Cholwell Farm Respite Centre

Action to Prevent Suicide CIO (The Farm) will be established to provide a non-medical but therapeutic intervention based on the concept of befriending a fellow human being at risk of suicide. The aim of Action to Prevent Suicide CIO (The Farm) is to alleviate distress and lessen suicidal ideation and therefore the risk of suicide.

The Idea

After nearly two years of engaging over 2500 people in various suicide awareness prevention and intervention initiatives Action to Prevent Suicide CIC have been encouraged to respond to the need of people at risk of suicide and those bereaved to set up a CIO to provide a service of charitable purposes.

We are therefore seeking to set up a separate charity CIO to run a respite centre, in beautiful South Devon, for people who have thoughts of suicide (not in acute crisis). It will provide a local, regional and national place of care for people with these thoughts and the broader community leading towards wellbeing.

Separate but linked CIC & CIO (Charity)

We wish to create a charity as a separate legal entity to the CIC, but who were linked by way of shared trustees/directors (1-2). It would be important to ensure that our charity has a sufficient number of independent trustees/directors to ensure impartiality of decision making and the ability to ratify any conflicts of interest. Funding bodies often require evidence of there being a sufficient number of Independent trustees as part of their grant funding applications.

We have been inspired by three places:

(1) The Maytree in London (this is residential) - see video below
(2) James's Place (non-residential) - see video below
(3) Pieta House in Ireland

We have had discussions with 2/3 organisations and will be collaborating with them over the coming months. We are seeking to provide the best practice from these three organisations.

The Property

We have been offered a 10-acre site which is a small biodynamic farm. The asking price to our proposed CIO charity is £1m with completion July-September 2020. The owner and his 18-year-old who lost his wife and her mother to cancer about 4 years ago, would like to share it with us at reduced market value, to run as a respite centre with other endeavours to support the care of people. The Apricot Centre is nearby run by a friend whose wife is a biodynamic farmer and gardener (which will support us too). Chukumeka Maxwell has worked as a freelance social worker for them.

There is a 4-bedroom farmhouse with 13 solar panels, a hall that can hold 2-30 people a small lake, a well and a shepherd hut. So, the idea is to create a centre in the countryside. This will provide the sanctuary that people with thoughts of suicide will need.

Further down the line. We would like the land and buildings to be cared for environmentally. We would like to put some Geodesic structures on the land and other structures, including Aquaponics horticulture (wildflowers) and growing feeding and selling our own food. We will offer Counselling, meditation, Art Therapy, Eco Therapy, Music Therapy, Soul Therapy and Trauma Release Yoga, with a range of registered and insured therapeutic practitioners. We have a great team of Trustees and supporters, professionals and volunteers. We will also link with the local universities offering placements to the Doctorate Clinical psychology students and social work students.

About The Team

Mr Chukumeka Maxwell will act as interim CEO, whilst we seek out a team. We will have a small team of paid operational colleagues consisting of an operational manager, administration and fund raising and at least 50-75 volunteers initially. Some other services maybe commissioned or purchased from the CIC through the service level agreement. There will be a range of Collaborators, Partners, Sponsors, Supporters, Advisers, Patrons and Ambassadors to help with our mission.

We will be seeking legal and Financial Trustees to make 7 Trustees in total.

All Colleagues and volunteers will be trained in the range of Suicide Prevention and Mental Health courses. Our CIC will continue at this stage be run separately by a service level agreement delivering training and trying to create suicide safer communities.

Meet Chukumeka

Founder & CEO of Action to Prevent Suicide CIC
Founder & prospective interim CEO of Action to Prevent Suicide CIO

Born in London, to African and Caribbean parents, Chukumeka's family emigrated back to Nigeria in 1965, after being in the Biafran civil war he was evacuated to the UK in 1967 as a refugee. He has have also lived in Jamaica and Belize. He schooled at St Michael’s Prep School in Kent and Christ’s Hospital Boarding school in the Sussex. He was privately fostered, living in Felixstowe Suffolk. On leaving school in 1979 he trained in Hotel industry working in 5 star hotels and other venues. In 1986 he opened a delicatessen, which won the best new small business in Kingston in Surrey. In 1988, he expanded into an outside catering business called Tastefully Yours, which was the first Japanese and European outside catering company in the UK.

Retraining, as a holistic Deep Tissue massage therapist in 1991. He studied esoteric philosophy based on the science of the 7 rays of God. He was a volunteer probationary Christian-Buddhist Monk for 4 years. Retraining in 1999 and joining the ambulance service as an assistant paramedic in Slough in Berkshire, He resigned to attend university to read a BSc in Social work graduating in 2007 (2:1 Upper Division). He has been a Criminal Drugs support worker and a Quaker prison Chaplain.

From 2007-2017, he worked for the NHS as a Community Development Worker, Equality and diversity adviser and in Health promotion as a trainer and Health Improvement Specialist. He has co-authored a chapter in a book aimed at GP’s working with mental health (Psychiatry) across different cultures. He is a registered independent HCPC registered Social Worker and a member of the British association of social workers (MBASW).

He is a part-time lecturer at the University of Plymouth, a mentor and a registered deep tissue massage therapist. He is a suicide prevention trainer specialising in Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Trainer (ASIST) and Safe Talk developed by LivingWorks Education. Orchid Community and Associates are organisers of T4T courses in Suicide prevention courses from Livingworks.

Chukumeka is a fellow of the Dartington School of Social Entrepreneurs and brings an energetic focus and a rich tapestry of years of varied lived experience to running Action To Prevent Suicide CIC, working collaboratively, with individuals and organisations. He wants to support all to be the best versions of ourselves, so that we love all kingdoms nature and life joyfully with goodwill in action in service and wellbeing.

Meet Andy Johnson

Chair of Trustees and Director of Action to Prevent Suicide CIC

Andy is an experienced former Senior Police Officer with a demonstrated history of achieving results across the Corporate and Public Sector in the UK, Europe, Africa and the Middle East. My passion is for helping and protecting vulnerable people and communities. He is a skilled negotiator in Hostage and Crisis Intervention and hold a MSc in criminology focused in Community Safety from the University of Leicester.

Meet Belinda Seaward

Belinda lost a close friend to suicide and has given a TEDx talk about her experience. She is a director of Horsemanship for Health UK, a Newton Abbot Community Interest Company that offers equine-guided education, health and well-being courses to support people through mental health challenges. Belinda is a qualified teacher with a degree in Philosophy and Psychology. She has 20 years of teaching, mentoring and facilitating experience. As well as teaching adult groups, she coaches young people in schools. She is trained in suicide first aid with ASIST.

Meet John Woolner

UKCP registered systemic couple and family therapist

In 2000, John qualified with an MSc in systemic psychotherapy, with a distinction for clinical practice. He continues to run a private practice, lecture on the MA and BA Social work programmes at Plymouth University, lecture for the Frontline Social work programme, is a specialist lay member sitting for the Mental Health Review Tribunal service and in practice part-time as a systemic psychotherapist with the NHS in adult mental health.

For the last eighteen years he has been delivering training in systemic theory and practice. This has included training for Relate counsellors, Frontline social work practitioners, junior doctors/psychiatrists, child protection social workers on behalf of the Institute of Family Therapy, and to consultant social workers in local authorities across the UK, adopting the ‘Reclaiming Social Work’ model, on behalf of Morning Lane Associates.

He is very enthusiastic about systems theory as it applies to human relationships, and to exploring interventions that bring about lasting change at the level of meaning and understanding. He considers delivering training to be a two-way process. Learning from each other. Having supervised and provided training for, and facilitated away days for, various organisations – such as Relate, Action against Domestic Violence and Abuse, Force Cancer charity and Family Matters. He has also delivered workshops in creative writing in psychiatric hospitals.

Meet Tina Teague

Managing Director of General Practice Solutions (GPS) – an independent management
consultancy. GPS helps health and social care organisations run more effectively, maximise their resources and respond to changes in the sector.

Before launching GPS, Tina spent 16 years working for the NHS. In that time, she held a range of senior commissioning positions with clinical commissioning groups and primary care trusts. These included the lead commissioner role for cardiovascular disease. Tina also has experience in the acute sector, having carried out strategic operational roles within oncology and cardiology services.

Until July 2019 Tina was Chief Executive of East Devon Health a federation of 13 GP practices, which provides services for 120,000 patients. Furthermore, Tina has developed a professional coaching practice. This experience has provided Tina with a comprehensive understanding of health and social care structures, policies and operations. She has a proven track-record of helping organisations perform better and improve the services they provide to patients. Tina is a self-motivated, confident leader and thrives in a challenging environment qualities that were recognised as she reached the semi-finals of the 2018 Devon and Cornwall Business Mother of the Year Awards.

Meet Derek O'Toole

Derek has served as the Mental Health Commissioning Manager, (South Devon and Torbay CCG) Derek O’Toole LL Masters in Mental Health Law has nearly thirty years’ experience of working within mental health working within both statutory and independent management sectors including the NHS, management consultancy and the Department of Health. He is currently undertaking the role as the strategic commissioning lead for mental health services in South Devon and Torbay and has a strategic role within the STP mental health work stream.

Derek has received national recognition for his work within mental health and the prison service, an e-government national award (2011) and Governmental Minister (Paul Burstow 2011) statements of recognition for the programme’s achievements. Most recent acknowledgement from Norman Lamb (2014) highlighting the work on pre-crisis support and acute care pathway redesign in South Devon and Torbay as being an example of modern innovative practice in commissioning.

Meet Laurie Trounce

Partner at Stephen Scown Law Firm

A South West law firm has recently provided pro-bono legal advice to a Devon-based suicide prevention CIC, to help tackle the crisis across Devon, the South West and further afield. Stephens Scown was approached by Chukumeka Maxwell, CEO of Action To Prevent Suicide CIC, who informed Partner Laurie Trounce and Solicitor Olivia Miller about the scale of the problem across the South West. Suicide remains the biggest killer of young people and particularly men under the age of fifty, but alarmingly two-thirds of victims do not seek support from their GP or health professional. Action To Prevent Suicide’s aim is to train and work in collaborative partnerships, by supporting the establishment of networks of ‘suicide alert helpers’ who offer non-medical interventions to people with thoughts of suicide. Laurie saw a clear overlap with Action To Prevent Suicide’s work and the ethos of Stephens Scown:

"I saw that there were a number of synergies between our two companies, as we have signed the Mindful Employer Charter and are working to promote positive mental health and increase our awareness of mental health issues across our offices."

Laurie decided to offer pro-bono support to Action To Prevent Suicide CIC off the back of this meeting, and soon got to work in helping the company with some freely-provided legal advice.

"Olivia and I supported Action To Prevent Suicide CIC by looking at its governance and structuring arrangements, in addition to conducting an options appraisal which looked at ways to help the organisation to grow and access a wider variety of funding options."

Meet Chris Lorimer

Chris is a senior adviser for Action To Prevent Suicide CIC. He has 15 years in commercial banking, including as Corporate Director and Head of Operational Excellence, Barclays 8 years in Further Education as Deputy Principal, Bicton College, and Director of Marketing and External Relations, Exeter College.

Get in touch

For further information contact us using the details below. Thank you.

Tel: +44 (0)1803 226227
Mob: +44 (0)7528 241400

© Action To Prevent Suicide. All rights reserved.

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