Boxing legend Frank Bruno MBE to cut ribbon on newest mental health and wellbeing centre
Keystone Mental Health & Wellbeing Hub in Blackbird Leys and East Oxford will be home to a Primary Care Mental Health Team and has been coproduced with people who use mental health services
A state-of-the-art mental health and wellbeing centre championed by Frank Bruno MBE will open this week.
The former WBC Heavyweight Champion will cut the ribbon on the Keystone Mental Health & Wellbeing Hub and the Frank Bruno Foundation Centre at Oxford Stadium on Friday.
The Blackbird Leys and East Oxford hub will be home to a Primary Care Mental Health Team who will take referrals from local GPs and improve mental health care for people in Cowley and Blackbird Leys.
It has been coproduced with people who use mental health services locally.
The team will include local people who have experience of mental health challenges themselves, mental health professionals, psychologists, peer support workers and employment experts. The team will be a collaboration between the NHS and Oxfordshire Mental Health Partnership. It will be linked to local GP surgeries and by working with the Frank Bruno Foundation and Oxford Stadium.
Between Friday and New Year there will be provision for some existing service users and from early 2023 GPs will be able to refer patients into a broad range of services.
The hub forms part of the Frank Bruno Foundation Centre, which is capable of working with up to 2,000 people each month, delivering free non-contact boxing programmes and wrap-around care services to anyone experiencing mental ill health.
Frank Bruno MBE said the launch of the centre, and the hub, have come at a critical time and will help to positively shape the lives of those who enter its doors.
He said: “The launch of our Oxford centre is an important milestone and will ensure thousands more people can develop their self-esteem, confidence, resilience and discipline in a controlled and safe environment.
“Boxing holds the power to inspire positive change to peoples’ lives both professionally and socially. And while significant advances have been made to remove the stigma attached to mental ill health and seeking professional support, we believe more can be done.
“That’s why partnering with Oxford Stadium and Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust is so important. By working together, we can engage new communities and individuals to our life-changing programmes and inspire lasting positive change.
“I feel very privileged to be in a position to support people in need of our help and look forward to opening our Oxford centre.”
Dr Rob Bale, clinical director for Oxfordshire at Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust which operates the county’s mental health services, said: “Keystone Mental Health & Wellbeing Hub Blackbird Leys & East Oxford will make it easier than ever for local people to access support and care close to home so they can thrive in their lives and community.
“The hub will be an exciting collaboration of local people who have experience of mental health challenges themselves, mental health professionals, psychologists, peer support workers and employment experts. The team will be a collaboration between the NHS plus local charities Elmore and Restore as part of Oxfordshire Mental Health Partnership. It will be linked to local GP surgeries and by working with the Frank Bruno Foundation and Oxford Stadium. We will be here to support people when they experience mental health challenges, respond if their care needs change and enable people to stay well.”
Chair of Oxfordshire Mental Health Partnership Chris Keating said: “Supporting someone with their mental health can mean an incredibly broad range of support with many aspects of their life which are impacted or affected by their ongoing mental health challenges. At Oxfordshire Mental Health Partnership we work together, as a partnership of five charitable organisations and the NHS, to support people with mental illness. The hub will further add to the life changing range of services provided by OMHP across the county, bringing even more compassion and care to people in their community.”
Dr David Chapman the Clinical Mental Health Lead at Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire West Integrated Care Board (which is responsible for commissioning and funding of local health and care services) said: “We are delighted the new service will help and care for patients in their local community in East Oxford. We have worked closely with GPs and other health staff and partners to launch the service, which will support patients to get a better experience of their mental health and wellbeing. We thank all involved.”
Other onsite provisions at the Frank Bruno Foundation’s Oxford centre include four activity studios, a coffee shop and a fully equipped gym used by the Foundation and out of hours by Blackbird Leys ABC – the city’s oldest boxing club.
The studios will be available for local tutors and clubs to hire for sessions including yoga, nutrition, dance and fitness. The centre’s launch has also created 10 full-time jobs.
Kevin Boothby, Oxford Stadium Managing Director, added: “The people of east Oxford and its surrounds have been crying out for a facility like this and we believe it will be a great asset to the community.
“I know the Frank Bruno Foundation has gone to great lengths to transform this previously neglected space while the stadium was dysfunctional into a modern, fit-for-purpose, centre where everyone is welcome.
“We’re a community-focused venue and hope this launch can help support those experiencing mental ill health start their road to recovery and a prosperous future.”
The Frank Bruno Foundation aims to improve the mental wellbeing of participants who are facing or in the process or recovering from mental health challenges.
Find out more about The Frank Bruno Foundation.
Find out more about Oxford Stadium.
Find out more about Oxfordshire Mental Health Partnership.
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Published: 22 November 2022