HELP BREAK THE STIGMA - Campaining, Volunteering and learning


campaign and volunteer

Rural Mental Health Matters

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Melanie Costas, the founder and CEO of Rural Mental Health Matters is based in North Dorset.

Our Social Enterprise

“RMHM – Rural Mental Health Matters aims to provide mobile outreach services, a ‘wellness on wheels’ to reflect the unique challenges presented by rural isolation. Reaching out to rural and remote communities, acting as a focal point, providing information, advice and signposting to support that’s available in the local community.  

To do this, we need you! As a new Social Enterprise we are looking for funding so that we can get the very first mobile outreach unit ‘on the road’ in rural North Dorset. This will be the first of its kind in the UK, and we envisage one of many, as this is a nationwide issue affecting ALL rural and remote communities.

Above all, we need to change perceptions (e.g. anti-stigma activities) to break the silence. For many of us mental health is not about statistics, models or innovation but how we can ‘prevent things from getting to the desperate stage’….after all, we all have mental health.

Rural Mental Health Matters is looking to work collaboratively with like-minded community groups/projects/charities/NHS/LA’s & individuals. So please do get in touch!”

Light On

By simply talking with one another, men can improve their mental health. It helps to give permission and an opportunity to do this, Light On gives men permission and an opportunity to do this.  (Whole of Dorset Organisation)




C4C is a self-advocacy group for people with learning disabilities and/or autism where members campaign and raise awareness of different issues and initiatives both internally and nationally.

british red cross logo

British Red Cross

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Lots of different roles available, use search facility on their website to find anything in our area.

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Black Dog Campaign

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“The Black Dog Campaign was created as a celebration of our 25th anniversary in order to highlight depression and other mental health conditions, and encourage people to seek help. It has since proved immensely popular and is still growing in strength and numbers of supporters.

The image of the Black Dog has been used from classical mythology through medieval folklore to modern times as a universal metaphor for depression and other mental illnesses. Sir Winston Churchill famously used it to describe his darker moods. Today the image represents the commitment of our campaign to raise awareness of mental illness. By encapsulating mental illness through the physical manifestation of the Black Dog, we enable people to visualise just how powerful, dominating and unpredictable it can be, whilst simultaneously affording them hope: dogs, like mental health conditions, can be tamed.”

Money and Mental Health Policy Institute

Set up by moneysavingexpert founder Martin Lewis, this was set up “to break the toxic link between mental health problems and financial difficulty.”    Volunteers can sign up to fill in questionnaires online.  

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genetic links to anxiety and depression study


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Blackmore Vale Partnership and Gillingham Medical Practices.

Blackmore Vale Partnership Website or Gillingham Medical Practices Website

Enquire about being a ‘Health Champion’. 

Many different opportunities and ideas always welcome to help patients with additional services to the clinical help provided by the professionals.

volunteer centre dorset

Volunteer Centre Dorset 

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Telephone: 01305 269214


Up-to-date voluntary opportunities across Dorset.

dorset mind

Dorset Mind Volunteering

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In particular:

Rural Mentoring Mind Volunteer



action for help

Action For Happiness

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Lead a Happiness Habits Course 


Support an ongoing monthly group

Disability Rights UK

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Membership and volunteering opportunities

royal voluntary service logo

Royal Voluntary Service 

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“Playing your Part”

Many roles but includes ‘Volunteer Responders’ working with the NHS

Find out More – NHS Responders


there are plenty of opportunities to volunteer.

Dorset Healthcare University NHS Foundation Trust

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Volunteer in the Community Hospitals at Shaftesbury or Blandford


Shaftesbury and District Dementia Friendly Community

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CCP – Caring for Communities and People

Recently expanded into Dorset – help with befriending parents, and helping children.

in jolly good company logo

In Jolly Good Company

Volunteers would be welcome to help at the memory cafe in Shaftesbury.


dementia friends logo

Dementia Friends

The UK’s biggest ever initiative to change the way people think, act and talk about dementia.

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friends of guys marsh prison logo

Friends of Guys Marsh Prison

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Become a Friend!

dorset countryside volunteer logo

Dorset Countryside Volunteers

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Telephone: 07923498760


Free Courses In England

Lots of relevant mental health courses and more.

Includes many Level 2 certificated courses.

future learn

Future Learn

Post A-level or A-level level on-line ‘mini’ courses in psychology, mental health, mindfulness, healthcare and many more.  From 2 – 6 weeks, usually a few hours each week.  Free if completed within a certain time or pay for longer and a certificate.

skills and learning

Skills and Learning Adult Community Education

There are some courses in our definition of North Dorset and many online.  

Some are directly to do with mental health and ‘LiveWell’ courses are free.  Many courses in arts, languages etc.  

the o u

The Open University

Open University.  Offers relevant free short courses as well as the more well-known degrees.

nhs dorset

Recovery Education Centre

See Dorset page for more information of theRecovery Education Centre.  

Course Descriptions HERE

Termly timetable.  Courses move about Dorset and sometimes come to Shaftesbury, Gillingham and Sturminster Newton.  More courses available online.

zero suicide alliance logo

The Zero Suicide Alliance

The Zero Suicide Alliance (ZSA) is a collaboration of National Health Service trusts, charities, businesses and individuals who are all committed to suicide prevention in the UK and beyond. We are an alliance of people and organisations coming together around one basic principle: Suicide is preventable       

Suicide Prevention Training

They provide a range of awareness training options, which provide a better understanding of the signs to look out for and the skills required to approach someone who is struggling, whether that be through social isolation or suicidal thoughts. 

Lots of free courses available.  

Full catalogue

One example:

Five tips on how to plan new self-care routines

Dr Sharon Mallon explores what is meant by self-care before introducing you to some of the top inexpensive and time-effective ways that you can introduce self-care practices into your life.

Wiltshire Council

Family Community Learning

Free interactive adult learning courses. 

Tel. 01225 770478



The Skills Network

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Over 45 Free learning courses subject to criteria.

The following organisations  provide opportunities to become involved in campaigning and volunteering – check them out and see who they are, what they offer and what you can do to help.

young minds

Young Minds

Fighting for young people’s mental health.

Join the movement


Fund raise

dorset mental health services

Dorset Mental Health Forum

shaftesbury and district carers

Otherwise known as HOPE or The Hope Project.


See Dorset Page for more details.

rethink mental illness


Telephone: 0121 522 7007

11  am – 4 pm Mon-Fri,


mind logo


Telephone: 0208 215 2243

9am – 5 pm Mon-Fri


national survivor user network

The National Survivor User Network

A network of people who have and do experience mental distress who want to change things for the better. NSUN connects people and influences policy, practice and perceptions by amplifying the experiences and aspirations of our members. 

The network was set up to build a more united and confident mental health service user movement. It recognises the isolation, discrimination and disadvantage experienced by mental health service users and their needs beyond clinical treatment.”

NSUN has more than 4000 individual members, 650 groups members and over 100 ally members.  The fact that it is a user-led membership network sets it apart from other organisations in the field.

“We are here to make sure the voice of experience is heard!”

Mates in Mind

Mates in Mind is a leading UK charity aiming to provide clear information and support to employers on the mental health and wellbeing of their teams and how they can address this within their organisations.

Tel.  020 3510 5018

Association of Mental Health Providers (amhp)

“…joined the Health and Wellbeing Alliance [HW Alliance] [formerly the Third Sector Strategic Partnership Programme] in 2010, becoming the lead partner in a group of voluntary sector mental health organisations – the Mental Health Consortia.

The Voluntary Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) Health and Wellbeing Alliance has been established to:

  • Facilitate integrated working between the voluntary and statutory sectors
  • Support a two way flow of information between communities, the VCSE sector and policy leads
  • Amplify the voice of the VCSE sector and people with lived experience to inform national policy
  • Facilitate co-produced solutions to promote equality and reduce health inequalities

The HW Alliance is jointly managed by the Department of Health (DH), Public Health England (PHE), and NHS England, and is made up of 21 VCSE Members that represent communities who share protected characteristics or that experience health inequalities. Through their networks HW Alliance Members can link with communities and VCSE organisations across England.  Individuals and VCSE organisations who would like to share their experiences and ideas with NHS England, DH and PHE can do so via Health and Wellbeing Alliance Members.”

mq mental health

MQ Mental Health

“We are MQ – Transforming mental health through research”

We want to create a world where mental illnesses are understood, effectively treated and one day made preventable.

Tel.  0300 030 8100 or email

Centre for Mental Health

“….is a charity with over 30 years’ experience in providing life changing research, economic analysis and policy influence in mental health. Over the last decade, our work has expanded to include physical health, wellbeing, inequality and multiple disadvantage across the life course.

We are international thought leaders contributing to innovation and ground-breaking health and social change. By disentangling complex experiences and finding big ideas that can be shared, we have developed a reputation as the people who make sense and can provide evidence that helps and makes a difference in real time and in real life.”

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