A national mental health charity officially opened its new headquarters in Belper last week, and staff hope their new home will make a world of difference to their work.
OCD-UK, which provides support and advocacy services for people living with obsessive compulsive disorder, has moved its head office from Derby to Chevin Green Farm.
Mid Derbyshire MP Pauline Latham officially opened the new office on Friday, October 5, and met with supporters, service users and the charity’s team of volunteers.
Chief executive Ashley Fulwood, who co-founded OCD-UK in 2003, said: “It’s amazing what a difference the location makes already. All our staff and volunteers live with OCD themselves, and a calming, green environment in such a lovely place will make us better equipped for the people we support and serve.”
The charity had operated out of home offices until opening its first base last year, but the opportunity to move again was too good to miss.
Ashley said: “Two very generous benefactors have made the space available and let us to convert the building for our purposes. They have been incredibly supportive.
“The move will make us more productive, give us space to train more volunteers and it will make it easier for our members to pop in for a chat any time they need.”
OCD-UK operates a nationwide helpline around the clock which helps around 1,000 people per year, and regular support group meetings for a further 300 in Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire.
It has also recently started work on three projects targetted at young people.
Children in Need has awarded funding to recruit and train 60 young ambassadors around the UK, who will highlight the charity’s services and educate peers about OCD.
Foundation Derbyshire is supporting a local volunteer scheme for ages 10-25 to run awareness campaigns and work in schools and colleges.
The charity has also received Lottery funds to work with young East Midlands residents on an information booklet aimed at health professionals and people coming to terms with the condition.
Sue Millichap, who will lead the projects, said: “Often the biggest frustration people have is that OCD is misunderstood. There is a traditionally a lot more support for adults, and now child and adolescent mental health services are bursting at the seams.”