It’s good for old and new friends to mix

Thelma Turner-Hill, second right, with service users at a lunch for The Fellowship
Thelma Turner-Hill, second right, with service users at a lunch for The Fellowship
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THE Fellowship is a group for people with mental health problems and their carers – family members and friends – in Portsmouth.

It was started in Portsmouth in 1985 by The National Schizophrenia Fellowship (now known as Re-think) a mental health charity.

Audrey Trimmer, a carer, ran it for many years and now lives in Canada.

Well, I am glad to say the group is still there! I organise a lovely get-together four times a year.

As a mother and a volunteer I have been with The Fellowship for many years.

Katy Walsh from the Carers Centre, at Portsmouth City Council, is the lovely administrator, Sally Rumfitt and Lunday Jubb, two community psychiatric nurses kindly help with the group.

And we are lucky that Caroline Haworth, carers support worker from The Carers Centre, is also joining in with great enthusiasm.

Gerald Vernon-Jackson and Ben Dowling have always kindly shown an interest in the group, and visit us when we have events.

We recently had a lovely lunch at Roxby’s Restaurant, Southsea, where 45 people attended and were treated with so much kindness and respect.

The meal and ambience were so lovely.

We had a gorgeous lunch and all went home with a gift and an Easter egg.

It was so good for old friends and new to mix and meet, carers and service users.

There was lots of chatting and catching up – all were very happy to be there.

Living with mental health problems is so difficult and so often mental illness is not accepted as an illness.

Sometimes there is no understanding or sympathy shown.

Indeed many people suffer isolation and are so lonely, so I am so happy to make this a lovely day for all.