1in4 will be a new name to many, but as “Friend” we’ve been around for over 30 years. Friend was set up in 1981 to support those in the North Somerset area living with mental health challenges.
While we were originally a charity, we also now operate as a limited company, with both our Board of Trustees and Directors divided equally between service users and external managers, informing our work and guiding our principles.
At first we operated simply as a drop in facility for local people, but have steadily increased and broadened what we offer – developing a comprehensive range of holistic, information resource and advocacy services. Today we are a major provider of mental health support locally, trusted both by service users and by the many health organisations that signpost patients towards us.
Since 1987 Friend has been located in Oxford Street, Weston-super-Mare and – early in 2002 – Friend Ltd was asked to consider taking on the management of Touchstone, a service user led group in Clevedon. Our Clevedon Centre now operates from 67-69 Old Street having expanded the original resource centre. Each centre offers some services that are specific, while the majority of services are available in both centres.
In late 2014, the decision was made to take our work to the next level: refurbishing our premises in both Weston-super-Mare and Clevedon, offering an even larger range of activities and support groups… and re-branding ourselves as “1in4”.
Our staff team currently numbers ten, including Mental Health Recovery Workers, Mental Health Advocates, a Counselling Supervisor and Finance and Administrative staff. We also work with a wide range of other specialists, community groups and volunteers to broaden our service and maximise the activities we can offer on the funds we have available.