Revisiting my identity as a social entrepreneur – Caroline Harroe, Harmless, CEO.

For the last two days myself and our Business Develop Manager, Darren, have been at the Good Deals Conference in Birmingham.

Sponsored by Natwest, the event brings together a broad range of individuals from across the globe to talk about the concept of social enterprise; the philosophy, funding and approach of social business. The whole experience has helped us to refocus our attention on the focus for our business, Harmless.

Harmless is a social enterprise. A CIC.

Harmless began in 2007 after a lot of planning and dreaming and sacrifice and when Amy (our other co-founder) and I envisaged the future for Harmless, we knew we needed to do things differently. We help people that self harm; those in mental distress; those that might contemplate or attempt suicide. We deal with complex social and psychological issues and are here to help those facing such human pain, to overcome their struggles and have a thriving and safe life.

We need to be able to help people, consistently, sustainably, reliably. We need to make money to ensure that those activities are consistent for our clients, so that they have the time, space and opportunity to get the help that they need and that money has to come from somewhere.

When people meet me they often think that I am a little zany. Quirky, is the term often used to describe me. I think outside the box. I’m passionate and ultimately, I am a social entrepreneur.

When I first pitched the idea of Harmless to a funder, they told me that it wouldn’t work. That Harmless was a charity, not a business. We disagreed.

Harmless is a social enterprise; it was then, it is now – and a successful one at that. It makes money to spend money on our clients. We sell products and services, to ensure that we have the funds to commit to helping people who otherwise wouldn’t be helped. In times when it is still extremely difficult to get funding to help people in distress in the way that we help them, we are forced to find alternative solutions and our way is to do that through business activities.

And over the past few days I sat amongst and listening to people that share our philosophy as an organisation and certainly mine, as a leader. I think big. I am ambitious. I believe that we can save lives if we drive our service in the right direction. I am prepared to do what I have to do, learn what I have to learn and give what I have to give, to ensure that our service helps those in most need. I have revisited my whole approach to leadership and the organisational ethos that has always existed but now with renewed vigour and assurance that our approach is the right one for us.

I am like Marmite. People love me or hate me, but hopefully they always respect my integrity and drive.

Harmless is a social enterprise.

I am a social entrepreneur.

We save lives.

Why not spread some festive cheer with our premium quality Christmas cards, and help save lives while doing so!

Harmless’ Christmas Cards are now on sale!

Help support vital self harm and suicide prevention services by sending a festive card this holiday season!

Send a card, save a life!

Premium quality cards come in packs of 8 with 2 designs and self seal envelopes

 

 £4 per pack

All the money raised will go directly towards supporting the ongoing work of Harmless and The Tomorrow Project and saving lives.

Buy yours in our online store: www.harmless.org.uk/store/Christmas-cards 

Join our wonderful supporters and make a regular donation that can save lives!

We hope to gather ten new regular donors to become our life saving supporters. Can you help?

 

If ten people give £5 a month we can reach 24 more people in crisis.

24 more lives saved.

24 families who still have their loved ones.

Could you spare £5 a month?

Help us reach our target of ten new supporters. You can sign up here:

https://localgiving.org/donation/harmless/monthly

 

‘When I needed help, I couldn’t find it anywhere. I called a helpline but they just listened. I had totally given up on my life and wanted to die. When I found the help I needed through these guys I can honestly say that they saved my life when I saw no other way out’

Our CEO, Caroline Harroe, recognised with the Janey Antoniou Award

On Saturday our CEO, Caroline Harroe attended the Rethink AGM and Members Day in Birmingham, where she was recognised with the Janey Antoniou Award.

The Award was to recognise those who raise awareness and combat stigma associated with mental health illnesses and those campaigning for the better care for people affected by mental illness both inside and outside of healthcare

Caroline is honoured to be recognised in such a category for the vital and lifesaving work that she does. All of the team here at Harmless and the Tomorrow Project are extremely proud of Caroline for her fantastic achievements.

Self Harm Conference: From Harm to Hope – Wednesday 1st March 2017

Our 2nd annual national conference looking at effective services for people that self harm, current thinking and implications for practice.

Early bird offer: £90 per delegate*

*Usual price £150 per delegate place. Offer available for all places booked and paid for before 30th November 2016 only.

Conference details:

The theme of our conference is empowering communities through collaboration.

Harmless recognises that self harm effects a broad range of individuals, facing many diverse experiences; reducing the number of individuals that self harm requires contributions from across society and includes education, prevention, intervention and postvention work.

This exciting event will bring together private, public, voluntary and community sector organisations, individuals with lived experience of self harm and practitioners & academics in the field of self harm in an ethos of joint working and shared experience.

The conference will address a broad range of skills and learning needs, and provide an opportunity to examine working with a broad client base including young people and adults.

Our conference is themed around five strategic areas:

·         Collaborative partnership,

·         Service user representation,

·         Effective practice,

·         Driving change

·         Overcoming stigma and discrimination.

Delegates can expect to take away from the conference a range of knowledge, inspiration and practical applications for the implementation in real life personal and professional situations. Learning from some of the leaders in the field, delegates will have access to interactive sessions that can drive change in the field of self harm.

Confirmed Speakers:

Professor Rory O’Connor
Caroline Harroe
Professor Ellen Townsend
Dr Pooky Knightsmith

More to follow…

Workshops:

Caroline Harroe (Harmless) – Clinical Skills Masterclass
Sophie Allen (Harmless)
Sarah Kessling (Harmless)
Pam Burrows

More to follow…

Venue:

The conference will be held at the specialist conference venue in the heart of Nottingham, The Nottingham Conference Centre. For directions please click here

Who we are:

Harmless is a user led service which provides support, information, training and consultancy to people who self harm, their friends, families and professionals. We are committed to saving lives and giving a voice to those unheard. Harmless launched in 2007 and was set up by people who understand self harm. At the heart of our service is a real sense of hope, we know with the right support, and help life can get better. Find out more about Harmless by looking on our website www.harmless.org.uk

Self harm is everyone’s business:

1 in 10 people are affected by self harm. Self harm does not discriminate on the basis of gender, race, age, religion, disability or sexual orientation. Anyone is at risk from self harming at some point in their life depending on the experiences they have and the worry they feel about these experiences. Popular culture would have you believe that it is predominantly young girls who self harm; findings suggest that in fact for the age range of mid 30′s in men represent the majority of people attending Accident and Emergency for the treatment of self harm. Given this, we will only save more lives if all parts of society work together.

Where can I find more information?

If you would like more information about the forthcoming conference, or to book tickets, then please email admin@harmless.org.uk

Or speak directly to a member of our team on: 0115 934 8445

Volunteer placement opportunity available at Harmless

Harmless are looking to provide a volunteer placement to a suitable individual to help work on some data and enable us to get it ready and suitable for analysis and presentation.

The suitable candidate would benefit from the support and experience of working within a multiple award winning mental health service and be provided with the training and support afforded to our broad team.

In return they’d ideally be able to work on a range of our data/research activities for approximately 1 day a week (negotiable).

The successful candidate will be experienced at handling data and would be ideal for someone interested in research, psychology, social sciences or mental health. They would need to be able to take guidance from management but work to their own milestones in agreement with the service.

If you are interested, please speak to Caroline at caroline@harmless.org.uk

Meet our Clinical and Support Services Team

During my time as Clinical and Support Services Manager I have observed Harmless and The Tomorrow Project grow from a very small area in an office with three members to what it is today. I am proud to say I have been part of the team over the past nine years. We have grown from strength to strength enabling access to psychological services, information, training and consultancy to people who are at risk of self harm, suicidal thoughts and intent; their friends, families and professionals. People self harm to manage their distress, and as high as 1 in 10 people have at some point coped in this way. At the heart of our service there is a real sense of hope and recovery, we know that with the appropriate help, life experiences can ultimately be improved. You can help us to reduce the stigma and isolation for people who are struggling by being willing to talk about this subject.

The Tomorrow Project is a confidential suicide prevention project that has been set up to support individuals and communities to prevent suicide. Suicide is a decision that someone makes to end their life when they feel overwhelmed by their life circumstances.  The struggles they face can seem too difficult or painful and they feel and think like they have run out of options. We are providing crisis services in the community to people at risk of suicide and support to families and communities who are bereaved by suicide. Talking about the subject will shatter stigma, enable people to share their story and therefore find the support they need.

I’m excited to build on clinical services within Harmless and The Tomorrow Project working with colleagues and the community to give our community the resources, training and support needed to do your bit in supporting, signposting, and enabling help seeking.

Over the past few weeks the Tomorrow Project Team have launched our new Crisis Cafe, named by people attending, as the Catch Up Cafe. Here you can meet the team:

Adrienne Grove

Clinical and Support Services Manager

 

Val Stevens

Harmless Self Harm and Suicide Prevention Worker

 

Colin Menz

Harmless Project Worker

 

Bevan Dolan

Tomorrow Project Suicide Crisis Project Worker

 

Katie Smith

Tomorrow Project Suicide Crisis Project Worker

 

Ashley Dunstan

Tomorrow Project Suicide Bereavement Project Worker

 

For those of you looking for some support, wanting to meet the team or just a chat up, get in touch and come have a cuppa with us. To find out when the next Catch up Cafe will be, contact us at info@harmless.org.uk. See you at the catch Up Cafe!

Adrienne

Self Harm Training

A little snap shot celebrating the completion of yet another Level 2 Self harm training workshop, adding another 9 advocates to Self harm awareness and prevention.

Whilst I regularly deliver Self harm prevention training each group of individuals I work with provides new experiences and understanding. One of the top reasons I enjoy delivering training is because I get to meet so many new people. Everyone has a story to tell, experiences to share and it’s important to listen to these.

 Whilst as the Trainer my role is to facilitate information a significant part of Let’s Talk Training’s ethos is to work in partnership with organisations or services to ensure training is both collaborative and empowering. Training should be tailored to meet the gaps in understanding and Let’s Talk Training works with organisations and services to fulfill those needs.

If you are interested in knowing more about our bespoke training packages then please feel free to get in touch…

Email: training@harmless.org.uk
Call: 0115 934 8446

Self Harm Conference: From Harm to Hope – Wednesday 1st March 2017

Our 2nd annual national conference looking at effective services for people that self harm, current thinking and implications for practice.

Early bird offer: £90 per delegate*

*Usual price £150 per delegate place. Offer available for all places booked and paid for before 30th November 2016 only.

 

Conference details:

The theme of our conference is empowering communities through collaboration.

Harmless recognises that self harm effects a broad range of individuals, facing many diverse experiences; reducing the number of individuals that self harm requires contributions from across society and includes education, prevention, intervention and postvention work.

This exciting event will bring together private, public, voluntary and community sector organisations, individuals with lived experience of self harm and practitioners & academics in the field of self harm in an ethos of joint working and shared experience.

The conference will address a broad range of skills and learning needs, and provide an opportunity to examine working with a broad client base including young people and adults.

Our conference is themed around five strategic areas:

·         Collaborative partnership,

·         Service user representation,

·         Effective practice,

·         Driving change

·         Overcoming stigma and discrimination.

Delegates can expect to take away from the conference a range of knowledge, inspiration and practical applications for the implementation in real life personal and professional situations. Learning from some of the leaders in the field, delegates will have access to interactive sessions that can drive change in the field of self harm.

Confirmed Speakers:

Professor Rory O’Connor
Caroline Harroe
Professor Ellen Townsend
Dr Pooky Knightsmith

More to follow…

Workshops:

Caroline Harroe (Harmless) – Clinical Skills Masterclass
Sophie Allen (Harmless)
Sarah Kessling (Harmless)
Pam Burrows

More to follow…

Venue:

The conference will be held at the specialist conference venue in the heart of Nottingham, The Nottingham Conference Centre. For directions please click here

Who we are:

Harmless is a user led service which provides support, information, training and consultancy to people who self harm, their friends, families and professionals. We are committed to saving lives and giving a voice to those unheard. Harmless launched in 2007 and was set up by people who understand self harm. At the heart of our service is a real sense of hope, we know with the right support, and help life can get better. Find out more about Harmless by looking on our website www.harmless.org.uk

Self harm is everyone’s business:

1 in 10 people are affected by self harm. Self harm does not discriminate on the basis of gender, race, age, religion, disability or sexual orientation. Anyone is at risk from self harming at some point in their life depending on the experiences they have and the worry they feel about these experiences. Popular culture would have you believe that it is predominantly young girls who self harm; findings suggest that in fact for the age range of mid 30′s in men represent the majority of people attending Accident and Emergency for the treatment of self harm. Given this, we will only save more lives if all parts of society work together.

Where can I find more information?

If you would like more information about the forthcoming conference, or to book tickets, then please email admin@harmless.org.uk

Or speak directly to a member of our team on: 0115 934 8445

#2 Integr8

Are you interested in influencing National thinking about Mental Health? Could you use your skills and stories to reduce Stigma and bring concepts to life?

Integr8 is a media competition running from now until the 20th February 2017. Let’s Talk Training are looking for individuals of all ages to create a 3 minute piece of media (video, audio, podcasts, Vlogs) to help bring the world of Self harm to life in a healthy, helpful, creative and challenging way.

Winning pieces shall be awarded a recognition award and receive vouchers for their contributions. Their work will also be used nationally in training and web materials. Winners will be announced on the 1st March at our National Conference, From Harm to Hope.

Some of the themes include:

  • Young people
  • Black & minority ethnic communities
  • Social media
  • Self harm
  • Recovery
  • Hope

For more details or submissions email

Sarah: sarah@harmless.org.uk

Check out our Twitter (@HarmlessUK) and Facebook (Harmless) accounts too!