CPG NEWS

2024

JUNE 2024 

MEET CPG - JOHN 

Using Data over a period of several years we have drawn up a statistical picture of our resident group.


MOST LIKELY MALE (70/30 MALE FEMALE RATIO)

ENGLISH (11% CHANCE OF BEING POLISH MALE)

LONG TERM MENTAL HEALTH / LEARNING DISABILITY

44 YEARS OLD 

ON MEDICATION (MORE THAN ONE)

UNABLE TO SOURCE HOUSING DUE TO Learning Disability /Mental Health (23% RELATIONSHIP BREAKDOWN)

PARENT OF 1 CHILD - NO CONTACT

DRINKS HEAVILY (70% CHANCE DEPENDANT ON SOMETHING ELSE AS WELL)

TWICE AS LIKELY TO HAVE ATTEMPTED SUICIDE THAN GEN PUBLIC

4 TIMES NATIONAL AVERAGE OF BEING A VICTIM OF SEXUAL VIOLENCE

Restructure 

Following Steve's departure, the Housing Related Support (Suffolk) being redesigned - and a few other important things. We have consolidated the Suffolk properties into one team, this allows consistency in working with the local housing and authorities.

Change who we house.

We have done a lot of analysing and consultancy over the last year and made the following decisions.

APRIL 2024

KAREN HUBBUCK - West Suffolk Team.

Has Joined our team, long working history in education and families work. 

After 7 years of working at CPG Steve moved on to pastures new (Wickhambrook!) We wish him well with his new job with the NHS.

2023

30 YEARS IN THE MAKING

In September we will be celebrating the 30th Anniversary of Cambridge Pringle Group.

Events were held in Cambridge / Haverhill and Ely - Many residents attended the 3 events and many silly games were played. The Mayor of Cambridge came along to the afternoon tea. 

JUNE 2023 - Latest Property goes Live!!

Two residents moved into their new homes today here is an overview of the costs.

Purchase Price £192,000

Building Works £62,000

New Windows and doors £7000

Fire Alarms £2500

Fix Fittings £8500

And a lot of sweat and tears by - Sue / Simon / Steve and Jo !

Thanks go to

 Symtech Ltd.  / A&G Windows / Alarm Maintenance / Glasswells / Tyson Carpets

APRIL 2023

WE ARE SWITCHING AWAY FROM OUR GMAIL ACCOUNTS TO     @c-p-g.org 

LONG OVERDUE AND WILL TAKE A WHILE TO DO BUT IT ALL FEELS QUITE GROWN UP!

MARCH 2023 


NEW PROPERTY IN HAVERHILL

NEW WINDOWS

NEW DOORS IN AND OUT

NEW WIRING

NEW BATHROOM

NEW KITCHEN

WALLS PLASTERED 

FULL REDECORATION 

NEW FENCE 

FIRE ALARM SYSTEM


FEBRUARY 2023

LOUISE HUDSON JOINS CPG

Previous to CPG I worked in different care and learning disability services. I joined Cambridge Pringle in early 2023 as I knew of the team and the work that they do so I took the plunge and haven't regretted it!

I believe that there is an importance in the whole person and not as individual parts, one of my passions is working with a person's self esteem and image. I am a trained Beauty and Massage therapist, and a passion for learning new methods of holistic therapies.

I love to spend my spare time with family and friends, I enjoy cooking, music, and laughter.

I believe laughter is truly the best medicine, and can often be heard laughing loudly making mine and somebody else's day a little brighter.


Our New Logo and colour scheme.

What's the Housing Plus Mean???

We are proud to go above and beyond in what we do  and how we do it. (having, receiving, or being in addition to what is anticipated) 

2022

NEW LOGO -WE HAVE USED THE BALOON LOGO FOR OVER 10 YEARS AND THE RESIDENTS FEEL ITS TIME FOR A CHANGE SO WE HAVE ASKED THEM / STAFF / TRUSTEES TO COME UP WITH SOME ALTERNATIVES.

It snowed, It leaked, COVID, It was sold, It was hot, and it started to cost a lot!


NOVEMBER 22 


6TH PROPERTY IN HAVERHILL

We agreed to buy our 6th property in Haverhill in November.

The property is in a poor state and will require a lot of work, however, it is close to the Hvarhill office and two of our other houses - we expect residents to be moving in late March / April 2023

SEPTEMBER 2022

MENS SHED MAKES A START

Donations of Tools and Bicycles to repair and sell, It all getting real.....

It is with great sadness that we join with the nation in mourning the death of Her Majesty The Queen.

 Cambridge Pringle Group will be respecting Queen Elizabeth II's funeral on Monday 19th September 2022 as a bank holiday therefore staff will not be working and only the "On-Call" service will be available on 0800 7833133. 

Amazing what a little rain can do -we had a lot of rain in a very short time !!!

It was a hot sunny day!

Extra thick - the apron that is .......

Mukesh and Darren 

Annual BBQ in Cambridge 

Residents / Staff / Trustees 

All joined in to enjoy a saturday afternoon in the sun.

Sue on crowd control!

MEN'S SHED August 2022

Working in Partnership CPG has secured a grant of £1000 from West Suffolk Council to start a Men's Shed in Haverhill.


Proudly displayed in the Haverhill office.

Soon be with us all - later in 2022

GOVERNMENT   EMERGENCY ALERTS SCHEME

Fire / Flood / Terror ...

PUBLIC BENEFIT WORK - SUICIDE PREVENTION

CPG had 3 residents take their own lives 8 years ago by falling from Height, since then the organisation has raised the awareness of suicide and suicide prevention in all of its activities. Falling from height as a method of suicide is rare - about 4%- The long term effects on family and the first responders is significant.

Team members completed the recognised Suicide First Aid course, Mental health first aid and First aid at different levels.

On the 6th of June 2022 a man in his 40s fell from height at Sturmer Arches in Haverhill  East Anglian Daily Times article) https://www.eadt.co.uk/news/man-dies-in-haverhill-falling-from-bridge-9022090

As part of the local Voluntary and Statutory Providers Forum (VASP) In Haverhill Antony (CEO) has pursued the issue of reducing further incidents at this site.

New Mildenhall Property

June 2022

Following completion we are now in the process of conversion into a 6 bed HMO - Watch this space - open for residents in August.

W D G Lawn.

Geoff becomes the 3rd Chairman of the Trustee Board 

W D G Lawn.

Born and brought up in Glasgow, lived in London / Manchester and became a Chartered Civil Engineer. Worked in the UK and mainly overseas (including Iraq, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Pakistan, Georgia, Russia, Romania, Ukraine, Belarus) on development of irrigation and municipal water sector programmes and projects. 

I have been a trustee with CPG since 2018 and greatly enjoy supporting and being a part of the charity’s team and their ongoing  development planning activities. Some other interests include dabbling with the Russian language, and swimming. Married with three grown-up children and four grandchildren. 


Recognition for what the Haverhill team have achieved from REACH.


MILDENHALL - NEW AREA

After consulting with stakeholders, and reviewing the referrals obtained in the current 3 areas it was decided to explore another area for expansion. Within the key criteria of East Anglia and the prefered West Suffolk council the following towns were explored.

Bury St Edmunds - this was quickly discounted due to the saturation of other larger organisations and adequate services - it would be difficult to work our way in.

Newmarket - The unique issues around NM (equestrian) make property higher than surrounding areas, even tho poverty is high as WSC have developed services and own property for the same client group as ourselves it was felt wise to discount as well.

Mildenhall - This was an area identified by WSC - Homeless Manager as an area they would like us to operate in. After exploring area / planning / financial / criminal / health /roads / services / property prices / available stock (as part of due diligence)we have had an offer accepted on a 4 bed (6 after investment) which is due to be operational in June / July 2022.

TRUSTEES

Chair - Colin Marshall has requested to step down as the chair (remain a trustee) in the coming 6 Months - we all thank him for his service.

Geoff Lawn is taking the role of Chair with support of the other trustees.

A key task was to recruit new trustees and we have Mukesh joining the board.

Trustee skills audit, training, code of conduct and resident joint events is still an area that requires ongoing attention.


ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT

Due to the increase in the cost of utilities, this has been given a higher focus, all residents have been written to about making savings where possible. We have purchased room thermostats so a visual reminder and actual temp in the room is easily seen.

We aim to have all properties surveyed for EPC and do whatever improvements are available over a planned timescale.

2021

HAPPY XMASS

Mukesh Malhotra 

We are pleased to announce the newest Trustee to the CPG board.

Mukesh, previously Councillor & Deputy Mayor of the London Borough of Hounslow (2017/18), has a Masters Degree in Management & IT, and also holds a specialist qualification of Certified Information Security Manager.

With particular skills and experience in asset allocation and strategy, he has also acted as Chair of a Local Pension Panel which managed a fund selection in excess of £1.2 billion.

He has also presided as Chair to many charities and Third Sector organisations. In his downtime and through his involvement with Hounslow Rotary, Mukesh – impressively, co-founded “Rotary World’s Greatest Meal to Help End Polio” which helped to save over 16.5 Million children from Polio.

As well as his accomplished CV, Mukesh is a proud grandfather of four and enjoys family life with his wife.


Magda 

Magda completed her Doctorate and returned to her native Poland to take up a position as a lecturer.


CENTRAL /

Reorganisation - New Operations Role - Sue increased her responsibility as part of growth restructure. Sue has embraced the new responsibilities alongside her existing duties of property management, Sue will also have administrative support to assist in her role of maintenance in the next 12 months.

New office - as we have the two offices in Haverhill / Ely operational (developed from garages) Cambridge required a workspace as well after the recruitment of a new support worker. As we did not wish to use additional capital expenditure we have used a large room at Cemetery Lodge (leased property from Camb City Council) after some initial resident resistance the office is establishing itself.

OCCUPANCY

The year has ended with occupancy at 96%

VOID NIGHTS 797 below budgeted 1117

8 New residents joined the service.

6 Residents move on in a positive way 4 to own flat / 2 moved in with long term partners.

2 Residents were evicted (1 positive with Camb City Council due to high needs)

1 Unknown

1 Deceased


ROPERTY 58 Beds

We finalised the sale of the freehold on 418a which added £30k to the charities funds and released us from the ongoing duties of managing the site / property. The company that was formed PHMS has now been closed and all liabilities settled.

Flat 1 GER - We had difficulty letting this property as the layout was very poor. We have invested £15,000 in remodelling the flat to have a completely different layout that will enable us to rent out much easier and with greater resident comfort, due to be let in April 22

31 Primary Court - This property became vacant, and as part of the disposals plan was put up for sale, Sale completed and returned £268000. Property was purchased in 2007 for £160000, in the 14 years owned approx £145600 was achieved in rental income.

217 The Rowans has been licenced as a HMO and an additional bed space created.

Mildenhall Property / Expansion Purchase of 6 bed house to be used as a HMO.

109 Crowland Road - Ongoing discussions with Havebury after a failed attempt at purchase to Lease the property instead - this is now looking positive and moving ahead slowly

1,6,7 The Pightle - A private landlord is wishing to sell dispose of his 3 HMOs which are of a very poor standard - after inspection / due diligence - Common ground could not be found.


COVID 19

Overall by complying with best practice and implementing different strategies with staff team and resident group I feel we fared very well compared to some organisations. Loan repayments on the £50,000 bounce back loan have started and are being managed well.

2020

A very sad event in December 2020 

Police investigating the death of a woman in Ely are no longer treating it as a murder.

A young person was found dead at her home in High Barns, Ely, on the afternoon of Tuesday, December 1 after police were called following reports of concern for a woman.

Following police enquiries and a post mortem examination. The young womans death is no longer being treated as suspicious, however, an investigation into what happened continues.

Detective Inspector Dale Mepstead, who is investigating, said: “After a thorough investigation and post mortem results, we are no longer treating this as a murder investigation.

COVID 19 - Lockdown / Zoom / Jab 

How all these new words came into our general language...

COVID 2020 ONWARDS MORE LIKE

ZOOM HATS TO BREAK THE ICE

WE LISTENED 

WE BROUGHT TOILET ROLLS 

February 2020

The Cambridge Pringle Group would like to extend our gratitude to the Suffolk County Council and Councillor Paula Fox for the £500 locality grant towards non disposable items, including pots & pans, baking trays, duvet quilts & bedding, bedside lamps, plates, bowls, cups & cutlery to help towards welcome packs/items for our residents 

Dec 2020 

Locality grant of £2000

Again so many thanks for SCC for the monies - we purchased tablets for our houses so that during the periods of lockdown we could communicate via Zoom / facetime with residents. Picture is of a pre lock down visitor enjoying Peppa Pig.

SCREWFIX GRANT!


Well done to Lydia for applying and getting a £5000 grant towards a new kitchen for one of our Ely properties. Many thanks go to the Screwfix foundation.

2019

Dr Ronald Ryall, 22 July 1933 – 13 December 2019

Ron was one of the founding members of Cambridge Pringle Group.

Dr Ronald Ryall, Emeritus Fellow and a specialist in pharmacology and neuroscience, died on 13 December 2019.

Ron Ryall first joined the College as a Teaching Fellow specialising in Pharmacology from 1973 until his retirement in 1999, when he was elected an Emeritus Fellow in recognition of the contributions he had made. He was the author of important work on the neurological effects of pharmaceuticals. The textbook, Mechanisms of drug action on the nervous system, first published in 1979 by Cambridge University Press, with a second, revised edition in 1989, considered the effects on the central and peripheral nervous systems of a set of drugs used for such conditions as schizophrenia and depression.

Haverhill man in supported housing angered by charity's decision to evict him and turn his home into offices

 By Steve Barton - steve.barton@iliffepublishing.co.uk

 Published: 09:32, 27 September 2019  | Updated: 09:33, 27 September 2019

A man with mental and physical health needs says he is facing potential homelessness because of the ‘morally reprehensible’ decision by his landlord – a charity – to evict him and turn his home into its office.Mike Watkins has for the past 18 months lived in a three-bedroom house in Burton End, Haverhill, that is owned and provided for supported housing by the charity Cambridge Pringle Group (CPG).“They want to turn my home into offices, which is I suppose legal but morally reprehensible,” said Mike.Mike Watkins has lived in the sheltered housing provided by the Cambridge Pringle Group for 18 months but has been given notice to move out by October 18 because the charity wants to use the house as an office. Picture by Mecha Morton“They are not offering me anything else.“Therefore (after October 18) I’m the responsibility of the council or I’m in the gutter.”The charity’s primary aim, according to its own website, is ‘promoting independence in mental health by the provision of specialist housing and services’.Mr Watkins, 47, says he received a no fault eviction notice in early August to move out of the property, where he is now the only remaining occupant after the departure of the other two tenants to different accommodation.
The charity, he said, initially gave him until September 27 to find another place to live, a date that had since been extended to October 18.Mike has been on medication for anxiety and depression for six years and is currently using morphine and codeine to manage the pain caused by a fractured vertebrae he suffered in his neck, for which he is seeing a trauma consultant at West Suffolk Hospital on October 11.He cannot drive because he is using morphine and says he needs to stay either in Haverhill or Bury St Edmunds.Although he is registered in the priority band with the Homelink service, which is a choice-based a letting scheme for all affordable housing owned by councils and other registered providers in west Suffolk and Cambridgeshire, properties do not come up very often and he has no certainty of finding a new home before his eviction.

IN SHORT 

CPG is now a Member of The Almshouse Association(TAA)

- We feel that the ideology of TAA mirrors our own view of localism - local charities for local beneficiaries run by local trustees. 

We are loving the stained glass window commissioned from gypsy_glassdesigns@yahoo.co.uk 

Positive day at Haverhill Health Fair, lots of contacts made and issues raised concerning Well Being in Haverhill, nice chat with Matt Hancock who thanked us for the work we do. 

Haverhill Echo

John Durrant, general manager of Newmarket homeless charity Open Door has died after a brief battle with cancer. He was 64. 


We did mean to do this...

MARCH 2019

A year ago we set up a VASP Group (Voluntary and Statutory Partnership for Mental Health) in Haverhill.  We are proud to say this has proven to be very successful allowing us to work together within the community to try to overcome some of the constant barriers that we all face as professionals, carers and service users.  There is still a lot more work to do but there is also some fantastic work already being done within the town; One Haverhill/The Town Council, Haverhill's Library, Open Space, Life Link, St Nicholas Hospice, Community Action Suffolk, Dementia Alliance, REACH and Open Mind with the Methodist are just a few organisations doing their best to promote well-being and supporting people with Mental Health - Massive thanks for your ongoing dedication, together we can make a difference!!

2018 

November 2018

Case Study N

N had suffered a significant bereavement and was staying with friends when N decided that life was not living, drug misuse and an underlying Mental Illness were also making things more difficult to manage.

N spent a month in a psychiatric ward and was discharged to a Pringle Property. After a difficult and rocky few months N started to trust and engage with the CPG team.

I am pleased to say that N has just moved into a Housing Association flat of her own in Cambridge, N is working (part time) and has a supportive partner.

N made the difficult decisions and did the hard work, CPG is pleased to have been able to assist.

New PPE Issued - Its been very very HOT! summer.

It may look like a shed (it is a shed) but it is a resident / CPG funded creative environment! (yes to keep paint of the walls of the house)

June 18

Time to Change 

July 2018 

We were able to get a grant to use ART as a medium for discussion about mental health.

Time to change..

June 2018 

We were able to get a grant to offer Drumming Around sessions  as a vehicle for discussion about mental health.

Picture from Mayors FB Page.

 

January 2018 New Property In Haverhill.

The 6 bed property is the latest addition to the other 4 houses, this brings the total bed spaces to 21. 

"Rowans" will be the intake house allowing assessment and getting to know the CPG staff, once settled residents are suitably moved to one of our other long term properties (or outside CPG if more appropriate).

We have two satellite offices on site.

MILTON ANNEX   Made It!  - Feb 2018

After almost 2 years (one in waiting for planning application to be processed) the Annex was completed.  A single garage was 'grown' into a one bed self contained "bungalow" with services and shared utilities with main property. The whole concept was for a local resident who has physical / learning disabilities and has partial sight. To see his smile when I visited after he moved in was priceless.

2017

September 2017

Appointment of Joint Chief Executives from 1 September 2017. 

I am pleased to tell you that the Board has decided to promote Antony Cullup to Joint Chief Executive, responsible for Operations as from 1 September 2017. From the same date, Rob Powell also becomes Joint Chief Executive remaining responsible for finance and as Company Secretary. They will share responsibility for important matters concerning the whole of the Pringle Group in making recommendations to the Board. 

We wish Antony and Rob well in their new roles. 

On behalf of CPG Board

Colin Marshall Chairman. 

June 2017

Dear Residents,

In light of the horrific fire in London this week, I would like to reassure you that we take fire safety with the utmost importance. Our Annual budget for fire protection is £8500 (over 14 sites) this includes the Risk Assessments, alarm, blankets + extinguisher servicing.

Annually we use David Robertson, in a consultancy basis to complete our Risk Assessments and he gives us a list of works / actions required. David is an ex Fireman with 20+ years service.

CPG feels that using an external company is the best for residents and the organisation. All residents are welcome to have a copy upon request.

April 2017

New Employees

We have some rooms / property that we rent out as a commercial activity. The income we receive is ring fenced to pay for One Housing / Support worker and a modern apprentice. The two new roles are based in Haverhill and will be delivering support and activates alongside general housing duties.


2016 

Haverhill Weekly News 11/8/2016 

OPEN DAY AT 107 2nd AUGUST 2016

Cambridge Pringle Group welcomed Mayor David Roach to the opening of its latest House Of Multiple Occupation (HMO)In Haverhill.

 

Manager Antony Cullup said "We provide accommodation for adults who have low level mental health issues - one of our long term residents was a school teacher who had a breakdown following his divorce and struggles day to day with coping".

Jo Streeton Senior Worker at Haverhill " this is our 4th house in Haverhill, the staff team and residents are local people. 

I have grown up seeing the need for services like ours locally" CPG can be contacted on 01440 713133

2015

Summer - Our development of 9 One bedroom flats is completed, due to the development and close proximity of the new Cambridge North train station the value of the properties soared. The decision was made to sell on the open market and use the revenue to purchase property in Haverhill and Ely.

January - Inquests, 

All 3 verdicts were suicide, CPG staff were commended by the Coroner for going above and beyond what was expected. 

2014

Too late to change our minds now.

January - March 

3 residents committed suicide within a very short time. The loss was terrible to residents and the staff team. The property where all 3 had resided was closed by ourselves.

Investigations and  preparations for Inquests were an appropriate focus of the next 12 months.

CPGs ensured the family's and Coroner were given full access to staff and information.


2013

CPG continued to provide support via a subcontractor BeeSpoke however we didn't take on any new clients.

CPG  applied for planning to build 8 new flats in Milton Road Cambridge. Following approval we started work on demolishing the existing property and work began.

2012

CPG grew and established a well trained committed staff team that provided 3 types of support:

SUPPORT SERVICES    

 RE-TENDERED

In April 2012 the support of service users in Pringle House was awarded to Granta Housing Association (they were taken over by Metropolitan that same day).

6 months later (November 2012) following a second preferred provider tendering process all support in our Home and Community and Complex Cases was passed to the Metropolitan Housing Association.

Prior to this process the staff team numbered approx. 25 full time equivalent. After process we have 4.5 full time equivalent staff.

Jim Ali Patience and Liam some of the team that moved on.

CPG was left reeling and we looked hard at the future direction. We retained a core of dedicated team members who now all work 4 days a week. We continued to provide support via self directed support and privately funded clients.

HAVERHILL 

First Property to be purchased outside Cambridge - one of many we hope.

2011

CPG grew and established a well trained committed staff team that provided 3 types of support:

Oasis - due to changes ahead we had to look for new offices - we soon found them.

2010

SEPTEMBER BBQ - MUCH SILLINESS AND FUN 

July 2010 Derry Murphy  the current Chief Exec of Cambridge Pringle Group passed away after a short Illness.

Company secretary Rob Powell was appointed as Chief Exec.

This was a difficult time for all with 3 new senior staff in post and a staff team mourning the loss of Derry.

In May 2010 Antony Cullup was appointed General Manager. 


2009

In 2009 Colin Marshall became the Chairman of the Board following on from Dr Ron Ryall who had served for almost 15 years. 

Block of Flats In Chesterton Purchased.

Dr Ron Ryall 

Colin Marshall 

1986 -2001

PRINGLE HOUSE HOLIDAY 2001 We are off to stay at Butlins, the driver it was Mark. We were going to stay at Skeggy, it should be quite a lark. We stopped to have a picnic, so not to be too late. The journey passed by quickly, and soon we reached the gate. We found our rooms and settled, to have a cup of tea We opened up our cases, and hoped to see the sea. And then we went for dinner and off to see a play, And then twas time for bed and begin our holiday. We all went in for breakfast, its only just past dark, Then off to see the seals, and also feed the carp. Saw fish in the aquarium, and spied the butterflies, Had cups of tea and, also, tasty little pies. We walked into the town, just to have a look around Then back again for dinner, and the evening music sound A mystery tour we went upon, and ended up at Louth Then, after drinks and sarnies, we travelled further south. Then games and rides and fantasies the island should deliver And back we go for dinner. I hope it isn’t liver! The fantasies are over- twas nice to have a go; We enjoyed a tasty dinner; went on to see the show. The day we went to Skeggy beach, the sea was cold and grey. The sky was fairly cloudy but it didn’t spoil our day. We played a game of rounders and sat upon the sand, Sue and Jackie paddled, life is really grand. They paddled in the water, and turned their toes quite blue; So back we went for lunches, the bowling alley too. We then all had our dinner and went to The Sixties Show. The next day we were leaving, it’s really time to go; The time it passed by quickly – our holiday gone for us So then we travelled homewards on our rented minibus. We stopped for fish and chips at a café on the way, Then all came back to Pringle – what more is there to say? But thanks to all the people who brought the trip about – It really is a shame that you couldn’t all come out.


Below is one of the first leaflets from 2001

Key Phrase that resonates through the years  "a home for life free from the stressors of the "move on philosophy and the uncertainty of the future.

History and Philosophy of the Cambridge Pringle Group Dr Ryall outlined the history and philosophy of the Charity: Pringle House was opened in 1991, some five years after the original idea was proposed. The model of Pringle House was formulated after a survey of need in the Cambridge area. The need for a home with people with long term mental health problems, preferably for life, was identified. There are a number of homes where the resident moves on after 2 years. There was pressure to develop a small scheme providing independent flats with minimal support.


Size. PH was originally built for 8 residents plus 1 respite bed. The respite bed was underused and expensive to run and eventually converted for permanent use. The 3 rooms in the annex were added in 1997. The maximum number of residents was then increased to 12. With the addition of the room presently used as an office, the maximum number of residents will be increased to 13, providing further financial stability for the Charity.

Client group. The basic criteria for acceptance are at least two years’ mental health illness plus living in a long stay hospital. Not all residents have the same level of ability or competence – it is deliberate policy to choose a spectrum of ability in terms of long-term need. 

With the onset of community care in 1991, the government made a decision to develop re sources within the community for the care of the mentally ill. NSF had the expertise, through our national network of members, to make effective use of these resources. In addition the organis ation was able to capitalise on its volunteer staffing and skills.


By the early 1990s, the NSF had over 6000 members and ran around 150 regional projects in the housing, employment and daycare fields all over the country. An Advice and Advocacy Service was also provided, answering thousands of queries each year on all aspects of the care and treatment of severe mental illness as well as welfare benefits, carers' problems, accommodation, holidays and other related issues. The NSF campaigned vigorously for the rate of mental hospital closures to be slowed to allow for the proper development of community facilities for mentally ill people and for more trained social workers and community psychiatric nurses as well as small domestic-style units for those unable to cope outside hospital. National conferences were held regularly as part of a national and regional programme of training to raise awareness of mental illness. Courses were run for social workers, psychiatrists, GPs, police, and the probation service.



1970's


1975

By October 1975, these local meetings were in successful operation. It was noted that these group meetings were spaces ‘in which problems could be discussed, and members provided with advice, support and mutual companionship


On 6 October 1975, the NSF could claim that it had over 1000 members, reaching nearly 1500 individuals. It was boasted that the Fellowship had members across the UK, in Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic. Talks were even being held to try to set up similar fellowships in New Zealand, Japan and South Africa. By the Annual General Meeting of February 1976, there were sixty local NSF groups established in local districts. The chairman stated his pride that already these groups ‘views and needs were being listened to and even sought after by the staff of the Health and Social Services. Individual members had found that they could offer each other help, advice and mutual companionship which they had often been without for many years. One member was quoted as having stated ‘how marvellous’ the NSF was, claiming ‘I want to jump on my rooftop and shout out that I have schizophrenia in my family after twenty years of isolation. However, it was clear that this was just the beginning and they already had plans to grow their number of sixty support groups. Future plans were not only to increase the number but also to increase the scope of the work of these local groups. The Annual Report identified that ‘the local groups were looking towards an intensification of self-help, befriending, sitting in, arranging holidays and so on…



The NSF National Office was based in Kingston upon Thames. It was supplemented by regional offices and Regional Committees, a Project Committee and a network of over 150 local groups.(CPG was one of those groups) The Groups were run by volunteer Coordinators, mostly relatives caring for an individual suffering from schizophrenia. Local groups met regularly and organised various activities to inform local people, provide support, influence local professionals and liaise with other agencies. The NSF was financed by charitable grants and donations, fund-raising, Local and Health Authority contracts


With the onset of community care in 1991, the government made a decision to develop re sources within the community for the care of the mentally ill. NSF had the expertise, through our national network of members, to make effective use of these resources. In addition the organis ation was able to capitalise on its volunteer staffing and skills.


John Pringle

On 22 July 1970, Pringle wrote to another M.P. and Chairman of the Association of Psychiatric Work (APSW), Mary Lane, again asked for advice, referring to his endeavours to get a ‘self-help group started. Clearly, the desire to create a self-help group came from the feelings of the lack of help available elsewhere,even from existing mental health charitable bodies.

The first exploratory meeting was held on 25 July 1970 John Pringle chaired the meeting, and it was decided that steps should be taken, primarily through advertising, to fnd out how many ‘relatives of schizophrenics and others interested would be prepared to join a Schizophrenia Society, if formed.’

JOHN PRINGLE LETTER

Fifty years ago, one newspaper article changed the way society talks about mental illness and led to the creation of the Cambridge Pringle Group. On the 9th of May 1970, The Times published an anonymous article by John Pringle. In it, he wrote honestly about his experience of caring for his son who had been diagnosed with schizophrenia and how that diagnosis affected the family. The article resonated with hundreds of carers nationwide whose letters flooded in. A community began to grow, and the National Schizophrenia Fellowship was formed.


* This is the original text of the John Pringle letter that was published in 1970. In the fifty years since it was printed, the language used when discussing mental illness has changed and evolved to be less stigmatising and more inclusive.

The scandalous fragmentation of responsibility between local authorities and the hospital service – the one wanting schizophrenics off the rates even at the cost of their occupying expensive N.H.S. beds, the other responsible solely for the medical aspects and unconcerned with any comprehensive after-care – should be ended. A unified national policy is needed."

What is wanted are small residential settlements where their basic needs, including protection from impossible stress, can be provided in a mutually supportive environment. Such homes would be cheaper than a corresponding occupancy of places in mental hospitals with their high medical and other overheads and where any attempt at normal living, to which they pathetically cling, is impossible.


John Pringle came from Cambridge Univerity to work on centimetric airborne radar. His experience as a skilled glider pilot gave him a valuable feel for what could be achieved in the air. He was part of the team that planned electronic countermeasures for the D-Day landings.

Rebecca / Eureka

After the war he returned to Cambridge University as lecturer in zoology.

Prof Sir John William Sutton Pringle FRS
22 July 1912 - 2 November 1982

Pringle was born in 1912, and educated at Winchester College before going up to King's College, Cambridge where he took a first class degree in the Natural Sciences Tripos in 1934.[2] He was appointed Demonstrator in Zoology at the University of Cambridge in 1937, and elected as a Fellow of King's College in 1938, a position he held until 1945; during the Second World War he served with the Telecommunications Research Establishment (TRE), where he and Robert Hanbury Brown invented the Rebecca/Eureka transponding radar. He was awarded an MBE and the American Medal of Freedom in 1945.[2] That same year he returned to Cambridge as Lecturer in Zoology and Fellow of Peterhouse. In 1959 he was appointed Reader in Experimental Cytology. In 1961 he moved to the Linacre Chair of Zoology at Merton College, Oxford.[2]

He was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1954.[1]

In 1946 he married Beatrice Laura Wilson; they had a son and two daughters.[2]