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The Fortis Project (year 2)

Year 2 of Medway Adult Learning Service Fortis praxis as part of the DfE Adult Education | Mental Health national research project  2015/17.



September 2016

(10 referrals carried over from June, July August 2016 everyone was contacted and held on a waiting list 3 received in September).

New Project Manager in post, from the 5th September. Induction into Medway council commenced. All Tutors were met by the Project Manager individually and informed of the changes to the descriptors for phase 2 group A of the research project.  A brief hand over took place with the previous project lead.  Marketing material was updated however this was delayed for 5 weeks with printing.  Data and documents from phase 1 were sorted and archived. Weekly attendance at zoom meetings with the national lead and other 56 projects continue to be undertaken.  This highlighted several technical issues. Meetings and communication were held with all previous partners in phase one.  Much of the provision was out sourced to external providers with the focus on work force development, by providing mental health first aid courses.  This was to establish a change in working relationship and source of referral process formed.  Staff were identified and trained in use of assessment tools.  Ofsted training and Breaking the rules training attended in London by project manager and project lead.  Barnsley residential conferences held and attended by every project to establish boundaries and process to be implemented in delivering services locally and guidance on use of IT to collect data was issued.  Referral process established

October 2016

(7 Referrals) Induction of the Administrator who joined at the middle of the month, offering 7 hours admin support weekly.  Medway joined Kent and Luton projects for a webinar presentation on challenging change.  Promotion of services commenced with all local stakeholders.  IAG’s commenced.  New spread sheet set up to collect data locally.  Project manager attended MEMF (Medway ethnic minority forum) to present promotional information.  Links formed with local IAPT lead.  Promotion of services to GP surgeries, Age UK, Homeless provision, Employment services and mental health .  Challenging resistance and or perceptions from individuals and service providers, on the terminology and definition of “mild to moderate mental health conditions”.  MHFE and padlet updated with SOW, ref information

 November 2016

(50 Referrals)

Visits to classes have been made to promote the Fortis project to current learners.  IAG sessions beginning to increase, of 59 IAG appointments that were offered 34 actually attended.  18 people cancelled, did not attend or did not respond to communication after they had made a referral. 2 people scored too low and not meeting the criteria.  They were signposted to other provisions. We are finding on IAG, that people who are already accessing mental health services are much more open, engaging and accepting of the terminology around mental health.  They appear to have a greater awareness of their needs than those that have not engaged with any mental health services in the past.  The first course commenced in floristry with 5 learners.  This gave the opportunity to become familiar with the data collection, tools and process. 

Referral source up to 30th November 2016;

Medway Council                                                                7

Children centres                                                                2

Mental health services                                                     9 Self                                                                                     38

(this includes from GP surgery advertising)

Employment Partners                                                       6

MAE waiting list                                                                  2

Housing partners                                                                1

Who cares                                                                            3


December  2016

(27 Referrals)

The National research lead shadowed the Floristry class, observed data collection in a one-to one setting and then met with project lead and manager.  She did not feel the course met Group A descriptors and there are some changes that we need to implement.  There needs to be more focus on mental health in the SOW and within the class, not dissimilar to the Well being course facilitated by a qualified counsellor.  We discussed the boundaries between therapy and learning and the research lead stated that it is not therapy.  As the project manager is also a qualified Psychotherapist, the concern was raised regarding there being a very fine line between therapy and learning in this way.  Concerns raised with the ethics and practice by expecting tutors to encourage individuals within this setting to open up about their well being and then for the tutor to contain this if needed.  A revised standard SOW was sent to all tutors with explanation on the changes that need to be implemented.  MHFE induction carried for project manager and the MHFE web page for Medway has been updated.

Lessons learned report submitted to the National research lead and discussed  with Group A weekly zoom.

16 Tablets and covers received.

Promotion to specific under represented group made e.g. men through the sunlight centre project men in sheds.

5 Learners that started the Floristry course in November completed the course.  All fedback that they are keen to look at more learning, and several comments indicating a feeling of growth in confidence, pursue in creative things, willing to use a new skill and the importance of taking time out for self.  One learner feedback that the change in time for 2 of the weeks was unhelpful and increased their anxiety. Data capture found  of the same 5 people attending from the stated completed.   The scores have reduced overall for the GAD 7 by 6,  reduced by 18 for PHQ9 and increased by 14 on the SWEMWBS.

January 2017

(34 referrals)

Weekly completion of data on MHFE padlet introduced for group A given the difficulties in meeting target for the whole of group A.

Fist top up run with 3 attendees (floristry).  Project Manager attended the MHAG (mental health action group) to find that Medway no longer form part of the Kent group, however there is the facility to put questions through to counsel.  Links formed with All saints community group in Chatham and Medway Neurological network.

Continue to work with JCP and reaffirm boundaries for volunteers to the project.

Promotional flyer made available in DDA format, however unable to upload as Jpeg document.

February 2017

(8 referrals)

Additional leaflets printed as referrals becoming a fewer, therefore a drive to promote project again.  Yoga completed and saw 9 completers with 3 learners continuing onto further courses.

Thai chi saw 9 learners commence and well being 9 learners start.  2 attended the top up in art; this was short notice due to tutor off sick and also unable to carry out any further IAG for 4 weeks.

Liquid drop introduced to attempt to reduce the DNA rate. 

Uploading of data commenced, errors highlighted from paper copy and learners contacted.

Project manager and administrator attended Zoom meeting with Ipsos moray to clarify issues with data collection.










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