Freshwinds Attends Vaisakhi Celebrations

Thousands of people took part in the annual Vaisakhi celebrations in Handsworth Park in Birmingham on Sunday 27th April.

Freshwinds was there representing the Community Support Network.

Big Energy Saving Week, Monday 27 – 31 January 2014

This week is Big Energy Saving Week and Freshwinds are getting involved in this exciting campaign to encourage people to save energy. Remember to Check, Switch and Insulate.




Ring your energy supplier and check you are on the best tariff, payment method and that you are receiving all the discounts you are eligible for.





Visit an accredited switching website and see if you could save money on your energy bills by switching to a different provider.





If you are worried about your energy bills, then visit the website below and follow the handy tips on how to save energy and be more efficient.



If you want more information about Big Energy Saving Week visit or call 03001231234


If you are interested in coming to a group session to learn more about saving energy then please contact Freshwinds directly on 0121 4156670 and speak to Neil McAuley or Angela Dyer.

Free Independent Tribunal Advice and Representation

A common issue facing a large number of our clients is the receipt of a negative decision on a welfare benefit claim, whether it is a claim for an earning replacement benefit like Job Seekers Allowance or Employment Support allowance, or a disability benefit. This is a hugely stressful occurrence and many people are unaware of what they can do to challenge these decisions. As part of Freshwinds Advice and Welfare services we are able to offer free representation at welfare benefit Independent Tribunal hearings.

If you are a resident of Birmingham and would like to appeal against a negative decision on your benefit claim or if you have lodged an appeal and need assistance preparing your case, please call the Advice and Welfare Services team on 0121 415 6670 for advice and assistance.

This service is completely free, impartial and independent.

Sad news of dearly missed colleague

One of the very painful pieces of news, which has been very difficult for Freshwinds' staff and volunteers to come to terms with, is that after a very short illness, Ulrike Looft-Doherty, our Welfare Benefits and Debt Team Leader passed away peacefully on 7th August.

"Whilst this is very sad news for us all it is obviously devastating for her close colleagues. Our thoughts are with all of the FInDA team who worked closely with Ulrike as it has taken many months for this to heal. Ulrike was a very kind and loving person and we all feel her loss still and I am sure we will do for some time to come.

Ulrike leaves behind a very loving and close family of husband and 2 children and, whilst we understand they are well provided for, our thoughts are for their profound and deeply-felt loss. For those of us of a spiritual leaning, we send our loving thoughts and prayers to them all.

We are hoping to mark Ulrike's contribution to Freshwinds and the wider social welfare sector in some way."

Mohammed Al-Rahim
Founder, President & CEO of Freshwinds

Festive Fundraising

We’ve been busy fundraising for our complementary therapy services. Our in-house service costs £250,000 a year and we receive no government funding for our work.  This means we rely entirely on kind donations from trusts, companies and individuals.

Last week we held a cake sale and festive lucky dip and raised a fantastic £100.03! Thank you to everyone who supported the event by donating a cake, helping to sell on the day or buying a cake.

Our new fundraising group held their first meeting last month and are looking forward to organising lots of fun events in the new year. If you’d like to get involved with fundraising please email us or call 0121 415 6670.

Any support that you can give can make a huge difference to the lives of adults and children with life limiting and life threatening illness.

Freshwinds is delighted to benefit from Sam Bailey’s 2013 X Factor winner’s single!

Freshwinds is thrilled with last night’s X Factor result as Syco will donate 100% of its profits from the sale of each CD single and download to Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity and Together for Short Lives, of which Freshwinds is a member. This is expected to be at least £1 for each CD and 20p for each download.

sam baileyBarbara Gelb, CEO of Together for Short Lives comments, “Skyscraper is fantastic and with such a talent behind it, we couldn’t have asked for a better boost for single sales.  We wish Sam all the luck in the world.  Working with The X Factor is transformational. The sales of Sam’s single will make a real difference to the incredible lifeline services, like children’s hospices, who support the UK’s 49,000 children and young people with life-threatening and life-limiting conditions.

“Buying the X Factor winner’s single, Skyscraper, will help families to continue benefiting from these incredible services. By doing this you’ll be helping families to make the most of every precious moment.”

Linette Tatton-Brown, Director of Integrated Medicine says, “A share of the proceeds from the winner’s single will come to Freshwinds to help us support the children and families we work with. Your purchase will help us continue our services which are a lifeline to them.”sam bailey win

A host of leading music retailers have stepped up to donate their share of profits from The X Factor’s winner’s single to the charities. And the government has also agreed to waive the VAT on sales of the winning contestant’s single.

This means that even more money will go directly to support some of the UK’s most unwell children and ensure they and their families receive the best possible care.

Please buy the X Factor single this Christmas and help us to support seriously ill children

hmvDigital: Download the single today. Buy in store from Wednesday 18 December.

ASDA: The single will be available in selected stores from Tuesday 17 December and all stores from Wednesday 18 December.

Sainsbury’s: Download the single from Sainsbury’s website from Monday 16 December or buy in Sainsbury’s stores from Wednesday 18 December.

Vevo: Watch the single online – all ad generated profits will be donated to Great Ormond Street Hospital and Together for Short Lives.

Tesco: Buy the single in Tesco Extra and larger superstores from Wednesday 18 December.

Morrisons: The winner’s single will be available in Morrisons stores from Wednesday 18 December. For more information, please visit the Morrisons website or contact customer services on 0845 611 6111.

Spotify: Download the Winner’s single from the Spotify website today.

GooglePlay: The single is available online today.


Morrisons logosainsbury s live well for lessSpotifylogo

Tribute to Maxine Gopsill, sorely missed client and fundraiser

We remember one of our clients, and a dedicated supporter of Freshwinds, Maxine Gopsill who sadly passed away on 18th August this year.

maxine crop

Maxine was a courageous appreciator and supporter of Freshwinds and the work that we do, even when she was profoundly unwell. We know that we made an enormous difference to her life (in her own words) and it was a privilege for us to do so especially as Maxine was one of those extremely likable personalities.

Our thoughts are with her family and our abiding feeling is that it was a pleasure and honour to know her as a person.

We have the permission of Maxine’s family to dedicate one of our therapy rooms to her in the New Year in commemoration of her tireless efforts to support our work. We are asking everyone to raise funds for the “Maxine Gopsill Room” which will support our work.

I am sure that Maxine will be smiling down on all of you with as many blessings as she did in life and we all deeply miss her.”

Mohammed Al-Rahim

Founder, President and CEO of Freshwinds

Click here to read how Freshwinds helped Maxine and the amazing fundraising she organised as a thank you.

Freshwinds to benefit from the X Factor Winner’s Charity Single!

We’re thrilled that this year’s X Factor winner’s single will be in aid of children’s charities Together for Short Lives and Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity.

The two X Factor finalists will perform their prospective winner’s singles live during The X Factor’s exciting final at Wembley Arena, with the song available to download once the winner is crowned on 15 December.

Syco Music will donate 100% of the profits from the sales of each CD single and download to the two charities. As a member of Together for Short Lives, Freshwinds will receive a share of the proceeds.

x-factor-2013-finalists-groupSimon Cowell said: “Both Together for Short Lives and Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity are really important charities. Every day they do inspiring work and help a load of kids and their families, all of which need their expertise and support. I have been lucky enough to see first-hand the great work that both of these charities do and I am thrilled that we can do something to help by donating the sales of The X Factor winner’s single to them both. Thank you in advance to everyone who will help.”

Barbara Gelb, CEO of Together for Short Lives, said: “Together for Short Lives is so thrilled to be benefiting from The X Factor winner’s single again this year. This is amazing news for us, and the UK’s 49,000 children and young people with life-threatening and life-limiting conditions and all those who support, love and care for them.  Working with the X Factor is transformational.  Through this fantastic partnership we have been able to reach out to thousands of families and the money raised has made a real difference to local services, like children’s hospices, which deliver lifeline support to children and families. When you buy The X Factor winner’s single you will know that every single copy sold will make a real difference to families across the UK, helping them to make the most of their precious time together.”DSCF3716

Linette Tatton-Brown, Vice President and Director of Integrated Medicine at Freshwinds said: “We are delighted that the X Factor Winner’s Single is going to make a real difference to children with life-threatening and life-limiting conditions and their families. It will really help to raise awareness of the needs of children and families we support, and important funding to allow us to do even more to help them.”

Freshwinds support children by providing complementary therapies to help reduce pain and relieve side effects of medication. When funding allows, we run group workshops where children and family members can learn simple techniques to manage the child’s condition at home. We also organise regular parent support group outings to local attractions such as Cadbury World and the Sealife Centre. For more information, take a look at the Children’s Services page on our website or contact Dr Shah on 0121 415 6670.

Free training opportunity: Become a Money Advice Champion

Freshwinds are running an exciting new project with funding from Severn Trent Trust Fund, aimed at improving understanding and awareness of banking and budgeting. We will be putting on a number of practical sessions for anyone interested in becoming a money advice ‘champion’,  and is interested in improving their general money management skills. We will also give you information on how to signpost your friends and associates for further help from our in house Debt Advice team.

The project is particularly aimed at residents living in the South of the City, but the sessions are open to everyone. The session will last approximately 90 minutes and will consist of information on practical aspects of the money advice process, including banking and budgeting skills, which will enable you to identify circumstances where you can signpost individuals so they can receive more in-depth assistance with their issues.

If you are interested and would like further information or details of the next session, please contact Angela or Neil on 0121 415 6670.

Birmingham Sexual Health Consultation – Birmingham HIV Partnership

Freshwinds is a member of the Birmingham HIV Partnership which has published an initial response to the Birmingham Sexual Health Consultation which proposes significant changes to services for people living with HIV in Birmingham.

You can see the response on the Birmingham HIV Partnership website: