Campaigning, Volunteering and Learning


If you are interested in volunteering to help with the Shaftesbury Mental Health Peer Support Group or Making Space, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us.

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 Logo

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)

DCMHA logo

Dorset Community Mental Health Alliance

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The alliance is a network of voluntary and statutory organisations, individuals and businesses working together with one common cause – to support anyone who needs help, to create a mentally healthy Dorset. 

A critical part of our work is suicide prevention. We won’t rest until nobody in Dorset believes suicide is the only option.

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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

Email: [email protected]

Up-to-date voluntary opportunities across Dorset.

dorset mind

Dorset Mind Volunteer Befrienders

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Telephone: 01202 551660

Email: [email protected]


For  volunteering in general visit:

action for help

Action For Happiness

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Disability Rights UK

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royal voluntary service logo

Royal Voluntary Service – Together or older people

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Email. [email protected]

Tel. 01305 23 66 66

british red cross logo

British Red Cross

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Email. [email protected]

If you are interested in helping those with Dementia there are plenty of opportunities to volunteer.

National Alzheimers Society

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Shaftesbury and District Dementia Friendly Community

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in jolly good company logo

In Jolly Good Company

Volunteers would be welcome to help at memory cafes and lunch clubs.

See dementia links on Local Support page.


dementia friends logo

Dementia Friends

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

email: [email protected]

Call 0300 222 5855



Free Courses In England

NVQ Level 2 in Understanding Mental Health – completely online or distance using workbooks and assessments marked by Tutor by post.

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 very occasionally courses in our definition of North Dorset but unfortunately none in the current programme (the nearest are in Blandford where there are quite a lot).  They will run more if there is enough interest.  

There are courses online including a LivingWell course on Mindfulness which is free.  

Please contact Amanda by email if you are interested and she will collect names to pass on if there are enough to ask for a course.  Seven people are needed for it to be considered.

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 Local Support page for more information of Recovery Education Centre.

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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. 

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

Email: [email protected]


Amanda is a member of, follows or is otherwise involved with the following organisations – check them out and see who they are, what they offer and what you can do to help.

dorset mind

Dorset Mind

dorset mental health services

Dorset Mental Health Forum

rethink mental illness


Telephone: 03001233393

9.30 am – 4 pm Mon-Fri,

Email: [email protected]

mind logo


Telephone: 0300 1233393

9-6 Mon-Fri

or text 86463,

Email: [email protected]

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!”

march network

The MARCH Network

The MARCH Network is one of 8 national networks funded by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) as part of the 2018 Cross-Council Mental Health Plus call to further research into mental health.

“MARCH focuses on social, cultural and community assets – which includes the arts, culture, heritage sites, libraries, green spaces, community centres, social clubs, community associations and volunteer groups – and the role they play in enhancing public mental health and wellbeing, preventing mental illness, and supporting those living with mental health conditions. There are an estimated 1 million of these assets in the UK.

The MARCH Network proposes that these Assets

build Resilient Communities

and therefore lie at the heart of Mental Health


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.

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.”

young minds

Young Minds

What is #HelloYellow? – WORLD MENTAL HEALTH DAY – 9TH OCTOBER 2020.

“On World Mental Health Day, thousands of schools, offices, companies and community groups are wearing yellow to raise vital funds for YoungMinds. 

Whether you choose a subtle splash of colour or dress like sunshine from head-to-toe, together we can show young people they’re not alone with their mental health”.


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