“The organisation we now know as Oxfordshire Mind was launched at a meeting in the Town Hall on Monday April 3rd 1967. The Oxford Times reported: “Mental Health a Growing Problem. New Association Formed. Nearly 300 people filled Oxford Town Hall to vote into existence the Mental Health Association (Oxford Area).” The new association, was part of a growing number of local groups affiliated to the National Association for Mental Health (NAMH). Anyone interested was encouraged to send their name and address and a minimum of 5 shillings subscription to the Hon Secretary.
The charity was entirely volunteer-run for the first 15 years, with our first employee joining in 1982. Since then we have grown to over 100 employees, we are members of two innovative partnerships (Talking Space Plus Partnership and the Oxford Mental Health Partnership), and this year we will provide help to over 13,000 people in the county of Oxfordshire.
Our 50th anniversary is a cause for great celebration, and on behalf of us all I would like to thank every single person that has contributed to making us the fantastic organisation we are today. We plan on being around in 50 years time and making a difference to ever more people over this time.”
Dan Knowles, CEO, Oxfordshire Mind
On Monday our 50th Anniversary Celebration was held at Oxford Town Hall. The event had a fantastic turnout with support from local businesses, members, volunteers and staff.
Live music was played throughout the evening and a live caricature artist created unique silhouettes of guests.
The main event of the evening was an auction and thanks to generous donations we were able to raise £1133!
We would like to sincerely thank all our sponsors for giving so generously including:
- Cotsworld Spa Treatment
- Debenhams Oxford – Clarins Concession
- TLA Fitness
- Diamond Light Source
- Pets at Home
- Ella Clockin
- Giles and Rosa Salsa
- Nick Georgion
- Luke Idlewild
- Ashmolean Museum
- Barret and Co
- Modern Art Oxford
- Korky Paul
Oxfordshire Mind were also overwhelmed at the positive responses received from local businesses and organisations. Nicola Blackwood (MP for Oxford West and Abingdon and the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Public Health & Innovation) has praised Oxfordshire Mind:
“I have always been proud to support Mind who do such important work to intervene early and provide support to those who need it most. In the fifty years since Oxfordshire Mind began we’ve seen encouraging progress: record levels of investment in mental health and more and more people accessing services, and above all Mind have been able to genuinely improve people’s lives across the county.”
Throughout the week we also had a variety of press coverage. Our CEO, Dan Knowles, started the week on BBC Radio Oxford, this was then followed by TV coverage of one our housing service users on BBC South Today TV.
At the heart of these celebrations is the desire to ensure that Oxfordshire Mind continues to support anyone with a mental health problem and ensure that they have somewhere to turn to for help, advice and support.