What’s been happening

Thankyou Wells Cathedral

Here are a few pictures of some of our clients opening up Christmas cards made by students at Wells Cathedral School. Our clients thought they were wonderful and beautifully made. Opening them up created lots of laughter in the groups when we read out the jokes inside the cards. Thankyou Wells Cathedral students for thinking of our clients and helping us to raise some laughter. We wish you all a very Merry Christmas.

Christmas Wreaths

Our talented pottery clients made stunning Christmas Wreaths today!


Delivering Christmas Lunches!

We are really pleased to announce that we have been successful in receiving £250 from #somersetcommunityfoundation (Festive Fund) for providing Christmas meals over the festive period. Heads Up Somerset will be teaming up with Daniel’s Cafe and Sandwich Bar and The Venue, Wells to deliver Christmas lunches this December.
Last Christmas Day we played host to those who normally attend our centre and provided a Christmas Lunch on Christmas Day. This year of course, this can’t happen so we have linked up with two local businesses who have been long term supporters of our charity. Over the last few years, Daniel’s Café and The Venue have fundraised hundreds of pounds for Heads Up and were more than happy to offer their services this year to ensure those who attend the centre still get a Christmas Dinner.
In the week leading up to Christmas, hot, delicious Christmas Dinners will be delivered safely to the doors of clients, carers and isolated individuals within the community, free of charge thanks to Somerset Community Foundation.
This year is going to be different for everyone but the hope is that they can still offer some joy at this time of year.
For more information please contact Heads Up: 01749 670667.

Christmas Wreath Bird Feeders!

Christmas wreath bird feeders for sale, made by Heads Up’s crafty gardeners. £10 each, includes peanuts and fat balls. Please contact Heads Up if you would like a festive wreath for you and your garden birds to enjoy!


National Lottery Community Fund

Since March we have strived to ensure that our community and those that benefit from our service continue to receive the support they require. Some of the services we have been able to deliver has been made possible by the distribution of Government Funding to The Coronavirus Community Support Fund (managed by The National Lottery Community Fund).
Specifically, we have been able to increase our Memories Workshop staffing enabling us to extend our Memories provision which is key to their continuation given the fact that workshops need to be much smaller to maintain our Covid secure compliance. Fundamentally, it’s not only our clients that have benefited but also our carers as well. Additionally, these funds have also meant that we have been able to develop our outreach service providing more support to vulnerable adults in their own homes and in the community.
Here are just a few photos that capture the very essence of our work and highlight the importance of continued support and inclusion during the most challenging of times.

Remembrance Day

Mandy, our Deputy Manager created this wonderful display to mark Remembrance Day inside our reception area. A very poignant display providing an opportunity to promote discussion amongst our Memories Clients today. These beautiful pottery poppies made by Mandy were given to each of our clients to take home today.


Computer Tablets Encourage and Maintain Participation During Restrictions

Like many organisations, the Covid-19 pandemic has certainly encouraged our service to diversify and to consider other ways of communicating in replacement of and in addition to the usual face to face contact.
With this in mind our Business Manager, Sally Dempsey has spent a huge amount of time working with other organisations to create opportunities for our clients. Our initiative with Graham Carrington, course tutor and Dan from Somerset Film delivers an ever important opportunity to ensure the continuity of communication while services remain restricted and in the event of any future local or national lock downs.
Dan from Somerset Film has secured funding to enable them to loan Computer Tablets to some of our Heads Up clients. Graham will be running IT sessions to ensure that clients are confident in using them. The Tablets have a range of Creative Apps installed and also the popular Zoom App to enable clients to remain creative and to keep learning by participating in online courses that they wouldn’t have previously been able to access. This is vitally important in helping to reduce isolation and promote a sense of community whilst developing new skills during such uncertain times.
Pictured left to right: Steven, Graham and Dan.

Collaboration with Daniel's Cafe and Sandwich Bar

We are very excited to announce that Daniel’s Cafe and Sandwich Bar have very kindly set aside a small area stocking both hand-made items from our service and second hand books and toys. Our very popular hand made Dementia flowers can also be found here, crafted by our talented Pottery experts! These won’t hang around for long! A useful selection of informative leaflets are also displayed. All items can be purchased by making a donation into our collection box. Thankyou Daniel’s Cafe for your continued support, we very much appreciate it.

World Mental Health Day 2020

Our Service Director, Bridget Harvey had a busy day raising awareness of World Mental Health Day 2020. Working alongside  ‘Alright It’s Cake’ and our vital emergency services; Wells Police Station, Shepton Ambulance Station and Weston Fire Station to have those important discussions about Mental Health and to continue to share resources and information that can provide support and prevent isolation within our communities.


A few pictures of our wonderful produce from the Heads Up Healing Garden … Wow!!


Wells Art Contemporary Virtual Exhibition

Heads Up are proud to display arts and pottery works in the exhibition as part of Wells Art Contemporary’s community outreach work. The work we have featured in the exhibition has been contributed by a number of individuals. We hope that you’ll agree the work is very impressive!
To view the virtual gallery click on the link below, then click on ‘community room’ followed by ‘enter exhibition’ to see our work.

A Special Thankyou to the White Stuff Donation

Heads Up would like to say a very special thankyou to The White Stuff Foundation.
The White Stuff store in Wells has supported our charity for a considerable length of time by hosting special offers and collecting donations for our smaller items of merchandise that we produce in our service. Their valued support has not only raised monetary funds but has also helped to promote awareness of Mental Health and share information about our service in South Horrington, for which we are very grateful.
Their generous and final donation (which doesn’t take into account donations pre-dating February 2020) of £647.57 along with historic donations has made an enormous difference to our clients and carers.
Thankyou White Stuff Foundation.

Thankyou to Wells City Council

Wells City Council have donated 400 masks to Heads Up.

The photo below shows them being presented by Town Hall Manager, Kevin Westwood (left) and Town Clerk, Steve Luck to Bridget Harvey, Service Director at Heads Up.

“We are more than happy to offer some practical help to a valued local charity in these difficult times.” said Kevin.

This follows gifts of masks from the Council to the Connect Centre and Wells Foodbank.

Local Businesses Rally Together to Help Support Community Initiative as Lock Down Eases

The Swan Hotel is back in business, after a four month closure period, and beginning to see early signs of recovery – aided by the Eat Out to Help Out scheme and Charlie Bigham’s.

Kevin Newton, The Swan Hotel’s owner, approached local premium food brand, Charlie Bigham’s, to ask if it could support the restaurant’s re-opening in August.

Stepping in to assist a neighbouring business, Bigham’s is donating over 500 of its restaurant-quality meals for The Swan’s Eat Out to Help Out menu.

Until the end of August, diners can enjoy three courses and a draught soft drink or hot drink of their choice for £20 – at lunchtime or dinner. The Government scheme deducts 50% off food and soft drinks, up to £10 per head, Monday – Wednesday only.

In the first fortnight, The Swan welcomed numerous diners through its doors. Hotel guests are also starting to re-book postponed stays and plans are in place to resume social events in the coming weeks/months.

“A crisis does bring out creativity and ingenuity, as well as collaboration and incredible generosity. Although we’re going through tough times, it also brings out the best in people for the good of the neighbourhood. Joining forces with Charlie Bigham’s, in the uncertainty of the pandemic, not only helps keep our business afloat but also keeps up morale. When people work together, they naturally achieve more, so I think this has changed everybody and brought us closer together” said Newton.

Founder Charlie Bigham commented: “Many hospitality businesses are struggling to recover from the economic losses of Covid-19, which is why the Eat Out to Help Out scheme is crucial – to encourage people to return to restaurants, pubs and cafés. Bigham’s Somerset kitchen, just outside Wells, connects us with the city, its businesses and residents, which is why we’re proud to offer our support to The Swan Hotel, to attract diners through its doors.”

Both The Swan and Charlie Bigham’s actively support Heads Up – a local mental health and wellbeing charity based in Wells. A donation will be made to the charity at the end of the month, once the total number of meals sold are calculated. The donation will help Heads Up, who now face additional pressures as individuals re-adjust to the new way of life following the pandemic.

Bridget Harvey, Heads Up’s Service Director, added: “It’s very much appreciated that we are still being supported by The Swan Hotel, Kevin and Charlie Bigham’s, who have also continued to offer support to our services during these difficult times. Our charity has been unable to open since March, which has had a financial impact on our services. However we have opened our services this week and hoping that we will be there for many years to come. We cannot thank everyone enough, without ongoing support Heads Up would not be the place it is today – an amazing day centre that offers fantastic resources and supports so many people in Mendip.”

A Successful First Couple of Weeks

It’s been a busy couple of weeks since reopening our service on August 3rd.

Our woodwork, creative activities, pottery, gardening and memories workshops have all resumed, with number limitations and advanced cleaning and PPE regimes in place.

It’s been wonderful to see so many familiar faces back in the service. Those that have returned have been respectful to the social distancing measures and new processes we have had to put in place, for which we are extremely grateful for.

A Successful Reopening

Tuesday August 4th 2020 saw the successful reopening of our service since temporarily closing due to the outbreak of Covid-19 on the 17th March 2020. It’s been a long four and half months however we were absolutely delighted to welcome back some familiar faces today. With a number of changes to minimise risk and increase safety in response to Covid-19 our service isn’t quite how it once was. However, our team have embraced the challenges and have adopted new and innovative ways of working that we are sure will be well received.

Some of the changes include a phased reopening with fewer workshops and fewer in attendance, separate workshop entrances, temperature and screening checks on arrival, additional PPE and enhanced cleaning regimes. In addition, our team have taken part in further First Aid training incorporating Covid-19, delivered by the extremely professional Occupational Training Solutions which also included appropriate and safe use of PPE to ensure we are prepared for every eventuality.

Our community efforts remain paramount to our service delivery, with our outreach service continuing and expanding. We very much hope when it is safe to do so, in the coming weeks and months to increase our provision as restrictions ease.

Group photo credit: Philip Welch.

A copy of our Covid-19 Risk Assessment is available on request.

Heads Up Newsletter April-June 2020

HU Newsletter April-June2020

A Healthy Stroll!

As lock down restrictions have started to ease we have been able to extend our outreach support by meeting our Clients in the community. In addition, we have been able to go for a walk with some of our Memories Clients which has created a much-needed respite period for their Carers.

One of our Carers, Marilyn said “lockdown has made life so much harder for us both. It was such a relief when my husband got a place here. When Heads Up take him on one of their walks I have some time to do paperwork and other essential jobs. I am so grateful to Heads Up. They are so warm, so supportive when they phone for a chat. They always listen and ask how you are.”

Thankyou Fosso Lounge!

Thankyou so much Fosso Lounge for generously donating 50p from the sale of every burger and main course during your takeaway trial. In just 3 weeks their initiative has raised £737.

We are so grateful for your support of our charity. Thankyou Fosso Lounge!


Carers Week 8-14th June 2020

It has been our absolute pleasure to deliver boxes of goodies to our wonderful Carers today.

In acknowledgment of Carers Week (8-14th June) we have worked with others to put together beautiful boxes of fruit, cakes, green leaves and bunches of sweet peas which have been delivered to 30 Carers throughout the day. It has been lovely to catch up with so many familiar faces and we very much hope to see you all very soon!

We would like to give special thanks to Alright its Cake and Daniel’s Cafe and Sandwich Bar who kindly donated 30 delightful Muffins; they looked absolutely delicious!

A big Thankyou to Russ Crocker who donated enough fruit for our team to prepare 30 fruit boxes. The fruit created such a beautiful range of colour!

Also, a big Thankyou to Lee-Anne, our gardening co-ordinator who worked hard yesterday with one of our volunteers preparing bags of green leaves and bunches of sweet peas both grown in our Heads Up Healing Garden.

Looking After Our Wellbeing - Part 3 and 4 Food for the Mind

This morning our team took part in the final two sessions of our online zoom course ‘looking after your well-being.’ Funded by Somerset Skills and Learning and delivered by our Trustee Vanessa Gordon part three of the course focused on ‘Food for the Mind.’

The course considered different food types that are good for the mind taking into account the main meals throughout the day; initially looking at breakfast foods that are beneficial to stimulating the mind such as blueberries and strawberries. Incorporating foods such as fish, leafy green salads, avocados, tomatoes and the addition of fresh herbs into our lunch can be great for keeping the mind focused throughout the afternoon. Finally, adding nuts, herbs and seeds into our main evening meals are super for giving that extra boost.

What about snack I hear you say?! Again, nuts and seeds can be a great quick snack especially if you’re on the go. Substituting milk chocolate for dark is also a good alternative. If you have time, maybe try to make your own snack bars!

We followed on from the above to part four of the course with a ‘guided relaxation’ session and breathing exercises delivered by Melanie Kelly (MK Wellbeing). Melanie is a fully qualified and experienced wellbeing instructor and practitioner in various practices of Yoga, Reflexology and Massage.



Thankyou Somerset Community Foundation

Heads Up are extremely grateful to have received a grant for £2200 from Somerset Community Foundation. The grant was made from the Somerset Coronavirus Response and Recovery Fund, which is made possible due to local donations to the Somerset Coronavirus Appeal alongside money from the National Emergencies Trust.

Business Manager, Sally Dempsey expressed our gratitude to Somerset Community Foundation “sudden loss of income has been extremely difficult to manage, as I’m sure is the case for many other Charities. Thanks to Somerset Community Foundation we have been able to continue supporting our clients and other vulnerable people in Mendip including carers by providing telephone support, food parcels and more recently one-to-one meetings in the community.”

Carers Week 8-14th June 2020

It’s Carers Week 2020 this week (8-14th June) and we wanted to share our recognition of the many, many Carers in our community and further afield that provide support and care to loved ones. It is vital to recognise that Carers too, need support, respite and help.

Our Carers Groups and Carers Pamper Days are currently suspended however we should emphasise that we are still on the end of the phone to provide advice and support that Carers may need.

To find out more and to get involved in the National Campaign to support Carers Week visit https://www.carersweek.org


Thankyou Mask Force - Wells

Mask Force – Wells have kindly donated 10 washable masks to the Heads Up staff team.

Mask Force – Wells are a group of volunteers, sewing face masks for carers, shielded people, key workers and others. Their aim is to protect people while reducing demand on official PPE lines.

Mask Force – Wells do not charge but suggest a donation to ‘Love Musgrove Covid-19 Response’ which is raising money for NHS staff counselling equipment and for patients in isolation.

Thankyou Mask Force – Wells for your kind donation to Heads Up and to the wider community.

National Volunteers Week (1-7th June)

To celebrate Volunteers Week @alright_its_cake_ kindly donated boxes of beautifully crafted cakes for our team to deliver to some of our volunteers (unfortunately we just couldn’t get to everyone, those we couldn’t get to will hopefully receive our Thankyou cards.

Usually we would be busy this week with events to mark Volunteers Week which we haven’t been able to do. It was therefore lovely to be able to share such a kind donation with some of our volunteers

Thankyou @alright_its_cake_  and @danielscafewells for your ongoing support of @headsupsomerset and THANKYOU to ALL of our wonderful Volunteers who support us all year round in our service, our workshops, with our fundraising and at our events.

Looking After Our Wellbeing - Part 2 Relaxation and Good Sleep Hygiene

Our team took part in session two of our ‘looking after your wellbeing’ zoom course this morning. Funded by Somerset Skills and Learning and delivered by our Trustee Vanessa Gordon, the focus this week was on ‘relaxation and good sleep hygiene.’

How many of us relax physically as well as mentally? I’m sure you’ll agree that quite often we’ll put our feet up with a cuppa and continue using our brains actively.

So, how can we relax our brains? Here are just a few of the top tips that Vanessa explored;

  • a change of scenery; step into another room, taking your focus away to something else can aid relaxation;
  • focus on breathing; take three deep breaths first thing in the morning when you wake;
  • go outside; no matter the weather exposing ourselves to natural light and fresh air can be hugely beneficial.


While our lives are more restricted due to Covid-19 its important that we aim to maintain a routine, particularly a healthy sleep pattern. A couple of tips to promote good sleep hygiene are to;

  • aim to go to bed at the same time each night;
  • aim for 7-8 hours sleep;
  • try to avoid food and drink that contain sugar and caffeine in them from 7pm onwards;
  • try not to take electronic devices to bed.


Hopefully you’ll be able to benefit from some of these tips! Next week we will be focusing on ‘feeding the mind.’

For this week try to spend at least half an hour per day, consciously doing something that relaxes you not only physically but mentally as well.

If you are interested there are some excellent resources on the Mental Health Foundation website; you’ll see the links below.



National Volunteers Week (1-7th June)

Its National Volunteers Week and we want to say a massive THANKYOU to all of our fantastic Volunteers that continue to support Heads Up across a number of roles!

Without the dedicated support of our team of volunteers we would not be able to provide such a high quality, dynamic service and provide the support that we do to our clients and carers.

We are also very appreciative to the community groups and individuals who volunteer their time to run classes or to perform to our Memories groups which enables us to to keep the activities variable and diverse.

Competition Time! Calling all young people :)

Calling all young people; its competition time and a great opportunity to support your local community!

Heads Up are looking for decorated shoe box contributions to fulfil a community commitment in the very near future!

Calling all young people! Here’s how you can help and get involved;

  • find an old shoe box, or a box of similar size at home;
  • spend some time decorating it; use anything creative for example collage, drawings, sticking etc;
  • put your name and the contact number of a responsible adult on the bottom;
  • ask an adult to drop your creation up to Heads Up on Monday 8th June between 10am-12pm. These can be left safely at the door without the need for contact.

Our Trustee Vanessa Gordon and Service Director Bridget Harvey will chose a winner during week beginning June 8th and will award a small prize!!

(Please be aware that boxes should be submitted empty and that we will be unable to return any creations!)

Somerset Mental Health Support

Heads Up and a number of other local organisations have come together with Somerset Community Foundation (SCF) to participate in a short wellbeing film.

Commissioned by Somerset Community Foundation, the short film highlights services available to the community from local charities during the Covid-19 pandemic.

It is a difficult time for many at the moment; there is help and support available, don’t suffer in silence. Contact Mindline Somerset – Coronavirus Emotional Support Helpline available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week 01823 276892.


Looking After Our Wellbeing - Part 1 Being Creative

This morning (26/05) our team took part in the first of a four part zoom course funded by Somerset Skills and Learning about ‘Looking after our wellbeing.’ The course will enable staff to support our clients to consider their own wellbeing and will establish ways our team can help with this.

The course, hosted by our Trustee Vanessa Gordon, a retired Mental Health Nurse and Mental Health First Aid trainer focused this week on ‘being creative.’

Vanessa explained the importance of having a project or a plan for the next day which gives a vital focus during these unprecedented times. I’m sure we have all found it difficult to get hold of certain items since the outbreak of Covid-19 however Vanessa was able to encourage us to think about things we can use at home that can be re-used/recycled. Some ideas Vanessa shared included making jams and chutneys using left over vegetables that we may have, which of course involves recycling our used glass jars. Another idea; using old glass jars to create gifts and treats such as dog biscuit jars, chocolate/sweet jars or even pin cushions!!

The course next week will focus on tips to relax and sleep well, again both of paramount importance to our overall wellbeing.

We’ll be certain to let you know how next week goes but for now have a think about how you can be creative at home!?

Thankyou Burns the Bread

In the true spirit of ‘kindness’ for Mental Health Awareness week Burns the Bread kindly donated 65 muffins and Danish pastries to Heads Up this morning.

Our Trustees and Staff have been on the road throughout the day delivering cakes to our Clients and Carers in the community.

It was lovely to see so many faces; we hope that you enjoyed the delicious cakes as much as we enjoyed saying ‘hello’.

Thankyou Burns the Bread for your ongoing support especially at this difficult time.

Thankyou Daniel's Cafe and Sandwich Bar

Daniel’s Cafe and Sandwich Bar have been busy this morning donating and delivering breakfasts to some of our clients in the community in support of Mental Health Awareness Week 2020.

We would like to say a ‘BIG’ thankyou to the Daniel’s Cafe team who have been tremendously supportive, generous and kind throughout these challenging times and have shown enormous support, not only to Heads Up but to our wider community.

Mental Health Awareness Week - 18-24th May 2020

This week is Mental Health Awareness Week (18-24th May). The Mental Health Foundation have chosen ‘kindness’ as the theme this year.

Usually we would have a whole host of activities planned throughout our workshops however this year we have had to think differently. We will keep you posted about our community effort and activities throughout the week to show our acknowledgment and support of Mental Health Awareness Week, which will give a particular nod to ‘kindness.’

For now, and to kick the week off we thought it would be fitting to say a big ‘thankyou’ to our huge range of Supporters. Whether you are carers, volunteers, clients, staff, trustees, patrons, a small or a large business, a statutory or voluntary sector service, someone who has donated or anyone else (there are just too many to mention!) who supports us we would like to say a big THANKYOU for your ongoing SUPPORT and KINDNESS.

Fosso Lounge, Wells

We are privileged and proud to announce that the Fosso Lounge will be supporting us by donating 50p from every burger sold from their takeaway menu to Heads Up.

They have a takeaway menu available to view on their website https://thelounges.co.uk/fosso/

Thankyou Fosso Lounge 🙂


VE Day Celebrations

Our Service may currently be closed due to circumstances beyond our control however we didn’t want to let the 75th anniversary of VE Day pass without showing our mark of respect and acknowledgment.

In true Heads Up style our Trustee Carolle Skeates baked, and baked some more!! Dozens of beautiful cakes were delivered by Carolle and the team to some of our Clients and Carers in the local community.

Active at Home Packs

This week the team have been busy getting SASP’s (Somerset Activity and Sports Partnership) Active at Home Packs to our Clients and Carers. The packs, which aim to maintain activity at home during these times have been extremely well received and have proven to be very popular!

This particular project has received funding from Sport England. SASP have been doing their own ‘We are Undefeatable’ campaign for Somerset to try and reach older people and those with a long term condition.

Project Pen-Pal

This week has seen the launch of our new Heads Up ‘pen-pal project’. A link between children in our local community and our Dementia Clients and Carers.

The initiative aims to reduce isolation, encourage community engagement and to simply raise a smile and bring some joy!

Sally Dempsey, our business manager is rolling out the project by matching each child with one of our Dementia Clients and Carers. Some of the first to send cards, letters or pictures are Lilly, Phoebe and Jacob who were very excited about the initiative and keen to get started on being creative. The scheme also promotes home learning and can include writing, drawing, reading and exercise etc.

An Update on Our Community Work

It’s been a while since we provided an update on our continued community efforts to ensure that vulnerable people are supported during these unprecedented times.
Our Deputy Manager, Mandy Loxton has continued to uphold Heads Up work with SASP during these difficult times. Last week Mandy took receipt of some of Somerset Activity and Sports Partnerships (SASP) Older People Active at Home Packs from Jo Smith (SASP). Heads Up will be delivering these packs to some of our Clients and Carers in the near future which will help to maintain activity during these times. This particular project has received funding from Sport England. SASP have been doing their own ‘We are Undefeatable’ campaign for Somerset to try and reach older people and those with a long term condition.
If you would like to know more about SASP’s packs please contact Jo jsmith@sasp.co.uk and for more ideas about staying active at home visit www.sasp.co.uk/be-active-at-home
Our garden continues to grow and flourish during our absence from the service. Lee-Anne our Gardening Tutor has been working extremely hard to keep on top of the essential tasks required at this time of year to ensure that when able, the gardening team can pick it back up on their return. I’m sure you’ll agree, the pictures look fabulous!
Leading on from the garden activity, our team have been able to deliver some of its lovely fresh produce to some of our clients recently. We hope that as the garden continues to grow and deliver that we will be able to increase this.
Our website contains a range of useful support networks available to all at this difficult time. We will endeavour to keep it as up to date as possible as we become aware of new and updated services.
27 April 2020

SASP's Active at Home Packs

Our Deputy Manager, Mandy Loxton has continued to uphold Heads Up’s work with SASP (Somerset Activity and Sports Partnership) during these difficult times. Last week Mandy took receipt of some of SASP’s Older People Active at Home Packs from Jo Smith (SASP). Heads Up will be delivering these packs to some of our Clients and Carers in the near future which will help to maintain activity during these times. This particular project has received funding from Sport England. SASP have been doing their own ‘We are Undefeatable’ campaign for Somerset to try and reach older people and those with a long term condition that may not have accessed activity, possibly through not understanding or a fear of accessing activity in the community.

The Easter Bunny has come early to some!!

Our super team at Heads Up have worked tirelessly distributing and delivering 70 Easter eggs to our wonderful Clients and Carers throughout Mendip.

The Easter eggs were kindly donated by Kevin Newton and Zoe Newton of The Swan Hotel. Such a generous gesture, highlighting not only their support during these unprecedented times but showing their continued support of Heads Up.

We are so very grateful to The Swan Hotel as are our clients and Carers.



A Big Thankyou to Daniel's Cafe & Sandwich Bar

A massive Thankyou to the team at Daniel’s Cafe & Sandwich Bar, Wells who kindly prepared a delightful tray of Bacon Sandwiches for our Heads Up Team. The Sandwiches were a rare treat, under the circumstances and provided much needed fuel for our team delivering Easter eggs! Thankyou Georgie Robbins for delivering 🙂


An Update on the Work that Heads Up are Continuing

Heads Up, as an organisation, is heavily involved in the co-ordinated effort to support vulnerable people during this difficult period.
Currently, some of our team remain based at Heads Up on weekdays where we have been answering the many phone calls we have been getting – mainly about concerns of where to go for help with shopping and/or medicine collection, for support around managing wellbeing and mental health during these unprecedented times and sometimes for a friendly chat to help relieve isolation and loneliness. We continue to contact and offer support via telephone to our many clients and carers and provide support around getting groceries and collecting vital medications.
We are part of the Wells Coronavirus Network (Help Wells) providing support and advice and are in regular contact with Mendip Health Connections to build up a contacts list of neighbourhood help so that we can signpost individuals to their nearest coronavirus support networks.
In addition we have linked in to other neighbourhood coronavirus support networks in Mendip to ensure that everyone, wherever they live, has the support they need.
In addition we have donated our fortnightly FareShare food to local food banks until further notice.
9 April 2020

International Women’s Day, Sunday 8th March 2020 at Wells Town Hall

Women of Wells celebrated International Women’s Day this year by holding an afternoon event in Wells Town Hall. This year’s theme was ‘Mental Health and Well-being and the Benefits of Positive Activities.’ A wide range of local organisations, artists, and businesses were invited to share their experiences, expertise & skills. This included exhibitions and activity workshops such as Cooking, Pilates, Yoga, Tai Chi & Mindfulness, art and crafts. Heads Up was invited to give a talk, with a focus on promoting mental well-being through activity based learning.

Thankyou to Pauline Williams

A massive thank you to Pauline Williams (centre in photo), who has made & donated beautifully made teddies for Heads Up to sell.

Thankyou TePe Dental Hygiene

Staff from TePe Dental Hygiene presented Heads Up with a cheque for £543.14. This money was raised from their electronic Christmas cards and their staff ‘Hats for Christmas’ fundraising event.

Fit for my Future

Our team of Staff, Trustees and fellow colleagues braved the cold weather on February 6th 2020 to attend the Fit for my Future public consultation about changes to Mental Health Services in the area. It is important that Heads Up remain up to date with proposed changes and how these will not only affect our local community but also our clients that attend Heads Up. (Photo credit Philip Welch).

Well Wessex in association with Somerset Mental Health Hub present “Putting the WELL into WELLBEING in Somerset.”

A photo of some of our team, Bridget Harvey (Service Director) and Sally Dempsey (Business Manager) attending the Well Wessex event at the Rural Enterprise Centre, Bath and West Showground on Tuesday January 21st 2020.

The day was a huge success with local organisations showcasing their attributes plus guest speakers.

Photo Credit Philip Welch.

Claire Widdall Tai Chi

On 19th December the group raised £100 in aid of Heads Up. The aim of the class is to relax, recharge and cultivate positive emotions, which fits perfectly with the vital work Heads Up provide.  Heads Up is a fantastic charity and we’re very happy to support it.

Claire Widdall Tai Chi is a friendly, relaxed class that meets every Thursday at 7.30pm at Mendip Court, South Horrington.  The group practices Tai Chi Shibashi, and Qigong meditation.  Tai Chi Shibashi consists of slow gentle movements, which rejuvenate the mind, body and soul.  Regular Tai Chi practise helps to maintain physical and emotional balance, as well as providing many other health benefits.   For class information please contact cmwiddall@gmail.com.

Christmas Day Celebrations!

Wells Rotary Club and Heads Up Christmas Day Dinner was a huge success and enjoyed by all who attended. Local shops and hotels donated food, drinks and decorations while members of Well Rotary Club and Heads Up staff members and their families made sure that the day progressed seamlessly for all to enjoy. Paul Jeffery our wonderful Chef and his son Max prepared the feast which was beautifully cooked and well received. A visit from Santa with a sack of gifts and some carol singing brought the day to a close. A huge thankyou to all who supported our Christmas Day Dinner.

Heads Up 2019 Christmas Party!

Heads Up held it’s annual Christmas Party on December 12th 2019 which was a huge success! A superb turn out with many of our Clients, Carers, Staff, Trustees, Patrons and our local community enjoying the festivities. Our guests were treated to a lovely buffet spread put on by Carolle Skeates one of our Trustees and were able to take part in our raffle and have a sing song to the most traditional of Christmas Carols hosted by our wonderful entertainers. It was wonderful to hear such chatter and laughter amongst a buzz of generous activity. Thankyou to all who attended and to those who helped us to host our Christmas Party. (Photo credit Philip Welch.)


Generous Donation from The Stragglers of Wells Golf Club

Many thanks to the Stragglers of Wells Golf Club who presented Heads Up with a cheque for £450 in December.

Pop Up Dance!!

On Wednesday 4th December 2019 our Memories Workshop were joined by aKa Dance Theatre Company, a small scale company that creates works that are adaptable for a variety of performance surroundings. The Pop Up Dance Project is a partnership initiative with the Tacchi-Morris Arts Centre, Take Art and Spark Somerset. They have taken their family friendly work ‘A Real Fiction’ initially created with a collage of the performers memories and given it a new twist and more va va voom!! We very much look forward to seeing the finished result in the new year. We’ll be sure to keep you updated once we know when this will be.

For now here’s a quote from the aka Dance Theatre Team expressing their thoughts and gratitude to our incredible Memories Clients – “Great to work with a group that are so open and eager to try new things. The environment set up at Heads Up allows the participants to come to a space which is positive, active and stimulating. A room filled with joy, excitement and energy. We felt so welcome; seeing the participants allow themselves to get involved, showing their personalities and generosity, giving us an insight in to their pasts.” Jenny, Joe and Luke.

Heads Up Charity Dinner with Guest Speaker Dr Phil Hammond - Saturday November 9th 2019

Britain’s funniest doctor had a packed house in stitches at a charity dinner in Wells.

Dr Phil Hammond was the star speaker at the event which raised almost £5,000 for Heads Up, the mental health charity based at South Horrington.

He is a part-time Somerset GP as well as Private Eye magazine’s hard-hitting medical columnist and an acclaimed stand-up comedian.

Dr Phil told the 130 guests at the Swan Hotel in Wells with a smile that he “should be the government’s next Health Secretary as I can’t be worse than the last three.”

But he halted the rapid-fire jokes to praise the charity: “What’s wonderful about Heads Up is that it spreads compassion and builds relationships.”

Master of ceremonies was Arnold Wills, chair of the Wells Dementia Action Alliance, and more than £1,500 was raised through an auction presided with gusto by Rupert Cox, chief executive of the Royal Bath and West Society.

On the day before speaking at the dinner on the Saturday, Dr Phil visited the Heads Up day centre. Staying for over an hour, he took the time to meet and chat with staff and clients to learn more about the charity’s work. He was impressed by the services on offer, and described his visit as “truly inspiring.”

Dr Phil can talk seriously or humorously, and usually both, about any health and lifestyle topic. He has been an NHS doctor for 31 years, a comedian for 29 years, a BBC broadcaster for 28 years and Private Eye’s medical correspondent for 26 years.

Article and photo credit, Philip Welch

Enham Trust - Direct Payments

On Thursday the 14th November we welcomed Lorraine Kirkland and Sharon Peck from Enham Trust – Direct Payments. We intend to strengthen our working relationship with Enham as we expand our Outreach Service in the New Year. Enham Trust can support you if you are eligible for a Direct Payment or Personal Health Budget, visit their website for more information www.enhamtrust.org.uk



Christmas Day Lunch Preparations

Preparations for our Christmas Day lunch are well underway! On Monday the 11th November we received a visit from Paul Jeffery, a remarkable Chef, who is offering his time and expertise on Christmas Day.

Paul, pictured with Chris Morrison, President of Wells Rotary have been working together with Heads Up to make preparations for what will be a superb Christmas Day lunch for those who may be isolated this Christmas.

Picture credit, Philip Welch.


World Mental Health Day 2019

Heads Up have celebrated World Mental Health Day this year by hosting multiple Mental Health First Aid Courses throughout the day, attending the Mendip District Council event and attending the Wells Blue School event yesterday.

Our Trustee, Vanessa Gordon ran three Mental Health First Aid courses throughout the day. The courses were extremely well attended by members of the public, local organisations and businesses, our Trustees, staff and volunteers.

Jane Langan, our Memories Workshop Co-Ordinator represented Heads Up at the Mendip District Council Event. The day provided an opportunity for our organisation to add to the wider conversation that will be occurring on social media, television and elsewhere. It also highlighted the fantastic work we are already doing to address mental health stigma in the workplace and wider community.


World Mental Health Day - Wells Blue School

Our Deputy Manager Mandy Loxton and Volunteer Andrew Lewin attended the Blue School World Mental Health Day event along with a number of other Mental Health related organisations. Our stand was visited by a number of students and our interactive Mental Health quiz, put together by Mandy was extremely popular with approximately 200+ students taking part in groups throughout the day. The multiple choice quiz, inclusive of questions such as What age range is mostly likely to suffer from mental health problems? and Which of these famous people have/had a mental illness? encouraged open discussion and valuable information for students.

Generous Donation from Wells Benevolent Lodge and Somerset Masonic Charity

Service Director Bridget Harvey and Fundraising Officer Claire Hak were invited to receive a cheque donation from Wells Benevolent Lodge who donated £1,000.00, and Somerset Masonic Charity who donated £500.00 on the 3rd October 2019. Heads Up are extremely grateful for these very generous donations which will be used towards developing our Mental Health Training Room. Some of this £1,500.00 has already been used to purchase a new projector and some audio equipment.

Step In Time

We had the privilege of meeting some of the members of Step in Time, Coxley Line Dancers on October 3rd 2019. They visited Heads Up to donate a cheque for £1290.00 and have a look around our wonderful service. They organised a number of Line Dancing events and Heads Up was their charity of choice for the money raised. Thankyou Step In Time.

Daniel's Cafe Book Exchange

Thankyou Daniel’s Café for supporting our charity. Daniel’s Café have introduced a book exchange where you can either swap your books or if you wish to take one make a donation. Donations received for books are very kindly being donated to Heads Up!


Thankyou Wells City News

Graham at Wells City News is a long term supporter and Friend of Heads Up. You can find one of our collection boxes in his City News shop on Wells High Street.

Wells Dementia Action Walk - Sunday September 22nd 2019

Can you spot Bridget Harvey, Heads Up Service Director amidst the group of walkers ready to set off for the 2019 Wells Dementia Action Walk? (photograph kindly provided by Philip Welch). Wells Dementia Action Alliance, organisers of the event offered the option of a 3 mile or a 5 mile route setting off from the Bishops Palace.

A very special Birthday Celebration

Heads Up staff Bridget and Claire were privileged to receive an invitation for Peter Williams 80th Birthday Party on the 21st September. He celebrated in style with his friends and family at Coleford Royal British Legion. Peter very kindly requested that friends and family make a donation to Heads Up rather than buy him a gift. Peters Birthday Party raised a huge total of £420.18 which is amazing. Heads Up are very grateful for this donation, Peter and his family have supported us in a number of ways over the last year including a sponsored sky dive!


A Thankyou from Heads Up

Heads Up would like to say a huge thankyou to Tom and Jerry, who own Strangers With Coffee in Wells, Stuart and his team at The Sherston Inn in Wells, the Manager at The Rodney Stoke Inn, Nicky and Hillier Garden Centre for supporting us and having one of our collection boxes in their facilities. It really is very much appreciated.

Wells Moat Race - August 26th 2019

What a glorious sunny day. Heads Up had a stall selling a variety of items made by volunteers and clients at Wells Moat Race this year. Organised by the Lions Club, the day was fun filled for all the family to enjoy. Thank you to everyone who visited our stall and supported us.

National Allotment Week

The Bishops Palace Allotment Society celebrated National Allotment Week by opening their Palace Allotment on Wednesday 14th August and Saturday 17th August, from 12 till 4pm.

On both days there was a rare opportunity to have a 30-minute tour to view the Palace Allotments.  All proceeds were very kindly donated to Heads Up


Wells Art Contemporary Exhibition - Saturday July 20th - Sunday August 11th 2019

Our pillar, entitled “Every Face tells a Story” made by the creative people who come to Heads Up has recently been displayed in the Wells Art Contemporary Exhibition’ in Wells Cathedral. The Exhibition ran from July 20th to August 11th 2019.

Inner Wheel Club of Wells

The Inner Wheel Club of Wells attended Heads Up on July 25th 2019 and presented us a cheque for £108.00. Heads Up are especially grateful for this donation which was raised from monthly raffle donations.

Quiz Night, organised by The Venue Club - Wednesday July 24th 2019

A massive thankyou to Georgie Robbins, Paige Thurgoid and Wells Venue Club for organising a quiz night, and to everyone who supported the event. The fundraiser raised an impressive £350.00 for our Heads Up Mental Health and Wellbeing Charity. Picture below is of the ‘winning team’ with their prize!

Sponsored Head Shave, by Trisha Phillips - Saturday July 6th 2019

Heads Up would like to say a massive thankyou to Trisha Phillips who took part in a sponsored heads shave as part of her birthday celebrations. The event benefited three of Trisha’s chosen charities; Heads Up, SURE (Somerset Unit for Radiotherapy Equipment) and The Little Princess Trust. Donations are still coming in for this event, so we will update the page once we have the final figure.


The Somerset Russet's

Jocelyn  Blacker and Alison Bergqvist, from local band The Somerset Russets, visited Heads Up to present a cheque for £392.64. This generous donation was raised during a concert they performed at St Andrews in Chew Stoke on 12th May 2019 and will help to fund one of our client projects this year. Heads Up would like to say an enormous thankyou to all of the band members for supporting our charity.

Sponsored Pilates Marathon - Saturday June 8th 2019

Heads Up would like to say a massive thankyou to Pilates Body Aligned, who kindly organised a 4-hour Pilates/Yoga Marathon for us on Saturday June 8th 2019. Zoisa Holder and Corali Sacerdote, who own the business, ran the event in their studio at Mendip Court, South Horrington. Their energy and enthusiasm ensured that the event was hugely enjoyable and successful, and raised an incredible £2439.71. This substantial donation will enable us to fund a range of courses in addition to our regular workshops, such as physical fitness courses and cooking skills courses. Heads Up would also like to thank everyone who volunteered their time, food and raffle prizes, and who took part on the day and made donations.