Our News

There are so many wonderful things that happen at Motivated Minds, and here are just a selection of good news stories of the amazing work that takes place in our community. 



   Motivated Minds are a lifelong wellbeing provider who believe in supporting people of all ages and giving them various tools to live healthier and happier lives.  

tumblr photo
Posted 4 weeks ago
tumblr photo
Posted 4 weeks ago

Top tips to help you cope with Lockdown 2.0

1) Try to keep to a routine

Get up at the same time each morning and go to bed at the same time each night. This is important because we generally function better with routine and structure in our lives. If the world around us is chaotic we can feel out of control – so setting a routine will help to counteract that.

2) Learn something new…

Most people learnt to make banana bread in the first lockdown. For some reason it was very popular. So why not learn to cook something different this time? You could learn to cook a new evening meal or get ahead and find some Christmas treats to make early. You could even incorporate this into a random act of kindness and deliver a treat to someone (in a socially distanced way of course).

3) Get active

Many of us know the importance of daily exercise. This lockdown is different because you are allowed to meet a friend for a walk, so why not reach out and meet a friend for a stroll? You’ll get some exercise, fresh air and companionship all at the same time!

Not a fan of walking? No problem! Many people who offer classes are putting them online – so now that we all know what we are doing with Zoom you can find a class to suit you and work out from home!

4) Stay connected 

We may not be able to see our friends and loved ones in person, but we can keep in contact by skype, telephone, Facetime or Zoom. They aren’t quite as daunting as you may think, so make it your mission to let technology connect you and get back in touch with the people that matter most. Although it isn’t the same as being together, it is the next best thing. You could organise a
games night? Bingo works well over Zoom – one of team members said they had a game of Pictionary online one time! Be creative, what have you got to lose?

5) Limit how much news you watch and how much you go on social media. 

If you find it depressing to keep on watching the news – don’t do it. If you go on social media just skip over the posts that make you feel down. If you are reading this you are likely to already be on #TeamMotivated so check out the other positive posts that we have.

6) Schedule in some quality time

If you are isolating within a household use this time to have some quality time
together. Be it a games night, movie night or music night. You know the things that you all enjoy doing, but never have time to do together. Well, now is your
opportunity. After the first lockdown you will have a much better idea of what
works within your household. But remember that it is equally as important is to
have some space on your own. This will help stop you from getting on each other’s nerves!

Be aware that this can be a flashpoint for relationships – so try to be kind to each other and have patience. No one wants life to be like this, but if we all want to come out of it the other side it has to be this way for a while. Give each other space when required and support when that is needed.

Posted 31 weeks ago

A British Citizen Award for our Managing Director, Carla.

We are incredibly proud to announce that our Managing Director, Carla Andrews, is to be presented with a British Citizen Award, an honour in recognition of her hard work and commitment to the health and wellbeing of others. 

Carla founded Motivated Minds in 2010 to challenge the stigma attached to mental health, and provide meaningful tools and guidance to empower local people to create positive change in their lives. However, Motivated Minds wasn’t always the successful non-profit business you see today; Carla has fought through years of hardship to build a vibrant, sustainable service supporting thousands of local people along the way.

It is her compassion and determination that drives Motivated Minds forward enhancing the lives of those we work with and this recognition is very gratefully received.

Posted 48 weeks ago

We are excited to say that we have moved into our new Happy Hub in Eastgate Shopping Centre, Basildon! We are on the look out for volunteers to help run the Hub and coordinate wellbeing activities, and skilled professionals to help renovate the space ready for use too!

Our Managing Director, Carla, said “our amazing team of volunteers have done an incredible job of cleaning, and painting the space, but with some more profound work still needed, we are looking for skilled professionals that might be able to lend a hand, or businesses that can donate items for the Hub.”

She continued “We have already had an amazing offer for support to install a new kitchen which we hope will go through, but with so much still to do we would like to invite tradesmen to pop in and get involved in our wonderful community project”

The unit that was previously occupied by Trespass, an outdoor clothing store, is being transformed into our new Basildon Happy Hub and will be open for wellbeing activities such as meditation, positive mental health courses and youth support. There will be private counselling rooms available, a community cafe area, and an upstairs conference space for courses and networking events, but it is first in need of a face lift.

As well as volunteer tradesmen we are looking for general help to run the shop and coordinate wellbeing activities.

If you are interested in volunteering call Carla on 07846 209846 or email carla@motivated-minds.co.uk. If you would like to make a donation to support our new Happy Hub visit: https://localgiving.org/charity/motivatedminds/project/HAPPYhub/

Posted 49 weeks ago

Men’s Health Week 2020

Men’s Health Week is celebrated annually during the week leading up to Father’s Day to raise awareness of health issues that predominantly affect men, and this year the focus is around managing men’s mental health during Covid-19. 

This year’s campaign comes at a time where many are struggling from social isolation, and a complete break in routine, and we want men to know that their mental health really matters, especially in times of crisis!

Male suicide is being described as a ‘silent epidemic’ and is the highest cause of the death in men under 45, and Carla Andrews, our Managing Director, said mental health services must become more appealing to men if they are to successful engage with them and save lives.

She continued “men and women cope with stress very differently, and a lot of traditional 'talking therapies’ are naturally suited more to women who often feel more comfortable opening up about their mental health.”

She added “We have specific services at Motivated Minds like our MEN'd programme that appeals more to men, and creates a supportive working environment, and we want men to know they don’t have to suffer in silence.”

To commemorate Men’s Health Week, we sent three large HAPPY Boxes for 150 workers at Basildon Borough Council to remind the male workforce that their mental health matters. Each box contained fruit, chocolate treats and Coronavirus Wellness Journals full of practical tips to manage stress and anxiety during uncertain times. 

If you would like to order a workplace wellness delivery you can get in touch with Carla at Motivated Minds on 07846 209 846, or email carla@motivated-minds.co.uk

Posted 52 weeks ago

Computers donated to help families home-school

With one in three children owning their own tablet, online learning platforms are getting more popular and schools have been relying on them throughout the lockdown to help parents home school. However, with 4 million children predicted to be living in poverty, the assumption that a child has access to a tablet or laptop to work from is a big one!

At Motivated Minds we are supporting the most vulnerable members of the community during these trying times and are supporting countless families through our emergency food bank, and we were elated to receive a donation of computers from Clear Thinking IT for families that need them.

Managing Director, Carla Andrews said “ Technology is a wonderful way for children to stay connected and access important school lessons, and everyone should have the opportunity to participate in meaningful home-schooling during the current lockdown. When we received a call to say that seven refurbished computers were being donated, we were over the moon, as we know that for some, the purchase of such equipment is impossible”.

Carla continued “These computers have gone to very worthy homes and have made the lockdown a little less stressful for those families, and we cannot express our gratitude enough for this kind donation.”

The Motivated Minds emergency food bank in Laindon is at King Edward Community Centre, and is open on Monday, Wednesday from 3pm - 6pm. For more information call Carla on 07846 209846, or visit www.motivated-minds.co.uk.

Posted 53 weeks ago

“...it has changed my life.”

Losing a spouse is devastating, but when Lindsey lost her Husband last year after just a short illness, her world understandably crumbled. She had suffered with PTSD and anxiety for 14 years (which followed trauma in her mid 20’s) and just like the perfect storm, her health erupted into an inconceivable crisis that left her suicidal and at the lowest point in her life. 

Suicide was responsible for the death of 6,507 people in UK in 2018, and as Lindsey looks back on a time that could have seen her life reduced to just another statistic, she reflects on what she has learned with her newly found passion for life. She said “I understand that I may still have dark days, and I need to keep myself safe during these times and remember that tomorrow is another day.”

But Lindsey’s journey away from death’s door hasn’t been easy. After an 8 weeks stay at Basildon Mental Health Unit she was diagnosed with Clinical Depression and discharged after making ‘sufficient progress’, but she had to return to her matrimonial home with very little support around her and was still suffering intensely with her mental health and isolation. 

She recalls “Following my discharge from the unit I was assigned a Care Worker and was able to move back to my home where Paul and I lived, but with no family around me I continued to struggle with negative thoughts and finding a purpose in living.”

She continued “I was given a leaflet about Motivated Minds and the Happy Hub based in Basildon, and after 3 weeks I found the courage to visit.  This was very stressful for me but the best decision I made as it has changed my life.”

Since visiting the shop and meeting the team, Lindsey hasn’t looked back. She is now a valued volunteer helping countless other people on their journey through recovery.  She added “Motivated Minds have given me a purpose to live, given me the opportunity to rebuild my confidence and find out who I am, and motivated me to stay active too”

Carla Andrews, Managing Director said “Volunteering is such a great way of rebuilding your life after a stumble, but Lindsey has overcome so much more than just that, she has built herself up from rock bottom and is an absolute inspiration to the people we support.”

Carla continued, “for Lindsey, our Happy Hub is a safe space that helped her recovery and has given her back her fighting spirit, but for us she is a vital piece of our puzzle and gives real hope to those in a dark place. She is committed, hard working, and a wonderful character bringing joy to our Hub. That’s the beauty of volunteering, everyone benefits, and the positive ripples it creates changes lives!”

Volunteers’ Week is an annual celebration of the contribution millions of people make across the UK through volunteering and takes place every year between 1-7th June. If you would like to volunteer with Motivated Minds get in touch with Carla on 07846 209846. From tradesmen to help renovate their new Happy Hub in Eastgate, to volunteer counsellors, and Walk 4 Wellness leaders, they have a role for everyone.

Posted 54 weeks ago

“When someone says 'Jo what you said has really helped me', it still astonishes me”

As well as the emotional challenges that raising a family brings, stay at home Mum, Jo, found herself needing to overcome an unhealthy dependency on alcohol, but with 24% of adults in England and Scotland regularly drinking over the recommended guidelines, Jo wasn’t alone. She recognised that she needed to take control of the problem before it completely took control of her, and after receiving help from several agencies she completely turned her life around.

However her journey had left her feeling battered and bruised and she admits feeling like her mental health took a hit from years of turmoil. Whilst feeling more stable, she soon found herself in a mundane cycle of school runs, housework and food preparation and now with a clear head, her sobriety left her with a thirst for life.

Whilst research suggests that stay at home parents are more likely to report depression than their employed counterparts, finding work that fits in around childcare can be problematic, and that’s why Jo decided to look for a voluntary role that would complement her family arrangements, not challenge them, and help her to finally move away from her demons.

She said “I had worked up to being 4 years sober when I decided I wanted more for myself so I hunted out some volunteer work. I searched through various organisations and came across Motivated Minds, I thought ‘brilliant that’s a bit of me’ especially considering they were offering all the help I had just been receiving and more.”

She recalls “I was so nervous on my first day, I could only muster up the courage to serve teas and coffees to the staff members, but slowly I took on extra work.”
Despite her evolving role, there was still one thing that Jo couldn’t do, and that was drive. But over time it became increasingly apparent that this was a much needed role, so she saved up enough money to complete an intensive week long course and took her theory test too. She failed her first theory but didn’t let it get her down, she said “I had been trying to learn to drive since I was 18, but this time I had a real purpose and motivation to try again as I knew passing my test would make a huge difference to my role at Motivated Minds.”

Jo soon passed her theory and practical test and to this day being a volunteer driver is proving vital to Motivated Minds as she currently collects food donations for their food bank at least twice a week. 

But driving is just one of the many personal goals that Jo has achieved since volunteering at Motivated Minds. In 2018 she joined the team in Wales to climb Mount Snowdon after months of training and emotionally preparing for such a big challenge. She said “Climbing that mountain was the most physically and mentally challenging thing I had been through (apart from getting sober). Climbing this mountain was more than just walking up a hill for me, it was the most special, amazing, liberating feeling standing at the top of the mountain….AMAZING !!”

After the challenge Jo returned to Essex with a new sense of confidence and pride which has since enabled her to participate in long distance learning. Despite 'failing’ school, she has now completed a Level 3 in Mental Health and Level 2 in Understanding Autism, Challenging Behaviour and Mentoring, which has not only helped within her voluntary role, but because both her children are autistic, she has grown as a parent too which has had a positive impact on her home life. 

Not content with all that she had achieved, the sky really was the limit as Jo made the bold decision to take on a skydive raising over £200 for Motivated Minds whilst falling fearlessly from a great height! Carla Andrews, Managing Director of Motivated Minds said “Jo has made a spectacular transition from stay at home Mum shackled to modern day unhealthy coping strategies, to a courageous individual inspiring others to reach new heights.”

She continued “not only am I incredibly grateful to Jo for her hard work and dedication but I’m very proud to have had the privilege of being part of her journey. At Motivated Minds we want to see people overcome barriers and achieve great things, and Jo has done this in abundance. She is a real inspiration, and her journey has only just begun!”.

Jo now leads a weekly support group called 'A Cup Of Kindness’ which is followed by a craft class delivered by her Mum who is always there for moral support - which Jo admits helps a lot with her anxiety. She said “I get a lot from helping and relating to others, I have been there so I know how it feels and I want to be a wellbeing champion who whole-heartedly believes in people.”
She added “I still to this day find it strange when someone says 'Jo what you said has really helped me’, it still astonishes me.”

Carla concluded “Jo has been at Motivated Minds for nearly 3 years and has taken her voluntary role by storm. While some give a little, Jo has given everything, and this has transformed her life. All we can do is provide opportunities for our team to grow, develop, and meet new people along the way, it is Jo’s passion and drive that has led her to get the most from volunteering with us, and we look forward to more life changing successes over the coming years.”

Jo added “I owe a lot to Carla for seeing so much potential in me, she sees more than just my diagnoses, and sees beyond my past, she has always just treated me with kindness and respect. She helped me realise that I have the tools, I just needed the help to find them and to be shown the ability to use them and I haven’t stopped since”

Volunteers’ Week is an annual celebration of the contribution millions of people make across the UK through volunteering and takes place every year between 1-7th June. If you would like to volunteer with Motivated Minds get in touch with Carla on 07846 209846. From tradesmen to help renovate their new Happy Hub in Eastgate, to volunteer counsellors, and Walk 4 Wellness leaders, they have a role for everyone.

Posted 54 weeks ago

Life After Lockdown

It’s been 9 weeks since Boris Johnson announced a national lockdown and just as light appears at the end of the Covid-19 tunnel, it seems that the positive news is curiously having a detrimental effect on people’s mental health and wellbeing.

Although the UK watched on for weeks as other countries tackled the pandemic ahead of us, nothing could quite prepare us for the harsh reality of a national lockdown. What followed Boris’ announcement on the 23rd March was weeks of fear, anxiety, and a drastic change to life as we knew it. 

Schools closed, businesses closed unless they were deemed as ‘essential’, shopping was rationed, and homes were on lockdown only leaving for an hours exercise per day. 

We missed birthdays, funerals, and stood on our doorsteps in solidarity at 8pm every Thursday to thank our keyworkers who were keeping the UK afloat. We always knew it wouldn’t last, yet the fear of returning to 'normality’ seems to be filling people with more dread than the news of the lockdown itself! But after weeks of adjusting to a new 'safer’ way of living, is it any surprise?

Any kind of withdrawal or isolation is likely to result in a loss of confidence as we become unfamiliar with what once was the norm. Weeks of watching how the virus (that has now been attributed to over £37k deaths in the UK) can be avoided by staying safe at home has been entirely flipped upside down as we venture back out supposedly safe in the knowledge that there is now room in hospital should we fall sick. 

Whilst inevitable, this transition for many is daunting and playing havoc with anxiety levels. Whilst some are flocking to open spaces to enjoy the outside for the first time since the social restrictions were in place, others stay safe behind closed doors too terrified to undo the good that has taken place so far. Whilst the journey towards life after lockdown will be unique for everyone, one thing we can agree on is that we must all somehow take a step in the right direction.

Photo credit: Your Southend News and Media Website

Because some have been seriously affected by the pandemic, whilst others may have found working from home and enjoying a slower pace of life a welcome change, we want to bridge the gap and ensure everyone transitions safely. To do this, our Therapeutic Lead, Sarah, has devised a short, snappy introduction to Managing Anxiety that she will be delivering online next month to help anyone feeling overwhelmed about the post lockdown transition. This free 3-week course will take attendees through coping strategies, and techniques to combat anxiety and improve wellbeing.

Our first course has already had a great response, but if you could benefit from support for your anxiety, or you know someone who could, please do get in touch. We have a handy Coronavirus Wellness Journal available too which also has handy hints to keeping safe and well during the current climate. 

However quickly you get to life after lockdown, however bumpy your path is, we are here to make it that little but smoother.

Posted 55 weeks ago

01268 520 785 / admin@motivated-minds.co.uk

HAPPY Hub, Eastgate Shopping Centre, Basildon, Essex, England.

Motivated Minds Trading as Wellbeing 4 Life CIC. Company No.: 9423090 © 2019

VAT Reg. No. 337  7894 47