Frank Bruno opens newest mental health and wellbeing centre
The Keystone Mental Health & Wellbeing Hub in Blackbird Leys East Oxford has celebrated its official gala opening thanks to boxing legend Frank Bruno MBE.
Former WBC Heavyweight Champion Frank Bruno’s trademark laugh could be heard ringing out around the Keystone Mental Health & Wellbeing Hub and The Frank Bruno Centre, Oxford Stadium, as he opened the centre joined by members of the local community, NHS and charity partners and representatives from the stadium and local dignitaries.
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 local people.
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 be linked to local GP surgeries and work alongside the Frank Bruno Foundation and Oxford Stadium.
Capable of working with up to 2,000 people each month, the charity’s Oxford base will be home to the Keystone Mental Health & Wellbeing Hub for Blackbird Leys and East Oxford, and deliver funded non-contact boxing programmes and wrap-around care services to anyone experiencing mental ill health.
Frank Bruno MBE said: “A lot of hard work from our brilliant team has been put in to make sure opening this fantastic new facility for the people of Oxfordshire and its surrounds is possible.
“In partnership with the Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust and Oxford Stadium, we hope to help as many people experiencing ill mental health by providing the support, encouragement and motivation required to succeed.
“We are very grateful to everyone who turned up for the opening and look forward to changing lives through the power of our non-contact boxing programmes.”
Frank took the time to tour the centre, meet members of the hub team and chat to locals as he shared his aspirations to breakdown stigma around mental health and ensure more people feel able to easily access care and support.
Debbie Watson, head of service for adult mental health in Oxfordshire, said: “We’ve set up the Keystone Health & Wellbeing Hub in the heart of the community so we can help remove some of those barriers to people receiving mental health care when they need it. It is such a fantastic opportunity to be able to do it in partnership with the Frank Bruno Foundation and it has been wonderful to open the hub with Frank Bruno and people from the local 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. 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.”
Other provisions at the centre include four activity studios, a coffee shop and fully equipped gym used by the Foundation and out of hours by Blackbird Leys ABC – Oxford’s oldest boxing club.
The club was saved from closure this summer after partnering with the Foundation and Stadium amid plans to regenerate its former base at Blackbird Leys Community Centre.
Kevin Boothby, Oxford Stadium Managing Director, added: “The Frank Bruno Foundation’s Oxford centre will be a significant asset to the community.
“We’re so pleased for everyone connected to the charity that the centre is now up and running and ready to make a positive impact to the lives of people living locally and wider Oxfordshire.
“The transformation since the Foundation first moved in at the beginning of the year has been extraordinary and we feel privileged to be able to give back in this way.”
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Published: 25 November 2022