Promoting healthy sleep hygiene

Friday 17th March 2023 marks World Sleep Day, a global call to action to celebrate healthy sleep. This year’s theme is “Sleep is essential for health”. In this blog post, Assistant Psychologist Adrianne Amri shares some tips on supporting positive sleep hygiene.

Sleep is essential to humans, just like air, water and food. When necessary, people can cope without sleep for periods of time, but the longer we are awake the stronger the urge to sleep becomes. Sleep serves a restorative purpose, both psychologically and physiologically.  Sleep is important for general physical health, restoring energy, repairing injuries or illness, growth, psychological well-being and mood, concentration, and memory.  People vary in terms of how much sleep they need – but the average sleep duration for adults is 6-8 hours per night and a ‘good sleeper’ takes around 30 mins to fall asleep and will awake once or twice.

Stages of sleep

Infographic detailing stages of sleep



Effects of lack of sleep

Lack of sleep can lead to:

  • Poor concentration and memory
  • Impaired judgement and reaction time
  • Irritability and other mood disturbances
  • Poor physical coordination

There are many more consequences of sleep deprivation, and the seriousness of the effects depends on the severity of the sleep deprivation.

What is sleep hygiene? 

Sleep is vital to a healthy, balanced life, and ‘Sleep Hygiene’ is used to describe good sleep habits. Here are some things to consider before creating your own sleep hygiene rituals.

Infographic showing top tips for sleep

At Care in Mind, we encourage the young people within our services to develop a sleep hygiene plan, for the hour before bedtime. This might include things such as:

  • avoiding electronic devices
  • listening to chilled music or a sleep story
  • use of a gratitude journal to reflect on the day
  • meditation
  • Lighting a scented candle or smelling lavender
  • Use an eye mask
  • Do some bed yoga or relaxing stretches
  • Drink a glass of milk or a calming tea


Completing a sleep diary can help identify patterns and what works or doesn’t work to aid you in getting a good night’s sleep. As part of this it can be helpful to think about your mood, fatigue and activity levels throughout the day, what you’ve consumed prior to going to be including stimulants, and time of going to bed. First thing in the morning, think about how long it took to fall asleep, how many times you woke through the night, how long you slept and how you felt on waking.


More information and advice on sleep issues, as well as top tips and resources can be found on the NHS website and on Get Self Help.


Ex-Service User Dom shares his story

We are proud to share this inspiring article from the Manchester Evening News all about ex-service user Dom’s journey with Care in Mind and his ultimate move into independence. Please click here to read the article in full.

As Dom explains in the article, he spent 18 months living at Willowhurst, Preston, having transferred to us from an inpatient hospital setting. Although he was ready to be discharged from hospital, he still needed support with his mental health in a community setting. Dom says he was drawn to our least restrictive approach at Care in Mind and how he felt our team related to him when he first met them.

Dom talks about how supportive the staff team and MDT at Willowhurst were during his time there and how instrumental he feels they were in his recovery journey. When he first moved out of Willowhurst, Dom had an Independence package from Care in Mind, with tailored support from the MDT that reduced on a graded basis over time as he settled into independent living. He now works with the team as a Young Person’s Champion, sharing his experiences to improve service user involvement and co-production across the service. 

Deputy Residential Service Manager James Lucas also contributes to the article, sharing his experience of working in our specialist residential services, and how he feels Care in Mind value our teams and ensure our core values remain at the heart of we do.

Thank you so much to Dom and James for sharing their experiences; we are so proud of how far Dom has come and of the amazing job our staff team do in supporting our young people on their recovery journeys.

If you are interested in making a difference to lives of young people like Dom, you can view our career opportunities on our website Current Vacancies – Care in Mind, or email our recruitment team at










Lyndhurst achieve ‘Outstanding’ rating for Well-Led in latest CQC report

We are delighted to share that Lyndhurst, in Liversedge, West Yorkshire have achieved a ‘Good’ rating in their latest CQC inspection, with Outstanding in the Well-Led domain!

The CQC said “The service was led by a management team who demonstrated outstanding values. They showed excellent insight into the complex needs of the people who they cared for and greatly valued and supported their staff team… The way the service was led meant outcomes for people empowered them to grow in confidence and learn new skills.”

The full report can be found here:  Lyndhurst – Care Quality Commission (

Registered Manager Danny Rawcliffe said of the report; “It is so nice to see all the references in the report to individual pieces of work that contribute to the overall picture of what makes Lyndhurst special.” 

The Executive Management Group said “A huge congratulations to Lyndhurst for this achievement in their first CQC inspection. Thank you for all your hard work in achieving this result, we really value the work you do!”










Care in Mind Values Awards Title Thumbnail

Care in Mind 2022 Values Awards

On Saturday 17th December, an awards ceremony was held at the Care in Mind 2022 Christmas party, to celebrate the achievements of our wonderful staff across the organisation.

The awards recognise the individuals and teams who emulate the Care in Mind values and go above and beyond in making a difference to lives of the young people we support, and to their colleagues.

Staff across the organisation were invited to nominate their colleagues across the 10 categories.

Head of Residential Services, Lauren Ugbode said “On behalf of the Executive Management Team, we would like to thank all our staff across all teams and departments who each do an outstanding job in looking after the young people within our services. These awards recognise individuals for their hard work, dedication and commitment to everything we do at Care in Mind. The categories are based on the Care in Mind Values, which underpin the culture and heart of the organisation. Huge congratulations to all our winners!”

In addition to the ten Care in Mind Values awards, this year there were two additional accolades awarded, one to acknowledge Outstanding Achievement and one for Special Recognition.

The full details of all the awards and the winners on the night can be found below:

Our 2022 Winners

Most Respectful Award: This person always listens; treats others with dignity and respect; and shows humility, honesty and integrity in everything they do.

Winner: John Hill, Senior Support Worker – Brockenhurst


Most Collaborative Award: This person involves staff and young people in sharing ideas, and bringing innovation. They recognise that people have a voice and encourage them to bring those thoughts and ideas. This person works as part of a team to bring the young people at the forefront of everything we do.

Winner: Lucie Hodkin, Support Worker – Woodside


Most Compassionate Award: This person always shows understanding and empathy towards others; champions passion an enthusiasm in everything they do; and shows a real understanding to the difference they/we make.

Winner: Wesley Brooks, Support Worker – Lyndhurst


Most Innovative Award: This person thinks differently to create positive outcomes for the organisation, young people and their colleagues. They always aim to do the best that they can do, inspire others and welcome new and creative ways of working

Winner: Sophie Albion, Senior Support Worker – Brockenhurst


Most Empowering Award: This person is passionate about providing a positive and enabling environment for staff and young people; they celebrate and achieve success not only for themselves but others around them; and they encourage others inclusive of young people to make decisions through responsibility and support.

Winner: Sarah Craven, Deputy Manager – Woodside


Most Committed Award: This person goes above and beyond to make a difference; they never give up and always strive to make a positive difference to the lives of the young people. This person never compromises on quality and encompasses effective and safe working practices.

Winner – Sam Norris, Dietetic Support Worker – Edge Brook


Clinician Award: This award celebrates the clinician who champions all of the Care in Mind Values and strives for excellence in all they do. This person not only lives and breathes Care in Mind but they have been a fantastic addition within the clinical team for their outstanding contribution to the young people and their goals.

Winner – Rachael Fletcher, Clinical Nurse Specialist – Yorkshire

Rachael Fletcher accepting awardRebecca Gration and Sarah Craven with their AwardSenior Residential Management Team


Head Office Team Values Award: This team embed each of the values to the highest possible standards whilst always going above and beyond. This team have worked incredibly hard in supporting their teams during such challenging times following the pandemic and subsequent staffing challenges but held their teams and the young people in mind in making positive changes within the organisation.

Winner – Senior Residential Management Team


Outstanding Leader Award: This person not only holds high integrity among peers and other teams, they have also demonstrated that they are highly invested in ensuring their service is high achieving and they are committed to their team’s development and continuous improvements. This leader has shown huge growth and ensures they share positive and best practice to support other teams too.

Winner – Rebecca Gration, Registered Manager – Woodside


Residential Home Award: This award celebrates the residential home that champions all of the Care in Mind Values. This home has received this award for always keeping the Care in Mind values at the heart of their practices and achieving amazing outcomes for the young people. This team strive for excellence in all they do.

Winner – Woodside


Outstanding achievement: This is awarded to acknowledge the outstanding contribution of two individuals to the governance structures that have been implemented, the support to not only the residential teams but their constant inter-departmental work, that often goes unrecognised unless you work with these people day in day out. They have been integral in each of the CQC inspections that have been carried out across the year, supported staff, young people and managers in achieving an amazing outcome for each home. We really do appreciate how they go above and beyond within their roles whilst encompassing all of the Care in Mind Values.

Winners –   James Lucas, Deputy Head of Residential Services

                        Tracy Sellors, Quality Compliance Manager

Woodside TeamJames LucasSophie Albion


Special Recognition Award: This is awarded to the team who constantly achieve fantastic results in the face of adversity. The management team and all of the staff constantly go above and beyond to ensure the effective running of the home whilst maintaining the highest of standards in the work they produce.

Winner – Willowhurst   







Introducing Edge Brook

The eating disorder epidemic is something never far from the media, with news stories often detailing how referrals and hospital admissions continue to rise.

According to an article published by the Guardian, eating disorder referrals have seen a stark rise during the pandemic of 2020/21, with lockdown causing eating disorders to thrive and available treatment being significantly impacted by pandemic-related issues. Additionally, the number of routine referrals rose from 915 in April to June 2016 to 1,850 in the first three months of 2020, this number then continued to rise to a record high from July to September, as it went up to 2,001. This data is based on routine referrals starting treatment in the community for children and young people. However, even prior to the pandemic, referrals have been rising, with a NHS Digital press release based on the Health Survey for England finding that 19% over women aged 16 and over screened positive for a possible eating disorder when question on their relationship with food in 2019. The same survey also found that almost one in eight men also screened positive for an eating disorder. This ongoing epidemic is clear when reviewing the eating disorder hospital admission statistics for 2018-19, which not only highlights the growing number of young people diagnosed with eating disorders, but also the amount that fall into the more complex category of ‘Other’, where they don’t fit into the bulimia or anorexia category.

Introducing Edge Brook

At Care in Mind we have spent the last few years working on developing a specialist service for young people with complex eating disorders. Over the years, we have seen ourselves the truth behind the headlines and statistics, and witnessed the increase in demand across eating disorder services and stretched capacity nationwide for Specialist Eating Disorder Unit (SEDU) inpatient beds. During this time period our own data also shows an increase in referrals for our core services for young people with a primary diagnosis of an eating disorder, or comorbidity with complex mental health needs.

In 2021 we opened Edge Brook, our first specialist residential service for young people with complex eating disorders. The service has been built on our core model of care, with additional specialised support for eating disorders.

Our commitment to least restrictive practice and the way in which we care for young people will reflect our core service offer. Therefore, there is an expectation that young people are of stable physical health and have managed at least 6 weeks without tube feeding by admission. Not only is this to ensure we can care for residents in the most therapeutic, least restrictive environment, but also to provide the best chance for a successful journey through our pathway to independence at a time when the young person is ready.

Developing Edge Brook was a lengthy process. We engaged in research in many forms, and held consultation sessions to gain insight from individuals, and their parents/carers, who have been treated by community and inpatient eating disorder services. These sessions were run by our Service User Coordinator who is also an expert by experience, and our Clinical Director. Individuals were given a chance to openly discuss their thoughts and feelings about the service following a brief explanation of our model of care for the service. Additionally, we worked closely with a dietician to gain valuable and specialist advice towards helping us to develop protocols.

Edge Brook: Home Images

Consultation Event Feedback

The research gathered during the consultation event was invaluable and gave us an important insight into what is truly required from an effective eating disorder service. Several key themes emerged from the feedback:

Hope: One of the strongest themes identified was the importance of hope, particularly when in inpatient settings where young people may feel stuck, and it can be difficult to be hopeful for the future and a life outside of hospital. Often young people in hospital with eating disorders can be subject to lengthy inpatient stays, or become ‘revolving door’ patients which may be down to a lack of appropriate pathways out of hospital. Giving young people the hope of a community-based residential treatment option could positively impact their motivation to move on from hospital.

Recovery: Another key theme was the importance of recovery from a ‘whole-person’ perspective. Participants felt that often there is an understandable focus on stabilisation of physical health but they felt it was important for services to consider what recovery means for each individual, and thinking about developing a sense of agency and achievement outside of their Eating Disorder identity. Ways we may do this include giving them more control over their lives, something we already do in our core residential homes, so that they are able to make decisions such as when they want to see their friends or what education they want to access. It’s important that young people are given this space for independence so that they can re-learn and build up their confidence in how to do everyday tasks that may have been done for them whilst in hospital.

Independence: Ensuring the building of independence skills will be a core focus, and it is important this is done in a way that meets people at their current level. Many of the young people we work with may feel de-skilled in many areas following lengthy inpatient stays and it is important that independence goals are developed around their needs and priorities. As with all elements of our service planning, the person-centred nature of this is key.

Individualised Care Planning: Individualised care planning is incredibly important to the way in which we work at Edge Brook. We believe eating disorders cannot be treated with one single approach, particularly when working with individuals with different diagnoses. Recovery goals for each individual are tailored, based on maintaining and developing their own physical health and independence-related goals. Goals are developed in collaboration with young people to support their understanding of exactly why we do what we do, and why this will benefit their journey to recovery. Additionally, we take the time to explain to young people why it is that everyone in the home has differing goals and care plans, but that everyone will receive the same high level of input and support.

Systemic Approach: Our participants highlighted the importance of joined up and consistent care, both within and across systems. At Edge Brook, building relationships and collaboration with local stakeholders is essential; particularly where a young person may require a short term re-admission to hospital to support stabilising their physical health. With collaboration, effective communication and clear joint working protocols, our hope is that admissions are short with a joined-up approach, supporting the young person to return to Edge Brook in a safe, structured and planned way.

Identity: The final key theme that emerged from the consultation event was Identity and in particular, who the young person is regardless of their eating disorder. Often young people who have had extensive inpatient admissions can feel robbed of key developmental stages in their adolescence which can lead to struggling with their identity outside of being a patient. Enabling young people to develop an identity is important whether that’s through giving our young people the ability to decorate their own rooms or supporting their interests in a new hobby.

Edge Brook: Eating Disorder Service Consultation Event Feedback

The Home & Staffing Model

In many ways, our staffing model for Edge Brook reflects that of our core homes, however, as this is a specialist eating disorder home, we have additional specialist staff to support the complex and differing needs of the young people. We provide dietetic input through a specialised dietitian as well as in-house chefs to help young people create healthy, balanced meals (where appropriate). The home has increased physical health monitoring in comparison to our core service. This will be to ensure we are maintaining the physical aspect of the young people’s health as well as the psychological side of their recovery. Staff who work within the home have been carefully selected, to ensure that the right people are chosen for what is a challenging job. Like with our core service, staff are well supported through regular staff support sessions and reflective practice in addition to standard supervision, as we know that supported, happy staff are more effective in supporting the young people.

As with all of our homes, Edge Brook has a homely, caring feel and our young people are given a say in how to decorate both common areas and their own rooms. Furthermore, outside the home, there is a wealth of green space, including a duck pond and allotment. This will provide a mindful space for young people.

Edge Brook: Home Images

To make a referral or to find out more information about our services, please call the team on 0161 638 3285 or email

Ashurst Achieves a ‘Good’ CQC Rating

Care in Mind home, Ashurst has achieved an overall ‘Good’ rating, following an inspection by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

Inspectors examined services offered in December. They rated it ‘Good’ overall, and in each of the individual categories; safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led. The inspection was prompted in part due to concerns around risk and the CQC noted that although there were risks present due to the young people’s mental health needs, these risks were mitigated appropriately with clear and robust procedures in place to monitor and manage this. They also noted that were appropriate staffing levels to support this with staff well qualified to work with vulnerable people. The report said,  “Staff at Ashurst were extremely well supported. There was a thorough induction programme and ongoing appropriate training throughout their employment.”

Inspectors found that the culture at the home was positive and inclusive, people’s needs were thoroughly assessed, and care plans included appropriate health and personal information. They noted staff worked with other agencies and professionals to ensure the young people’s needs were met appropriately with the young people being treated with respect and compassion.

Julie Smith, Business Development Director at Care in Mind said, “Ashurst is one of Care in Mind’s newest specialist residential services (opening in May 2021) and we are proud that in their recent CQC inspection, they achieved good in all outcomes. In particular, the young people felt cared for, treated with dignity and respect and that their opinion mattered.

The report also reflects how we work collaboratively with all external stakeholders and deliver individual person-centred care, carried out by well trained and skilled staff. We are always focussed on achieving the best outcomes for the Young People in our care, providing them with the skills to work towards independent life in the community.”

You can read the full report here.

To make a referral or to find out more information about our services, please call the team on 0161 638 3285 or email

A Young Person’s Perspective: ‘Coping Strategies: Dealing With Tough Situations’

A young person, who has been through our services, has produced this blog post to provide you with some tips and tricks he has found useful for coping with tough situations. These coping strategies are his own experience, and whilst they may be inspired by his time with Care in Mind, they are also unique to what he has personally found useful.

Here are their tips, in five separate categories, based on different ways to cope:

Coping strategies can come in many different forms and are useful for different people.

Part 1: Sensory Coping strategies:

There are two main sensory ways to help: one is via a sensory box and the other is creating a space that appeals to your sensory needs.

To create a sensory box you need to find items that appeal to your senses, this could be any of the senses you have. One way is to use something called a sensory hand. This is where you grab a piece of paper and draw around your own hand and each finger can be a sense. Write down next to each finger what you like with each sense for example: for your sense of smell it could be coffee, perfume, item of clothing or even a new item that has that classic “new item smell”.

A space that appeals to your sensory needs means items that help you relax can be put in a certain room (a snug, bedroom, living room) where you can go to relax. This could include LED lights, noise boxes, incense, candles, blankets.

Part 2: distractions

Distractions are for when you don’t feel like you can face the emotion, there are many different ways to distract yourself. Some examples are:

  • playing games
  • playing with or having your pet around you (if it wants to snuggle or play)
  • playing music that allows you to think differently or move your mind to a different thought
  • watching films or tv shows that will also distract you can be brilliant
  • going on walks can help due to focusing on the outside, try to recognise what’s around you and the beauty of it all;
  • photography can distract you because you are looking for the right angles, lighting, background etc.

Part 3: Facing the emotion head-on

The best way to deal with emotions is to deal with them as they come up so they don’t build up subconsciously and return. Here, we will share six steps for dealing with a specific situation – my friend didn’t come to meet me and didn’t apologise.

  1. Be aware of how you feel and the emotion you are feeling. Trying to know what the emotion is and why it is there will best help you on a way to deal with it. For example “I’m so angry that my friend didn’t come to meet me and didn’t apologise.” Here, the dominant emotion is anger.
  2. Remember not to start blaming when recognising an emotion. What we are trying to do is understand it, your friend isn’t trying to hurt you by not coming to see you. There are a variety of reasons why we may feel we need to blame, but at the moment we are trying to recognise and understand the emotion.
  3. Understand that it is okay to feel that way about a situation. Everyone copes with emotions differently and it’s okay to feel the way you feel in whatever situation.
  4. Think of the most positive way to deal with this emotion. For this there are ways to do so, such as communicating calmly with your friend that you feel hurt by their actions.
  5. Remember to talk to someone about it, even if you feel it has been dealt with. This allows you to discuss different options for the future and evaluate what to do if a similar situation occurs again. This could be your parent or guardian, trusted adult, friend, or a healthcare professional. Sometimes even talking to your pet can help, just to get it out.
  6. Finally, it’s okay to cry.

Part 4: Exercise for different emotional states

If you feel a certain emotion you may feel that a certain exercise can help, here are a few which we could recommend:

  • Angry: High impact exercises like boxing, sprints, interval training with a bike or other cardio tools
  • Sad: Low impact like walking, casual cycling or anything that isn’t strenuous
  • Anxious: Calming exercises like yoga, Tai Chi or swimming

Part 5: Find a creative outlet

Sometimes finding a creative outlet to funnel your emotions is useful, but it can also be a good distraction technique. There are many ways you can be creative, such as:

  • Painting, drawing or crafts
  • Creating or producing music
  • Writing lyrics, poems or stories
  • Writing how you feel in a journal

There are lots of different ways to cope with tough situations, from facing them head-on to using distraction techniques. We hope our tips will help you if you are facing your own difficulties!

To make a referral or to find out more information about our services, please call the team on 0161 638 3285 or email

Stubblebank Achieves a ‘Good’ CQC Rating

Care in Mind home, Stubblebank has achieved an overall ‘Good’ rating, following an inspection by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

Inspectors carried out an examination into services offered at the end of August. The CQC rated the home ‘Good’ overall, with each of the individual categories; safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led each receiving a good in their domain.

Inspectors noted that staff had received the appropriate training and supervision to help support young people effectively. Staff were also praised for supporting service users in the least restrictive way possible and in their best interests with the policies and systems in the service that supported this practice.

The inspection report also noted that staff worked closely with other health and social care professionals to ensure that young people received appropriate and timely care with Stubblebank placing a strong focus on developing and maintaining young people’s independent living skills and supported individuals based on their bespoke recovery goals. The report said, “The service had an open and honest culture and staff showed commitment to achieving good outcomes for young people with complex mental health difficulties” 


A Young Person’s Perspective: “My Journey Through Care in Mind”

To celebrate our 10 Year Anniversary, we are sharing journeys of our staff and ex-young people. This blog post was written by a ex-young person who recently left Care in Mind as part of our “Independence Package” – this is where the young person lives completely independently but still have access to psychological support.

Part 1: Catching you up to speed

Before I joined Care in Mind (CIM), I was in and out of hospital jumping in, getting meds and being discharged. The last time I was in hospital before moving to CIM, I did a severe attempt on my life and was sectioned on section 3 and was about 3 months into it. I felt hopeless about leaving Psychiatric units due to my recovery being very up and down. At this point, my Care Coordinator said she wanted to try something different than medication and wanted me to try psychology sessions, with a place to stay outside of the hospital while recovering. She told me that she had found a place called Care in Mind and that she wanted me to go there. A few days later, I got told I was going to be assessed by CIM with a Residential Manager and a CNS (Clinical Nurse Specialist) in the coming days. I felt excited about leaving the hospital, but also nervous that I may get declined or “not make the cut”. However, I knew the hospital wasn’t the right place for me and was preventing a successful journey to recovery. 

Assessment day soon came, and I met two men in the hospital meeting room, who immediately gave off warm vibes. They asked about my history, how I felt, what I wanted to do in the future and if I felt I would ever reach those goals. The conversation lasted around 45 minutes and they then left, after I met those two from CIM I hoped that the rest of the staff I meet if I go are like them, they were great. Around a week passed with no news about the placement or funding, but I kept pushing on in the hospital as I didn’t want to go on a downward spiral. However, my Care Coordinator rang one day and said that CIM had accepted me and I would go there as long as the panel accepted the funding proposal. It took another tough two weeks to get funding approved before I could start transitioning to my supported accommodation with CIM.

Part 2: Moving up and out (of the hospital)

The next step was two staff members from CIM coming to visit me in the hospital to talk me through the transition and show me pictures of the home – I was excited! The home looked nice, the two staff members were super friendly and I got told that the CNS that had assessed me was going to be my CNS at the house. This all made me feel like I might have a chance at recovery. The following week, I met the rest of the staff and we went out in the local area to get out of the hospital environment. After that, it was then about beginning to transition into the house. 

The first day of my transition into CIM was when I met the other young people, and I was happy because they were all nice. I spent a couple of hours in the home; playing board games and talking. After this though, I found it hard to go back to the hospital after being out, and I noticed a decline in my mental health at the hospital due to the environment and my want to move on. It took six weeks in total to transition into the house, and of course, there were ups and downs, but I quickly felt at home.

Part 3: The first six months

I loved being at the house for the first 6 months, even though there were difficult days, I felt motivated to try my best as I really didn’t want to return to the hospital. About a month in, someone close to me passed away from suicide, which hit me really hard, especially as I was just getting used to my new home and environment. However, I managed to get through this, mostly due to the team really helping me. The downs which I had in CIM weren’t as bad due to the freedom I had compared to a hospital environment, this was because the hospital was too restrictive and I felt completely locked in, there was also no therapeutic risk which was needed in my situation. I wasn’t as open with the staff as I should have been at first due to fears of past issues with staff and family giving up on me in the past

My weekly talks with the CNS really helped as we discussed the issues that arose during the week. Over time, I built a great relationship with him as he really understood me and knew how to adapt to each person he saw. He also helped me work through any issues I had in the house with staff or young people. For example, music is very important to me and helps me when I feel low or angry etc, but there was a blanket “no swearing” rule and as most people know, most music has some level of profanity. He managed to help me work with staff and the young people to play music that everyone felt comfortable with. His understanding of me and wanting to help me when I couldn’t speak up allowed me to gain confidence and speak up about issues I had more.

Part 4: Stuck in the middle

After the first six months, the progress I was making slowed down due to my own feelings of fear of abandonment. Subconsciously, I also felt I wasn’t ready, but this is where my psychologist really helped me with coping strategies and focusing on the now first so I have a stable base to move on from then tackling past trauma. The progress was slow but due to my great working relationship with my psychologist, she helped me to realise that progress cannot be made without a need to get better. This made me realise that I’m the only one who can help me in the end and what people tell me, I still need to put it into practice myself. 

My progress began to really gain momentum and I started dealing with real-life issues better than I had before, and I was able to evaluate them on my own and bring them to my sessions. Sad news came though when I found out that my psychologist was leaving, and there was a short break between her leaving and my new psychologist starting. It was a worrying time for me, but looking back, I can see that this time really helped me to cope with bigger issues alone, which I could then bring to sessions, and share what I had already done and how I coped with it.

When my new psychologist started, we decided that I was dealing well with current issues but needed confidence in knowing that I was doing the right thing and that the way I was coping with them was healthy. My progress continued to go well, and my CNS suggested I think about a date which I may like to start towards taking my next steps in recovery, was I ready?

Part 5: Moving on

I knew that I still wanted to stay with CIM but didn’t want to stay in the residential home much longer so it was decided that I would transition to the newly-created “Independence Package”. This meant I would be living in my own flat, but I would still have psychological input, CNS sessions and meetings with my psychiatrist. I loved this idea and we set a date for me to leave the residential home. 

By May 2020, the plans were sorted and a move-in date was set for some time in June. The time leading up to June was hard, as I felt my independence was only growing and my eagerness to be in my own space increased by the day. However, the day soon came and my slow transition from the home into my flat began, along with my ferret, Chase. I had gotten Chase earlier in the year to help with responsibility and to give me something to care for and build a bond with. By mid-June, I was being supported only by the Clinical Team and was living independently.

Part 6: Living alone and moving forward

For the first six months of living independently (June 2020 – December 2020), I spent a lot of time sorting out housing including funding, insurance, internet, electricity, things for the home, and generally getting acquainted with the area. However, I was also excited to catch up with my friends who I hadn’t seen that much due to being around an hour away from them when I was at the CIM home. During this time, I was so busy with moving in and getting used to living alone, I didn’t really think about my mental health and didn’t have time to ruminate or think about the next steps in therapy. However, in December me and my psychologist decided that I would start EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing). This was new to me and quite scary as I had never dealt with my past so deeply. It was the first time I felt genuinely scared about therapy, but my psychologist did a really good job at calming my nerves and preparing me for the therapy. In April 2021, I and my team decided that I would have three months of fortnightly therapy then it went down to once a month for three months, and then I completed the therapy. Therapy really helped me deal with past trauma as well as how to cope with issues that arise in the present. I am really looking forward to my future and feel there is a lot for me to do with my life and it has only just begun.

To make a referral or to find out more information about our services, please call the team on 0161 638 3285 or email

Staff Development: Amanda Kavanagh

To celebrate our 10 Year Anniversary, we are going to be sharing an insight into how various members of staff across the organisation have progressed internally.

At Care in Mind, we are passionate about investing in our people and helping them to achieve their professional goals. We achieve this through staff support sessions, in-house training, and other career development opportunities. Across the organisation there are many inspiring individuals who have advanced through roles, whether solely residentially or starting in the Residential Team and moving through to Head Office. Here, Amanda Kavanagh shares an insight into her own journey.

When did you join Care in Mind? and, what was your role?

I joined in January 2015, and I started as a Bank Support Worker, where I then quickly progressed to a Team Leader position within our residential service in Liversedge until late 2018.

How have you transitioned through roles and how did you end up in Head Office?

I did a lot of Health & Safety work in my previous job. I brought a lot of forms with me to Care in Mind that I used to implement different checks at Lyndhurst. I became a bit of a Health & Safety bod, and undertook the audits within the home, at this point, a role within the Quality Assurance department became available at Head Office. Based on my skills and abilities I was successful in the role of Quality Assurance Auditor. I had done so well in the interview, and I was so enthusiastic about the company. I was so happy about getting this role as I wanted to stay with Care in Mind, as I think it is such a fantastic company, and having worked with young people in the homes, I know that what we do works brilliantly.

It has been great working with Tracy Sellors, Quality and Compliance Manager, and I have learnt so much from her. I have also done quite a lot of training over the last couple of years, and I really enjoy the job because I am still helping even if I am not working in the Residential Team.

What initially attracted you to working with Care in Mind?

I’d worked in social care for over 20 years, and I was working in another company where Care in Mind used to come in and provide psychological and Clinical Nurse Specialist sessions for the young people. Through talking to people, I found out that there were jobs coming up at Lyndhurst, so that’s when I applied for the job, because I just felt that I really wanted to work for Care in Mind as they seemed like a really ethical, brilliant company. I was really attracted to the model of care and the different way of working, it made complete sense to me.

How have you been supported by your managers and colleagues through your development?

Brilliantly! Tracy is so knowledgeable, and she is so generous with her knowledge, so I have learnt a lot from her. She has always been good at seeing the gaps in my knowledge and finding courses I can go on to fill those gaps, so over the last couple of years, I have completed a lot of external training.

Over your time with Care in Mind, how do you feel the organisation has changed?

It has changed massively. There were only two houses when I started, but now we have really grown, which I think is really good and other people are now appreciating our model of care and understanding that it works really well.

Why have you stayed at Care in Mind? /What has made you want to remain with the organisation?

I think that ethically it is a really good company. The ethos of the company and the way we work with people is just brilliant, and that is the way I want to work with people. I think as well that there are just a lot of really good people that work at Care in Mind, and it’s excellent to be surrounded by people like that. Everybody is just really interesting, open and supportive, because we all want the same thing; for the young people to have good outcomes.

Do you have any advice for fellow colleagues who are keen to develop within Care in Mind?

I think what worked for me was being enthusiastic… and just be happy in your role. I think people sometimes come into social care jobs and it is not quite what they expected, but you need to accept these challenges and with support from your team, be happy and successful in your role.

What would you say to someone who is interested in a Support Worker role with Care in Mind?

It is a really rewarding job! It can be very challenging working with young people, but ultimately, it is so rewarding.

If you’re interested in a career with Care in Mind, check out our current vacancies here.