A report from our last meeting.
John Rumble is the Coordinator of ‘Hope Springs’, a mental health ministry of the Banyule group of Uniting churches. It is for people with mental illness, acquired brain inju-ry, other disabilities, or anyone who is socially isolated.
John explained Hope Springs is more a ‘community’ than a ‘service’. John and his dep-uty JJ (Jiaying Jiang) manage creative activities and discuss issues of relevance to participants in a non-judgemental setting. Hope Springs also provides linkages to other ser-vices, including advocacy.
Conceptualised in 1997 by Rev Peter Sanders, Hope Springs was prompt-ed by closing down of large psychiatric hospitals like Larundel. More com-munity support was needed for the ex-residents so Peter started day-program activities and carer support groups (still running).
Hope Springs’ Mission is ‘to assist participants in their recovery by provid-ing social inclusion opportunities, creative outlets, hospitality, as well as opportunities for mutual support and self-help’. Emphasis is on the im-portance of supportive relationships and community and the positive role this has in recovery and quality of life.
Surprisingly Hope Springs does not receive Government funding. John ex-plained that this enables the ser-vice to operate in an unfettered way without having to conform to government regulations and ob-jectives that would actually hin-der effectiveness. Funding comes from Uniting Churches, provided both locally and centrally.
Who does Hope Springs support? A large pro-portion of clients are adults over 40 with diag-nosed mental illness. Many are unemployed, living in a supported residential setting or pa-tients from psych wards and supported rehabil-itation programs. Another client group compris-es community members living on their own. All up there are currently 110 people on the books.
In the current Covid environment the service is making use of electronic communications mainly using email and ZOOM. Outreach phone calls are made by staff and volunteers.John and JJ can legally drop off care packages, which contain a well-wishing card, puzzles, tea, coffee. ZOOM groups cover art therapy, music and drop-in, a women’s group and relax-ation groups.
JJ admitted some people are getting left behind with technology.
Hope Springs is launching an online art exhibition on 30 Sep via ZOOM – the theme this year is ‘boredom sparks creativity’.
Hope Springs is located at Edwin St Heidelberg Heights, near the ‘men’s shed’.
For a PDF Version of the bulletin click here. RC of Ivanhoe 30 Sep 2020