High Wire Connection across a big break

This online bulletin at the end of July 2012 can serve as an update.For those interested, we shall be uploading in the near future a copy of the Director’s report recently sent in to Companies House, updating on developments up until Christmas 2012. The same report has also been uploaded on the Charity Commissions website.

Most developments since Christmas involve the Project “Poems for…”

They include funding that will allow the project to put together new poem collections for display in schools, libraries and healthcare settings. One collection will be on and about mental health, and will support a mental health promotion campaign in schools, starting in the Hillingdon area. A second collection will be on Learning Difficulties. Funding is also being sought for a collection of poems about ageing. This last collection will be put together in close partnership with the poet John Killick, justly celebrated for his work with people who have Alzheimer’s. All of these three collections can help address stigma, above all in schools, where minds are still young, still being made up.

Further, after years of trying, we shall soon be adding Burmese poems to the bilingual “One World” collection. The break-through follows the publication last Summer of the excellent anthology called “Bones will Crow” (Arc Publications). Along with two poems from other sources, a selection has been made from that book and the poems formatted. Permissions are presently being sought.

On a different topic, two new websites have been constructed, both to do with mental health services. One will centre on service user involvement and consultation and will review achievements in this area over the last few years, marking out those initiatives which seem to have been successful, while decrying approaches and methodology which all too commonly have been careless, perfunctory and even irresponsible. A code of good practice in user consultation is presently being worked on and will be uploaded here, and on the new site, as soon as it is complete. A second website will be used for the uploading of interviews with users of mental health services, testifying to the effects upon them of the recent tumultuous changes in mental health services across the country. It will be called “Mental Health Witness.”Finally, we have to record here the deaths of two of the charity’s Trustees, and the retirement from paid employment of a third.David Morris died in April 2010 having acted as the Mayor of London’s senior advisor on Disability for several years. We worked with David on the Mayor’s Equalities Report 2006/07, contributing poems from various cultures, to offset and put flesh on the Report’s tables, lists  and figures.Mary Young died in the Spring of 2012. A tribute to her will also soon be uploaded on this site.Kate Doyle will continue as Trustee of Hyphen-21, following her retirement towards the end of 2012. She acted as Community Psychiatric Nurse in Westminster for many years. Here below is a poem that was read at her leaving do a few days ago.

Caite Doyle’s Gold

Caite, Caite,

not even for you do the rough years wait.

Like a rock you’ve stood through storm upon storm

and nothing budged you – bar slow seeping Time.

What worlds will open to those grey eyes

when tonight gives way to a strange sunrise ?

What worlds await us, whom now you leave behind

you who were always there for us, so sure, shrewd, kind ?

All through the years, you’ve been driven to serve,

deploying no tools except the skills of love.

You are goldsmith, Caite. Behind you, you leave gold

here in our thoughts of you. Your treasure, we hold.

Rogan Wolf