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Reception for Next Step team

Saturday, 17 March 2018 15:00

The Mayor and Mayoress hosted a reception for staff from Next Step, part of mental health services in the Department of Health and Social Care, on Friday March 16, during which they were given a tour of the council chamber.


AGroup ASC3971 MediumThe Mayor and Mayoress with Carl Devereau, Phil Cleary, David Kinrade, Cliona Grace and Vivien Dawson



 Next Step and Brunswick Gardens are community-based mental health facilities managed under the Community Wellbeing Service.  The targeted provision is for service users with mild to moderate mental health needs. The philosophy developed by the team over the years states:


'We believe that promoting independence and providing opportunities to develop life skills is an important element in the rehabilitation process.


'We believe active client participation is essential to the process of restoring confidence, self-esteem and sense of identity.'


Next Step is based in Derby Square and the therapeutic garden project is on the Brunswick Gardens site, both in central Douglas.


These services offer a variety of structured activities with a focus on building skills and confidence so that service users can engage with educational options, employment opportunities or community projects. The project has links with the Disability Employment Service, the Isle of Man College and other employers and voluntary agencies.


Next Step was established by former Manager, Vivien Dawson, who spearheaded the move from a hospital based Industrial Therapy unit to a community based service in the early 1990s. Vivien retired from working full-time at Next Step seven years ago but remained on as a relief member of staff until last year.  Vivien’s late husband Tom Dawson was responsible for establishing the therapeutic garden project on the Brunswick Gardens site.


Tom worked as part of the Next Step team from late 2000 until his death in 2011. Tom’s work in establishing the therapeutic garden site is regarded as a minor miracle, without any established budget, workforce, machinery or tools, Tom was able to call in favours and through sheer will and determination make the site safe for client access and continue to transform the once derelict plot into a tranquil, picturesque haven.


Mike Horne joined the team as Gardening instructor before Tom’s death, introducing bee keeping and willow weaving among many other ideas.  Mike retired in July 2017 and now volunteers at Brunswick Gardens as site apiarist.


Next Step is part of the Community Wellbeing Service and is directly line managed by Julie Bennion (Manager Community Wellbeing Service).


The Next Step staff team consists of Cliona Grace (Manager Next Step), Jayne Royle (Deputy Manager Next Step) as well as Community Support workers Emma Birch and Philip Cleary.


Brunswick Gardens is run by the Technical Instructor team of Carl Devereau (Woodwork Instructor) and David Kinrade (Gardening Instructor).


Cliona developed the Information Technology suite and computer training options - Next Step currently has a comprehensive IT department offering training to service users of all levels and abilities, with onward routes into education and employment.


Jayne Royle has a long career in mental health, having started in 1993 worked in the kitchens on-site at Ballamona, subsequently working as healthcare assistant in Ard Aalin and latterly as the Activities Coordinator for Grianagh Court. Jayne joined the Next Step team as art and craft instructor in 2011.


Emma has worked in mental health for over ten years and Philip has a background in catering and latterly in healthcare, both are passionate about enabling service users to access employment and educational options and bring a diverse skill set to their roles. While Emma has been part of the Next Step team over the years since the late 2000s, she and Philip have only recently joined the Next Step team as Community Support Workers.  


Carl has been with the team for over ten years and has a background in carpentry, he is a time-served joiner with a wealth of skills and knowledge and the enthusiasm to share these skills with service users. Carl has been instrumental over the years in facilitating a number of service users back into employment.


David Kinrade has a wealth of horticultural and agricultural experience which he has brought to the role of Gardening Instructor on-site. While David is new to the team, he has worked for the Department of Health and Social Care for over ten years and has introduced some ingenious ideas to the horticultural side of the gardens project.