Dorset Mind, the mental health charity, has been chosen as Charity of the Year by not one, but TWO upstanding pillars of Verwood Town.

Dorset Mind’s Patron Dr Andy Mayers and Fundraising and Marketing Manager Dee Swinton, were guests of Verwood Rotary at Crane Valley Golf Club earlier this week.  President Ken Armstrong was keen to find out more about the work of the local mental health charity as the Club had chosen them as their Charity of the Year.

The Rotary Club had also invited Verwood’s new Mayor, Lindsey Dedden, to attend the event as they were aware she wanted to see the informative presentation that touched upon mental health awareness and the need for local support services in Dorset.

Councillor Lindsey Dedden announced Dorset Mind as her Mayor’s Charity for 2017-2018 at the start of June. Lindsey knew that Verwood Town Council part-funds Dorset Mind’s monthly mental health support group ‘Wellbeing in Mind.’ Not only that, she has personal reasons for choosing the mental health charity as her son has Asperger’s, a high-functioning form of autism spectrum disorder.

To complete the evening and start the fundraising, Ken presented Dorset Mind with a donation of £324. 

Commenting on these new partnerships,Dr. Andrew Mayers, Principal Academic at Bournemouth University and Patron for Dorset Mind said, “Dorset Mind are affiliated to national Mind, but all our funding is done locally.  So offers of help like these two from Verwood are very gratefully received.  Not only that, it allows us to raise mental health awareness and promote our local support services amongst local business and professional people.  It’s essential that local people are aware of the mental health support in their area, that’s within easy access.”

“I’d like to thank the President of Verwood Rotary, Ken Armstrong, for inviting us over to talk to his Club about the work we carry out in Dorset, and also for introducing me to Mayor Lindsey Dedden.  The local Rotary groups have been historically key supporters of Dorset Mind, and we’re very grateful for theirs and Mayor Dedden’s financial help for the forthcoming year.”

Marianne Storey, Dorset Mind’s new Chief Executive added, “I’ve been remarkably impressed with the extent to which the Rotary Clubs have supported Dorset Mind.  It is so encouraging that Verwood Rotary and Mayor Dedden recognise the increasing need for support options for people experiencing difficulty with their mental health.  There is more and more need for charities like Dorset Mind to provide help to people and we simply can’t do it without help from this type of generosity.  I would like to thank both for their support – we look forward to working with them over the coming year.”

Lindsey’s first fundraising event in aid of Dorset Mind is an evening with archaeologist Julian Richards on Friday 22nd September at Verwood Memorial Hall.  Tickets are just £12 and include a ploughman’s supper.

Dorset Mind’s Wellbeing in Mind Support Group is held on the First Tuesday of every month (19:00 – 21:00) at the Verwood Community Resource Centre.  The mental health support group focuses on managing anxiety and depression.  Importantly, there is NO waiting list – medical referrals aren’t required, you can simply turn up.


For more information:


–       The Rotary Club of Verwood has been established since 1988.  The current President Ken Armstrong’s term of office started at the end of June.  Verwood Rotary’s annual ‘Rustic Fayre’ takes place on the coming Bank Holiday Monday (28th August) at Potterne Park in Verwood from 12 midday.  Entrance is just £5,  accompanied children go free.  You can find out more about this event and the Verwood branch of Rotary International on their website here, and Facebook Page here.

–       The Rotary Club of Verwood is a local branch of Rotary International, a global network of volunteers.  Their primary goal is to help others.  It’s the world’s largest service operation, and membership is open to everyone.  For further information, please see their website.

Councillor Lindsey Dedden is the 27th Mayor of Verwood, taking over from 2016’s Mayor Councillor Susan Shaw in May this year.  Lindsey chose Dorset Mind as her Mayor’s Charity 2017-2018.  For more details, see Verwood Town Council’s Facebook Page here.

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