Daniel Zeichner, MP for Cambridge has visited Lifecraft, a local mental health support organisation, to congratulate them on their recent ‘Outstanding’ rating by S.U.N network. During the visit, Mr Zeichner talked with staff and users about their experiences at Lifecraft and their concerns for the future of mental health provision in Cambridgeshire.
Lifecraft is a user-led organisation that is providing mental health support for adults predominantly in Cambridgeshire, but also in the Peterborough and Newmarket areas. The organisation offers a wide range of free mental health services to help and support their members in their wellbeing and recovery.
The organisation was inspected in December 2018 by S.U.N and was awarded the maximum of 4 stars – Outstanding. S.U.N is an independent body that evaluates mental health and drug and alcohol services across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.
Daniel Zeichner says, “I have been engaged with Lifecraft for many years and have always been impressed with the approach they take to support and include users. I am delighted that their good practices have been recognised by S.U.N with their decision to award Lifecraft ‘Outstanding’. It’s clear that Lifecraft has made a real and positive impact for their users and we need to ensure that they are given the resources they need to let them continue doing their good work.”
“For far too long, mental health has been a stigmatised issue, but people increasingly understand and care about the need for good mental health provision. I will continue to support organisations like Lifecraft in Cambridge, and also continue to push the national government to invest the resources needed to provide good mental health and wellbeing services.”
“I would like to congratulate Lifecraft for their recent and well deserved rating award and very much hope that users will continue to be able to benefit from Lifecraft well into the future.”
Lifecraft currently receives funding from Cambridgeshire County Council, which enables them to deliver a large part of their services. Cambridgeshire County Council has recently gone out to tender for Mental Health and Wellbeing services, with a view that a new single provider will deliver county wide services. This may result in Lifecraft seeing an end to £43,000 in funding a year, which if not replaced will put the long-term operational viability of the organisation at risk.
Mr Zeichner has expressed his concern to Cambridgeshire County Council about the impact for the local community if Lifecraft were to reduce services as a result of limited funding. The tender process is ongoing.
Andrew Deller, Lifecraft Manager, said: “Lifecraft’s groups and activities are hugely valued by those with mental health needs, and for many of our members Lifecraft’s services are an important part of maintaining their wellbeing, week on week. Our services have been held in high regard by GPs and health service professionals and it is difficult to understand why, with the Government’s declared priority for mental health investment, small charities such as ours should be at risk in any way.”