Mind Charity Shop Bermondsey to Re-Open 10th August

Mind Charity responded to my recent article that the Mind Charity shop in Bermondsey, being ‘closed’. They told me that the notice about the closure could have been hidden under the shutters and that they will replace it with a new one as soon as possible.

Gareth from Mind said that the shop had to be completely closed as they had to put in new floorboards but the shop will Re-open on 10th August.

Thank you to Mind for getting back.

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“Awful environment”- Half of South East Coast Ambulance staff (SECamb) report toxic workplace bullying & harassment

The BBC said in a university report that there has been a culture of workplace abuse and bullying within the state-run NHS Ambulance service in England.

'In his report, Prof Duncan Lewis from the University of Plymouth said: "Common decency is a right, not a privilege, and harassment or bullying, including sexual harassment must end now."

He pinpointed that their headquarters in Coxheath in Kent and Tangmere in West Sussex as areas "plagued by poor practices/behaviours".

On their website, in the Careers section, SECamb states they are "Operating in the area which was the birth place of the UK paramedic, you could soon be working for one of the most innovative and forward thinking ambulance trusts in the country."

And, in their statement about their 'values', they claim they 'show respect' as you can see here: http://www.secamb.nhs.uk/about_us/our_values.aspx. Basic standards appear to be ignored by poor management and ineffective HR.

It is totally unacceptable that staff are being bullied in the Ambulance Service. We all need respect at work. It is reflects badly on the organisation and its management, and of course morale. The staff do some great work, and I have had to use them on occasions, but there should not be a culture of workplace bullying and harassment, and employees must not be silenced.

One ambulance worker said on a BBC forum said it was so bad that he had to leave and the culture of bullying within the organisation 'went on for years'. Another person wrote on Glassdoor, a review site for employees and jobseekers, said it was an 'Awful Environment' and another said 'It was OK unless you have an opinion'.

USEFUL LINKS:

Glassdoor: https://www.glassdoor.co.uk/Overview/Working-at-SECAMB-EI_IE441460.11,17.htm.

BBC's link here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-40825748

Useful information on Workplace Abuse (and help (They are on your side

  • ) http://www.workplacebullying.org/

    Bullying UK: http://www.bullying.co.uk/bullying-at-work

    I have also been carrying my own Workplace Bullying Survey over the last year and you can complete my one here. This is for all organisations, including charities.

    https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/7NWJHWL

  • Gutted: Mind Charity shop in Bermondsey ‘Closed down’

    The Mind Charity shop in Bermondsey, Southwark, appears to have suddenly ‘closed down’. All the staff, volunteers, clothes and nik naks have gone. It is now a ‘shell’.

    There is no sign outside the shop apologising to loyal customers, and no notice of any refurbishment. Customers were not warned this would happen, and staff, if they knew, did not let on. Maybe it was news to them too. If it has moved elsewhere, there is no notice. It’s all a bit of a mystery. The Charity Communications team has not provided any response.

    The shop has recently had new management, after the previous management had gone. New volunteers have been drafted at the shop over the past few weeks.

    There were minor changes within the shop since then and there had been positive ideas for improvement and change. So it all has come a bit of a terrible shock to locals who enjoyed having a chat with the staff and buying some clothes for themselves, gifts, collectables and toys for their children. It is going to be difficult to find a replacement as there are limited places in the town selling inexpensive clothes and quality cards. The Sue Ryder Shop nearby is also closed due to a power problem.

    Throughout Mind there has been a financial overhaul, with harsh audits from ‘the top’ and drastic cuts that have seen major changes within the charity.

    UPDATE: Good news, it is to re-open on 10th August 2017 https://beaulieusnewsblog.wordpress.com/2017/08/08/mind-charity-shop-bermondsey-to-re-open-10th-august/

    UK: My First Bra, and Parental Neglect

    It is only years later when I thought about this and how my mother neglected me when I needed my first bra.

    Clearly, any ordinary responsible mother would have noticed. But, I had a Narcissist Mother, so I was neglected on something so basic.

    I had to get my own First Bra from a mail order catalogue. It was a really boring AA one, but it did the job and I felt a bit grown up. I used my money that I earned through working with hores to get it. I had no real idea of what to get. There was no internet around. I was too embarrassed to ask my mother ti take for bra shopping, and I had now idea of bra fitting. She wasn’t a particularly approachable person and always seemed busy. I had no advice too. was supposed to figure it out for myself. Maybe she didn’t want me to grow up in case she will feel threatened or that she could not dominate me anymore. I don’t have a relationship with her right now, so I don’t know.

    Looking back, this was a sign of neglect. Teachers should have spotted this too, but this was in the 70s.

    Neatfreaks are ‘miserable’

    I was brought up with ‘neatfreaks’ and it affected me so badly I became anxious and even more untidy.

    I kind of ‘gave up’ with all the nagging, and all the things I am supposed to think of. Whatever I would do, would never be good enough to an obsessive neatfreak. Some of the stuff they think of could not even cross an ordinary person’s mind sometimes.

    I hate being near people who are ‘neatfreaks’, and you will that you are being ‘watched like a hawk’ in the house all the time. Your home feels like a prison. Sometimes the person in the house, would only talk to you about tidying and cleaning. It was soul destroying being that in narrow, conversational environment. They even hoover in a way that is ‘fast and aggressive’, with the odd passive aggressive ‘tuts’ here and there.

    I have a different attitude to them. I was quite relaxed and would tidy up when I was in the mood, had time or would put a little away as soon as possible. Needless to say that my relaxed attitude, made them go ballistic! Some of these ‘neatfreaks’ were cleaning even late at night. Some people literally DO clean up all day, for hours and hours.

    I used to see my relatives spending all day cleaning. I thought too much of this was a complete waste of time and they were making themselves ill with the anxiety they brought on themselves. Some of neatfreak ideas caused arguments, not just with me, but with other people in the household too. I have met people who have divorced because of their controlling behaviour, so children suffer too. They were becoming so stressed by dirt and spare socks that they were becoming neurotic.

    They often spend money on buying the most toxic chemicals out,and the kitchen cupboards are full of this nasty stuff, and you smell toxic vapour round the house. I am a Apple Cider Vinegar person, so it can be vinegary but at least it is not toxic and does a pretty good job at getting rid of dirt. Ironically, I have less ‘cleaning clutter’ in the house too.

    Personally I prefer a bit of balance. It is important that stuff is cleared to avoid tripping over or it becoming a fire hazard, but today’s obsession is getting ridiculous. People are spending too much valuable time cleaning and tidying, that they are having no life and they are looking miserable and their sense of humour goes. I can’t understand that fridges etc have to be clean, and that is fine, but in the house, it can get well over the top. Endless telly ads about cleaning products just adds to the malaise, and pressure from society in general.

    For me, their behaviour affected my own wellbeing. It made me feel depressed to be nagged constantly or humiliated by ‘having lectures’. I know they were right in some way, and I can understand that, but as I have said, the obsession with tidying and cleaning all the time , can affect one’s own mental health.

    Some kids are unable to have pets because the parents hate dogs as they make the house ‘a mess’ and the kids lose out. Some of my own family was like that. Tidy people are very controlling and untidy people ‘just want a peaceful life’.

    We are only on this earth a short time, and tidying and obsessively cleaning, is a waste of our time. For me, I really have to be away from ‘neatfreaks’, they can be miserable, negative and waste too much of their lives cleaning. Some of them have done ‘nothing’ in their lives, compared to some untidy people who would rather spend their time doing something of benefit, to others, say volunteer work, than spending all day cleaning, and possibly having a short life, due to the stress of tidying and cleaning the house all the time. We maybe untidy, but we can be happier, and more relaxed. Some of us like a bit of ‘stuff’ although when it becomes obsessive, like with some hoarders it can be a problem. Some of us suffer from depression or can’t see that well, so cleaning and tidying can be extra difficult.

    The most important thing is to be happy, and if that means you have remove yourself from a neatfreak, do so! Don’t let them get you down. It is up to them if they want a miserable life, but you don’t have to!

    Another link to a messy person’s blog you may enjoy https://www.bustle.com/articles/66286-11-things-messy-people-will-never-understand-about-neat-freaks

    Domestic Abuse: How Neatfreaks affect family https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Opr9v4e2w0w

    DIY Wellbeing Gift: Lavender ‘Handkerchief’ envelope – REVIEW

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    Someone on a social media forum gave me the idea to make a lavender sachet from a handkerchief that she could give as a Wellbeing Present. I thought it was a nice, quick idea and a little ‘pick-me-up’.

    All she did was collect vintage handkerchiefs, add some edible lavender flowers and essential oil and just sew it up to make a cute and easy ‘fabric envelope’. Add a pretty button for effect.

    I made this one which was really easy to make and it went down very well as ‘sleeping aid’.I am a hygge fan, and this is very hygge!

    REVIEW: It felt a bit flimsy at first, but you could always put in some lining in, though you wouldn’t get so much of a lavender aroma. I thought it was cute and I hope to make some more. It went down very well to the person I gave it to as a surprise. I would give mine 9/10 because I forgot the essential oil – oops! It’s a nice way of remembering people who have given you handkerchiefs and using spare ones you have round the house. It gives old handkerchiefs a bit of life. If you do make any, let me know what reaction you get…..

    London: An Underground Map for panicky Claustrophobics like me.

    I am a claustrophobic who has spent well over five years, if not more, avoiding the tube to avoid panic attacks. I welcome the news that Transport for London has brought out a new Tube Map showing us where tunnels are, though most of it will be away from Central London.

    The only way I have managed to get on the tube recently is by heavy anxiety medication which help prevents the palpitations and hyperventilating. They are not completely perfect, but they help and I recommend them. I use a combination of anxiety and high blood pressure tablets. I have also been to a hypnotherapist, an expert ironically, in childbirth hypnotherapy, in Tunbridge Wells and learned breathing and trance techniques (yes, learned some hippie’ techniques. I also make sure I have someone with me I know who knows my condition and I try to take something to distract me, like a book, magazine or even knitting, which is better. However, there is still a risk of me getting one, in front of all these strangers. I try to keep my journeys very short and avoid crowded carriages at all costs.

    If there is a choice, I would still go by the bus, cycle or walk. Even with medication, I have to get off after a few stops, if not, the next one before. If there are five stops, I could actually get off twice and then take the bus. It does generally get worse the longer I am using the tube network, particularly if there are a lot of people around, who seem to be ‘ok. I would say that dark tunnels definitely make things worse for me so knowing there where the tunnels are would help. It has been a pain for friends who aren’t claustrophobic.

    The new map shows me where the tunnels are. It is a step in the right direction, but I think what will also help, is having less crowding on the tube, training people to have Mental Health First Aid, even having a carriage just for those with mental health anxiety issues, as it can be difficult having a panic attack in front of lots of ‘normal people’, where we can be very vulnerable in our situation as people do not understand or know what to do, but, the best thing is for me, is to be able to get off when I want to, rather than be fined for setting off the emergency alarm. When I have a panic attack, I don’t find that anyone helps me either. I feel an ‘idiot’ even though panic attacks can affect anyone, even geniuses. The bus is my favourite though, so if I can use the bus, and I am not in a hurry I will.

    The sheer lack of control is ‘my big thing’ and I feel that I have more ‘control on a bus’. I would add that the priority seats on the tube are also helpful, as sitting down relieves anxiety.

    However, if there will be loads more people on the tube train, that will mean that it’ll be more crowded for us claustrophobics! However, the bus is much cheaper than the tube, so it still will be my first choice for short journeys.

    Link to Map: Tube Map showing where the Tunnels are https://tfl.gov.uk/maps/track/tube

    London: Street pastors pay a visit to the #Bermondseycarnival

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    The Street Pastors are a group of Christian men and women who go out in Southwark at night-time and speak to vulnerable people and try and help and signpost them. They say it is really important to talk and to listen to vulnerable people found alone on the street of London.

    At the Bermondsey Carnival in Southwark Park this afternoon, they were out during the day, handing out lollipops to the public.

    They commit to volunteering at least once a month, but sometimes they do more than this. They tend to go out late at night and finish about 4am in the morning. Southwark can be dangerous at night but they feel that it is their duty that they must go out and help people.

    They help talk to people on London Bridge who want to commit suicide and who feel that life is not worth living and try and give them ‘some meaning’ in life.

    The Pastors also go out and help Clubbers who are intoxicated. Sometimes they take them home to ensure they get home safely, rather than letting them get attacked at night. Other times they give women flip flops as some women clubbers cannot walk in their shoes or have lost their shoes in their vulnerable state.

    PHOTO: Below – Street Pastor’s flip flops:

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    They seem to be a great team, full of character, and some of them have been on the team for over five years.

    To find out more about the Street Pastors in London see http://www.streetpastors.org

    Glastonbury Interview: Some teenage revellers ‘minutes from death’, says Good Samaritan festival goer

    One regular Glastonbury goer is shocked how many young people have been really sick and vulnerable when visiting Glastonbury, mostly due to drugs and alcohol poisoning.

    He was telling me that one young woman was so drugged up that she was left by her friends in a puddle face down. Her so-called fair weather friends at Glastonbury just deserted her. Fortunately he had Mental Health First Training and knew what to do, and had managed to help save her.

    He also said that at Glastonbury many security guards were not keeping an eye on reveller’s health and didn’t get any help for those clearly ill and had to step in when one reveller was extremely ill. Many security guards at Glastonbury are not even first aid or Mental Health First Aid trained and haven’t a clue what to do. They didn’t call for help at all.

    The Good Samaritan (who was not Christian BTW), that there were not enough First Aid tents within the area, just outside, and this caused a lot of problems. Glastonbury is huge. And a heatwave makes it worse. He said the limited First Aid stalls were not designed for those who have mental health problems, when there clearly huge mental health drug issues still at Glastonbury.

    He was disgusted at the number of revellers who stepped over, picked on for fun and ignored those who were clearly vulnerable and ‘out of it’. It was strange that many Glastonbury festival goers completely ignored people who are clearly suffering.

    When he tried to help the young person who had fallen down in the puddle, he got abuse from his own ‘friends’ who were annoyed that he was helping her, as it was ‘inconvenient’ to them. Yes, he even got abuse. He ignored his ‘friends’ and continued to help her. The selfishness of many people at the event was staggering. Ironically many of them appear to be Corbynites by the level of press videos. You would think they would actually care about their own kind!

    He said that when some people are out of it, they should talk to the person calmly, get them to focus on you all the time, and say their name until they come round from their ‘trip’, though this could take hours. If no one does this, they will be out of it and vulnerable again.

    At one Glastonbury festival he went to, he was horrified that a woman had been attacked at the festival by a sex predator. There are people going round the festival deliberately ‘targeting’ young and vulnerable revellers.

    He said that each visitor this year was security-checked for seven minutes, but he thinks this was more for ‘terrorism-related’ issues, but this must have ‘freaked out’ the regular drug dealers who prey on thousands of Glastonbury visitors each year.

    He believes that there should be Mental Health First Aiders at Glastonbury that and that security guards should get First Aid training at the very least.
    Parents should really know what is happening there. I would also back this up, but I would also add that nowadays there are many Drug & Alcohol Free Festivals people can go to instead, and have a good time, rather than a bad time, and possible death. These ‘healthier festivals’ seem to be growing all the time. Being ill and vulnerable is not fun. Saying No to drugs is the best thing and know your alcohol level so that you are always in full control. Looking after your friends, and not deserting them would be a good thing too. There is a big Elephant in the Room at this festival. This is something that is being ‘ignored in the mass media’.

    Many young people, not all, are still very vulnerable, wanting to try new things, but they don’t have the knowledge as my own nephew has experienced, as he was killed trying drugs at eighteen last year. They still don’t ‘get it’. Many young people take stupid risks, because they are pressurised by ‘flash friends’ who desert them when they are in trouble. You can have a good time without them.

    The media may have got a Glastonbury freebie and ‘had to write about something, so they ended up writing about Jeremy Corbyn, and the litter (though this is a good thing), but perhaps they should visit the overwhelmed First Aid tents and also speak to the police, to find out some real news and see if their professional journalists can help make the Event a safer place for all.

    USEFUL LINKS

    DRUGS AND SUMMER FESTIVALS: https://teens.drugabuse.gov/blog/post/summer-music-festivals

    DRUGS SEIZED AT BRITISH FESTIVALS https://www.theguardian.com/uk/2012/may/21/music-festivals-drugs

    DRUGS AND FESTIVAL ORGANISERS’ RESPONSIBILITIES: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/meghan-ralston/music-festival-drug-use_b_3653830.html

    ALCOHOL FREE FESTIVALS https://www.everfest.com/magazine/8-alcohol-free-festivals-that-know-how-to-party

    MAN KILLED AFTER SUSPECTED REACTION TO TAKING DRUG KETAMINE, A TRANQUILLIZER FOR HORSES TAKEN AT GLASTO(http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/glastonbury/10930469/Glastonbury-man-dies-after-suspected-reaction-to-ketamine.html

    LICENSING: Contact Somerset County Council http://www.somerset.gov.uk/

    In Kent, however, there is a big alcohol problem with the young so much so that one Alcohol & Drug Free Festival in Headcorn, has had to be cancelled due to ‘lack of interest’ http://www.kentonline.co.uk/weald/news/drink-and-drug-free-festival-cancelled-40996/ Some people in Britain are unable to have ‘fun’ without alcohol. drugs and all the horrible stuff that goes with it.

    The Loneliness of Flat Sharing in London

    One of my friends lives in Bermondsey and I visit him occasionally round on his ‘flat-sharing journey’.

    I don’t know if it is a ‘London thing’, but people who share houses do not want speak to each other, other than to say a weak ‘Good Morning’, talk about rent, the rota to tidy the house, talk banally about work, discuss getting stuff for the garden or to communicate by passive aggressive notes scribbled on the communal table. There is no other variation. I have had this ‘conversation’ a million times.

    You would think that you would learn new things from other flatmates, learn about the area you have moved in, maybe be taken out to somewhere local, have some friendship perhaps. Have some laughs would be nice. I suppose one reason why conversations are so fake, is that there are often no communal living rooms any more, and people just watch TV or do stuff in their rooms.

    I had an experience recently, when a flatmate that I say a Good Morning to, didn’t even say anything to me whilst I was in a communal area, as ‘if I was not there’. Automatically I thought I had done something or he hated me!

    When I travelled round the world, particularly in Australia, if we were congregating round the kitchen, we generally would speak, make new friendships, learn about the town we were in, and that sort of thing. It was like a ‘family away from family’. And in America, we would talk too. But no, we’re in Britain, and we have to be cold and unfriendly.

    Now, I can understand a ‘neighbour-like’ experience when you live in the same tower block, and share communal stairways and live very privately, you have a kind of ‘distance’, but when you are in a rented flat, and you share bathrooms and kitchens, which is more ‘intimate’, one would expect a more friendlier, homelier feel.

    In my experience, the lack of conversation is particularly noticeable when you get couples sharing a flat. Couples will appear to pretend the other couple is not there. Maybe it is a case of one person may be inclined to ‘fancy another flatmate’ which could be a problem to someone. Of course, in most cases, the couple in question is very happy as they are.

    You could think perhaps that some couples, as often they share similar hobbies perhaps, could go out on a foursome round London and do something together, make lasting friendships. But no, in London, couples appear to refuse to mix with other flatmates. It feels like they want all the house to themselves, and we are a nuisance.

    So, in this flat, we have this kind of ‘superficial relationship’, the ‘superficial hellos’ and the lack of real conversation. It is not just lonely, it just feels unnatural and inhuman. For people in a flat on their own, with other couples, it can get very lonely and/or boring. Many of us are far away from our own family and friends too. I tend to get on better with single people in flats, rather than couples, who seem to be locked in some kind of narrow ‘couple zone’.

    And of course, when flatmates go, they never even leave any contact details. You are just nothing to them. The place they live in, is not a home, it is just a ‘base’, and that is it.

    Maybe this is yet another British thing, that it is ‘not done’ to mix with other flatmates, even if you have loads in common. Right now, I don’t want to go back in the kitchen and have yet another ‘fake’ experience. I wonder what other cultures think about this behaviour.