BRO-SIS attend Community Safety Partnership Working Day

The Community Safety Partnership Working Day in Birmingham was a great success with a large number of organisations promoting personal safety services in Birmingham. The BRO-SIS community drug worker attended the event, giving advice, information and engaging the public in the wider issues of substance misuse and community safety. Part of the involvement of BRO-SIS at the event was to promote the work of BRO-SIS and Freshwinds so more people can refer people to us and benefit from our services.

The objective of the Birmingham Safety Partnership was ensuring that adults and children are safe in their communities; as part of this people were handed free torches, personal panic alarms and other promotional items to improve their personal safety.

A number of different organisations attended including Addaction, Phoenix Futures, Birmingham City Council, West Midlands Fire Service, West Midlands Police and the Gun & Gang Unit.







BRO-SIS are also pleased to announce the launch of a new drop-in service in partnership with Addaction in Nechells in the Heart of Birmingham. The drop-in is starting on Monday 26th November from 11am-2pm and the POD. For more information, please contact Hugo on

Welcome Clare and Tim

We are pleased to welcome 2 new Graphic & Web Design Interns, who will be working with us to meet the increasing demand for our design and print services. We wish them good luck in their new roles and look forward to seeing what new ideas they can bring to the charity.

Clare Bowyer

I’ve recently graduated from Newport University with an Advertising Design degree, which is predominantly graphic design based. I left University the day after the final lecture to start a Junior Designer placement at a Birmingham based advertising agency and after 6 months there I am now a part of the Freshwinds IT team as a Graphic Design Intern hoping to further my knowledge and develop my skills in design.

I especially hope to learn more about web design as this is something I haven’t been able to spend a lot of time on before. I enjoy every aspect of design and I scrapbook a lot of print work I find when I’m out and about to keep my creativity flowing constantly.

I am also a massive sport fan and extremely competitive. I play football but I prefer playing rugby which I’ve been playing for the last 4 years and have won 3 awards for.

Tim Blake

My main strengths are within web development and graphic design. I’ve been self employed for the past 4 months working on a website I created called ‘Creative Nerds’ – a great educational resource for Designers and Web Developers. The website generates a fairly good revenue and does not require much management, allowing me the time to fulfil my passion in applying my skills to a web and graphic design role.

I’m thankful for the opportunity to work for such a prestigious organisation in a role of such diversity where I am able to utilize and apply all my strengths. This 3 month internship will definitely help to nurture my skills, alongside acquiring new skills to add to my arsenal.

Volunteer Spotlight – Joanne Burgess and Rachel McInerney

Joanne has been volunteering on reception since June. Our volunteer receptionists are vital to the smooth running of the organisation, and make sure that all our staff and visitors are met with a friendly welcome.

Joanne Burgess

Since leaving school I had always worked in an admin/customer service environment but due to ill health I had to give up work.While I was out of work, various organisations helped me to get my confidence back; this has made me feel that I would like to get back into a working environment. So I decided to become a volunteer for a few days a week, to build up my self esteem and to see how I coped with my illness in a working environment.

I have now been volunteering on the reception for 5 months and I am loving it. I have been made to feel really welcome and feel part of the team.

Rachel volunteers in our Supporting People department and has enjoyed working on a variety of projects.

Rachel McInerney

I started helping with B-Sage, assisting clients with varying needs such as MS and arthritis. I found the experience really, really interesting as it really opens your eyes. I learnt loads- something different every day.

After B-Sage I joined the Refugee Team which was a brilliant learning experience and very rewarding . The majority of the clients had been through some kind of bad experience back in their home country  and it was very upsetting  hearing about some of their experiences and how they just wanted to settle down in a country they felt safe.

One case was a client who was homeless and we helped with finding her somewhere to live and took her to a food bank as she had no money as her benefits had stopped. Within a couple of months, with our support she had made big improvements in her life. The client has started a college course as she really wants to be a nurse and has enrolled at the Volunteering Services and also attends church on a Sunday.

Seeing a client improve so much and her confidence growing is very rewarding and just shows how important  the service is.

Freshwinds are a really good organisation and I chose to volunteer here because there is a bit of everything.

Congratulations Freshwinds runners!

(From left to right) Kellie Levi, Adam Brookes, James Voller, Trish Fleming, Elaine Tracey and Natalie White (Front)

Well done to all our amazing runners who successfully completed 13.1 miles at the Bupa Great Birmingham Run on Sunday 21 October.

They would like to give a huge thank you to all their generous sponsors who have helped them smash their target of £1,500.

“We had an amazing day, the atmosphere around the course helped to keep us motivated and we managed to stay injury free. We are now debating what our next challenge will be!” – Natalie White

If you would like to support our team, there is still time to make a donation.  Their fundraising page closes on 21 November.


Run Freshwinds Run!!

On Sunday 21st October, 8 of our brave staff and volunteers will be donning their running shoes to take part in the Bupa Great Birmingham Run.  They will be running (or attempting!) 13.1 miles through Birmingham City Centre to raise money for Freshwinds. Please come along and show your support.

Our assortment of runners consists of:

James “The Flash” Voller

Natalie “Nimble” White

Adam “Look Lively” Lloyd

Adam “Speedy” Brookes

Trish “Fleeting” Fleming

Kellie “Hurricane” Levi

Fiona “Flying” Mason

Elaine “Double Time” Tracey


You can track the progress of and sponsor our runners by visiting:

Prospect Hall Undergoes Transformation

After Freshwinds secured a £70,000 grant through the Department of Health’s Social Enterprise Investment Fund, Prospect Hall has undergone a series of renovations to make the buidling a more pleasant place for the people that use our services and those of the other services based in the building. Our reception has been moved downstairs to the main entrance creating an inviting space for visitors and providing a warm welcome. The new doors we were able to install through the grant help to keep the heat in and cold out. With larger desks and new sofas, the entrance has certainly become a more pleasant and welcoming environment for all.













As part of the grant, we were also able to make improvements elsewhere and the Integrated Medicine team are delighted with the refurbished therapy rooms which provide a calmer environment for clients and improved facilities. They are have been upgraded to clinical-grade rooms and new furniture and furnishings have made them much better suited for the delivery of complementary therapies. We have also increased the number of consultation rooms available enabling us to provide services for more people at any given time.

New therapy room:







Furthermore, we have been able to develop two additional waiting areas providing clients and visitors with comfortable and relaxing areas in which to wait for therapies, consultations or meetings.














Now that the work has been completed, we are asking people who use our centre to give their feedback on the changes so we can continue to improve the experience people have accessing our services. If you would like to give any feedback, please email Kate Orme ( or use the feedback forms available at reception.


We would like to thank the Department of Health for their generous grant that allowed this transformation to take place and the Social Investment Business for their support throughout the refurbishment. We would also like to thank Birmingham Drug and Alchol Action Team for donating some of their unwanted furniture to Freshwinds following their move to new offices.

Welcome Sneha and Yeyisha

We would like to extend a warm welcome to our new international volunteers – Sneha Rajan and Yeyisha Shellayukti. They are here in Birmingham for 9 months on an Inter Cultural Youth Exchange programme (ICYE) to gain experience of the charity sector in the UK. We hope they enjoy their stay here at Freshwinds.

Sneha Rajan

I have a degree in Commerce and majored in travel and tourism management from Christ University in Bangalore, India.

Somewhere along the way I realised that making money for myself is a good thing, everyone needs the money, but being able to give something back to society is even greater. So I got involved in an organisation that deals with underprivileged children who are physically challenged. This is when I decided to change my line of education. In the beginning it was first a thought and it was up to me to make it happen.

So I took it up as a challenge to prove to myself and everyone back home that this is where I want to be and what I want to do. So here’s to the next 9 months at Freshwinds, I can’t wait to get started.

Yeyisha Shellayukti

I hope volunteering in Freshwinds will give many good things in my life. I am really happy meeting with new people and in a place that i’ve never been before. I think Freshwinds is such a good environment to work, so it will be good to gain new friends, improve skills on many things. I am glad that I can improve my English skills as well.

It’s really exciting to work on a social theme, such as helping and supporting everyone who needs help and assistance. I love kids so much, and I cannot wait to see them smile at me because it means they are happy to see me as well.

Coming to the UK is such a big opportunity for me. I am excited to know the different culture, including dishes, habits/ behaviour and way of thinking. One thing I have struggled with is the very cold weather. It is not easy but I must try. I want to take a Masters degree if I come back to Indonesia later.

Sheila’s Journey

Sheila first became involved with Freshwinds as a client when she was referred from the Breast Cancer team at QE hospital in 2003.  She received a number of complementary therapies from our Integrated Medicine team, including accupuncture, massage, reflexology, Indian head massage and reiki.  They have also supported her through bereavement following the death of her husband and offered care when she suffered other illnesses and had major back surgery.

Wishing to give something back to the charity, Sheila started volunteering for Freshwinds on reception.  This is a role she hugely enjoyed as it gave her the chance to get out of the house and meet people.  In 2006, Freshwinds were pleased to welcome her as a paid member of staff and Sheila now provides administrative support to the medical team who helped her.

Sheila Tomkins

Complementary therapy has made a significant difference to my life. I have been able to reduce medications and cope better with everyday life. I am now reaping the benefits and I feel so much better than I have done for a long time.

I feel it’s a fantastic service that Freshwinds offfers, especially the fact that therapists are willing to give up their time for free.

I really appreciate the work that has been done here and I promote Freshwinds wherever I go. The whole ethos is fantastic and I hope that many others continue to benefit like I have.

Calling all Graphic Design graduates!

We have an exciting new job opportunity for graduates interested in developing their IT/Graphic Design skills and gaining experience in the charity sector.  You will be working alongside our talented IT team to deliver IT-related design services both internally and to external clients as part of the charity’s rapidly growing social enterprise activities.

This is initially a 3 month post with a strong potential for more long-term career prospects.

Closing date: 12th October 2012

For more details about the role and details of how to apply, please visit

FreshwindsIT secures £5000 to deliver IT training to carers

FreshwindsIT have been chosen by UKOnline to become a Carers Engagement Centre supporting carers to access technology and raising awareness of the online resources available to them.  FIT are specialists in working with carers and are thrilled to receive funding to allow them to expand their valuable work.

This will have a huge impact on the lives of both carers and those they care for, encouraging greater independence and the chance to become more active within their local community.

Workshops will be run at our IT training suite at Prospect Hall as well as various outreach centres across the city.  They will cover a wide range of topics to cover all individual needs and abilities. These include:

  • Basic keyboard and mouse skills
  • Getting on the internet and staying safe online
  • Carrying out web searches to find websites of interest to the learner
  • Accessing online government resources that provide information on everything from benefits entitlement and bin collections to council activities in your area
  • Using social media to connect with friends and family

“We’re really grateful to receive this funding from UKOnline and can’t wait to meet and start working with carers from across the city.” – Adam Lloyd, Freshwinds IT Manager

Do you know any carers or are you a carer yourself? If you know anyone who would benefit from this programme and would like to find out more, contact the team on 0121 415 6715