Freshwinds launches Social Enterprise activities

As part of Freshwinds’ commitment to supporting clients and delivering high quality services, Freshwinds has announced the launch of new IT services and Well-being Centre as part of its social enterprise services.

The social enterprises will carry the ethos, ethics, spirit and holistic approach of Freshwinds. They will generate income that will be used to support our clients in the greatest need where there is currently no provision.

The first of these is FreshwindsIT: a company offering Design, Print, Technology & Training Services recognises and meets the need for organisations to build a viable IT strategy that prepares them for the future at an affordable cost.

Freshwinds is also launching the ‘Well-Being Centre’ a new service from FIIM (Freshwinds Institute of Integrated Medicine), to meet the need for safe and affordable complementary therapies for people who would like to invest in their health and well-being. Both companies are the start of Freshwinds’ ongoing initiative to emphasise a need to increase the availability of ethical and socially responsible services for individuals and the third sector.

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FIIM Releases first Relaxation CD, available now!

In our increasingly hectic lives, almost everyone suffers from a degree of stress.

‘Portraits of Calm’ is a relaxation CD containing simple breathing techniques and 7 different relaxation exercises, 2 of which are specifically designed for children.

The exercises are simple and easy to follow, with soothing music accompanying each track.

Just make yourself comfortable and listen as you are guided to stretch and relax tired muscles and be transported to a peaceful and tranquil space.

To find out more information, preview the tracks and buy online please click here.

Birmingham’s HIV Community Celebrates its Heritage

The Birmingham HIV Living Archive, a Heritage Lottery Funded history project that has recorded the voices of people living with, and affected by, HIV is officially launched.

On the 30th November 2010, Freshwinds, on behalf of the Birmingham HIV Partnership, were pleased to formally launch the Birmingham HIV Living Archive at a champagne reception at the Vaults Bar in the Jewellery Quarter. The achieve was formally launched by Councillor Sue Anderson cabinet member for Adults and Communities and Jenny Ord, Regional Director of the Heritage Lottery fund who funded the project. The event was an opportunity to thank those who had contributed their stories, their time and their support for the project and to start the events for World AIDS Day 2010 in Birmingham.

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Swishing for Charity! – 4th Event!

This is now our fourth event!

If you haven’t visited the Vaults yet this is the perfect excuse! Please forward to all the lovely ladies you know!

Never heard of swishing before? It’s nothing rude I promise!

On Saturday 29th January we are hosting a Swishing event to raise money for Freshwinds, which has been supporting individuals with life limiting and life threatening illnesses since 1992. The organisation now provides a broad range of services to support the local community, for further information please visit

‘Swishing’ is simple… ladies bring along clothes and accessories which they no longer wear and then enter them into the swish in exchange for vouchers.  At a set time, the swish opens and guests can exchange their vouchers for other items.  Each guest must bring at least 2 items and can exchange equal or less garments than what they came with… and go home with something they love!

In a special twist we also have a fashion show hosted by Frock On Vintage, make up by Raj Dhillon and handmade edible treats from Kiss Me Cupcakes!

Timing for the event:

2 – 3.30pm – Ladies hand in their items to The Vaults staff members in exchange for their vouchers. Items are arranged in The Vaults private booth areas to create Swish Booths.  Guests can enjoy their free drink and mingle in the bar area.

3.30pm – Live fashion show!

4pm – The Swish Booths open and ladies can start shopping!

Entry costs just £10 per person; include a free drink on arrival. Gentlemen are welcome to come also and must make a donation!

For further info please contact Natalie or Valerie on 0121 415 6670.

Hugo McPherson wins BDAAT award

Freshwinds’ Bro-Sis project were very proud of Hugo McPherson, Drug Worker within the project, for winning the ‘Excellence in Encouraging Take up of Treatment Services’ Award at the recent Birmingham Drug and Alcohol Action Team’s Awards Ceremony. The award was presented to Hugo by Parveen Akhtar, Strategic Lead of the Drug and Alcohol Action Team.

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His approach, dedication and determination has resulted in an increase of the number of BME individuals accessing treatment services. Hugo has worked tirelessly to increase the awareness of the Bros-Sis service to this client group. Hugo’s energetic and enthusiastic approach to support his clients, often going above and beyond his remit as a drug worker, means that he looks at the wider picture. Through attending community events, providing support to clients out of hours on evenings and weekends and using his no nonsense approach to provide a tough service which challenges client’s behaviour. Hugo’s ability to communicate on many levels means he can gain respect and trust from individuals who have substance misuse problems within the BME community.

Hugo strives to deliver results for his clients by adopting a truly holistic and integrated style of working. Working for a small service provider, Hugo is able to quickly and effectively respond to individuals by providing a fully joined up service that remains focused on the needs of different communities demonstrating his skills in engaging with hard to reach groups whilst promoting a recovery agenda.

If you would like to contact the Bro-sis team on issues of substance misuse or refer someone to the service, please contact 0121 4156670

Fresh In The City – Special Edition Now Available!

Fresh in the City regularly features inspirational stories from our clients, together with interviews from our staff and key professionals working within Birmingham.

Issue 4 now available

In this issue:

Read Maxine Gopsill’s inspirational story of helping to raise funds for Freshwinds after being diagnosed with breast cancer

The successful workshops run for families by the Integrated Medicine Team

How B-Sage have been helping to support older north Birmingham residents

FinDA’s Employment and Training successes

Freshwinds take on the Malverns

and much more

Click cover for an interactive online version

Click here for downloadable copy (3.1MB PDF)

Sandwell Council staff raise £300 for Freshwinds

dsc_0158On Friday 15th October staff at Sandwell Council had a Pink Friday event to raise money for two charities – Freshwinds and Breast Cancer Care. Staff supported the event by wearing pink and bringing in cakes and somosas which were sold to raise money for the appeal. A total of £300 was raised for Freshwinds.

Freshwinds would like to send a big Thank You to the staff at Sandwell Council for organising this event and their donations to raise money for the charity.

Click on the pictures to increase their size.

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All Mixed Up in support of Freshwinds – Friday 15th October

On Friday 15th October, The Vaults Bar and Restaurant is supporting the Birmingham based charity, Freshwinds, and offering our exclusive private bar booths with no hire charge for the entire evening.

All we ask is that your party make a small donation, which will go directly to Freshwinds. Since 1992 Freshwinds has been offering care and support, without charge, to adults and children living with life threatening and life‐limiting illness as well as individuals from socially excluded backgrounds. They deliver a range of services including the provision of integrated complementary therapy, advocacy, employment advice, debt counselling and community based initiatives on HIV, substance misuse and crime.

With our ever popular All Mixed Up, we are also offering 2 for 1 on specially crafted cocktails all night. We will be holding a prize draw for booth guests and bar guests with some fantastic prizes!

Our doors open from 5pm, our resident DJ’s will be playing their mix of house, soul and funk from 9pm and we will be collecting donations throughout the night.

If we all help a little, it can really help a lot.

For more information and to book your booth, please contact Louise at The Vaults on 0121 212 9837 or email

Freshwinds takes a trip to the Malvern Hills

On Thursday 30th September 2010, the staff and volunteers of Freshwinds attended our first team away day. Over 100 people from all of Freshwinds’ departments, programmes and office sites travelled together to the Worcestershire town of Great Malvern to enjoy a group walk in the famous hills.

The group walked a route up to the top of the Worcestershire Beacon which, although not for the faint of heart, offered spectacular views across the surrounding countryside. The aim of the day was for our staff and volunteers to meet, particularly those that would not normally have the opportunity to do so, and to learn about each other and how we all contribute the Freshwinds and its mission. Over the 2 hour walk, everyone from the Chief Executive to our volunteers were able to talk with someone that they had not met before and to gain some understanding of an area of Freshwinds’ work that they did not previously have.

After the walk, an excellent lunch was provided at the Abbey Hotel and everyone had the opportunity to visit the beautiful Malvern Priory church and to sample the delights of Great Malvern’s many antique and independent shops.

The day was a great success and was enjoyed by all who attended. It was wonderful to see the whole team together in one place and gave a real sense of how much Freshwinds has grown and the diverse areas that we work across.

Thank you to all those involved.

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Chris Burrows running for Freshwinds

IT Support worker Chris Burrows is running the Birmingham Half Marathon in support of Freshwinds. The run, which takes place on the 24th of October, raised over £47,000 for various charities when it took place last year.

To sponsor Chris, please visit his Virgin Moneygiving page, which can be located here.