face. Clapping for the NHS workers on a Thursday at 8pm. Our family has been delivering shopping and food to friends, family and neighbours who are elderly or self-isolating. Talking more to our neighbours - we've built friendships with our neighbours we hadn't spoken to before. We fixed the broadband disconnection for our elderly next door neighbours. We sponsored the local Hospice for the 2.6 Challenge We've moved to more use of small independent food outlets, especially a wonderful farm shop for fresh fruit and veg. I have been looking after myself by taking more walks and getting outside when I can. Putting up rainbow paintings in our windows to show support for the NHS and other Key Workers. We have teddy bears in the window and we regularly change the scene so they look like they are playing cards, acrobats etc. It's part of the 'we're going on a bear hunt' scheme that the local area are encouraging everyone to take part in. It gives people something to look out for on their daily walks. We have joined our local 'Keep in Touch' scheme where neighbours share their numbers so people have someone local to get in touch with if they get ill and need help with shopping, prescriptions or would like a chat. When everything has felt too stressful or upsetting, I have talked with friends and family, gone for a run/walk and let myself rest. I have been supporting my local Covid-19 Mutual Aid group by providing "debriefing" and emotional support to volunteers providing direct support to those who are isolated or in need or support. People have been making personal protective equipment (PPE) for friends, family and local hospitals including face masks, mask buddy bands, hats and scrubs bags. "Two of my sisters work as front-line nurses and one works in a supermarket. I am seeing their bravery daily and they make me feel incredibly proud, I wanted to do something that would support them in their roles" I have been leading an exercise workshop to help keep people moving at this time and boost their mood and spirits. We have written a quiz to share with family and friends on Zoom to help keep people connected and entertained. Making time for myself in the day is difficult with the kids at home and lots of work to do, so I have been making time in the evenings to paint and do crafts. It's very relaxing! I've been helping a local takeaway service get food to people as they have been exceptionally busy and some people rely on convenience foods. We have been spending more time cooking and eating together as a family - cooking helps us relax and we can share healthy, comforting food and time together. I help with a charity for people in the local area run by the St Vincent dePaul Society. We help people with food, housing, benefits etc. During the lockdown I have helped by answering the helpline phone and arranging for help to be given, mainly people have been asking for food from the food bank and help to pay bills because of delays to Universal Credit payments.