One of the first community interest companies in Bognor Regis has today celebrated its tenth anniversary.
Frame Of Mind CIC provides meaningful activities and assistance for people with mental health issues and those living with dementia.
Bognor mayor Phil Woodall and West Sussex County Council chairman Lionel Barnard were among guests at the celebratory lunch, held at the company’s base on Arun Business Park.
Director John Oliver said it had been a successful ten years, during which the not-for-profit company had expanded. However, looking forward, it needed to attract more clients in order to guarantee the next ten years.
“We have had ten really successful years here. It has been a hand to mouth existence but I have seen the people have benefited considerably.
“We have absolutely dedicated people working here in the circumstances, which can be quite difficult.
“I don’t want to be negative. We would like to be here for another ten years.
“We are resourced properly but we are under utilitised. We do not have enough people coming to us who could benefit from us.”
The company was founded by Theresa and Ian Bates to help people with mental health issues, as Theresa had herself suffered from depression and anxiety.
Frame of Mind has grown to offer opportunities to those with learning difficulties, people in the early stages of dementia, the long-term unemployed and even police cadets.
In 2012, the company won a National Dementia Care Award for innovation.
Theresa said the ages of clients ranged from 15-year-olds students from St Anthony’s School to a man with dementia aged 90.
The main activity is picture framing but there is also now a garden for those who prefer to work outside.
Ian said: “It is the most wonderful thing working with someone with dementia. They want to be there every day and they want to be working.
“We also take people from the Jobcentre who are the furthest from employment. We are not looking to get them back into employment, we are looking at helping them make a start.”
He explained the numbers had dropped since the funding criteria had changed but referrals were still made by the Jobcentre and other places like Arun Wellbeing.
The company received a substantial three-year grant from a charitable trust in 2015 and will need to build its client base up before that money runs out.
Visit frameofmind.uk.com for more information, email theresaB@frameofmind.uk.com or call 01243 828066.