Valuable Programmes Help Change Lives for Psychosis Sufferers

Charlton Athletic Community Trust (CACT) has a history of delivering programmes across South East London and Kent since 1992, with the aim of improving levels of education and employment, reducing crime and enhancing health.

About the cause

One of the programmes delivered by CACT is the Early Intervention in Psychosis (EIP) programme. The programme organises residential trips to engage clients who are at an advanced stage in their recovery from psychosis.

Psychosis is a symptom of certain mental health problems, such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. It can lead to sufferers perceiving or interpreting reality in a very different way to others, often resulting in hallucinations or delusions.

Social support is one of the most effective treatments for psychosis. CACT organises residential trips called Next Steps which are designed to push clients out of their comfort zone as they interact with other people who they may not know very well, taking part in a range of outdoor activities such as coasteering and paddle boarding.

How we helped

Funding from FFT through our Effinity Charitable Foundation helped CACT to deliver three Next Steps Residentials.

Across the three trips, a total of 18 clients and five support staff travelled to Cornwall for five days, taking part in a fun programme designed to engage people who are at an advanced stage in their recovery from psychosis.

The outcome

At the start of the Next Steps programmes, clients often feel anxious ahead of the activities, which include coasteering, coastal walks, zip wiring and an Eden Project tour. But the way the activities are delivered informally, and the fact everyone is amongst people they can relate to, helps them overcome their fears.

CACT produced an annual report and video following the programmes. In the video, Steve Crummay of Explore Cornwall commented that the benefits to the clients are ‘almost immeasurable’, and that ‘everyone sees such a difference’.

One client said the trip changed his life; that he was now off his medication and due to be discharged. He said he’d ‘come a long way, thanks to CACT’.

Carl Krauhaus, Head of Early Help and Prevention at CACT, commented that the additional funds provided by FFT outside of their NHS budget allowed them to take people out of their area and enjoy new experiences and activities, which can be the final element of their recovery pathway.

The report showed positive feedback, with all clients and staff members saying each component of the residential was either ‘Excellent’ or ‘Good’.

Our social value commitment

CACT has been supporting EIP teams for over 15 years. Our relationship with them is longstanding and links perfectly with our commitment to enhancing lives in local communities and helping people explore opportunities for self-improvement. As well as funding the residentials, we have in the past provided a grant to help 16-24 year olds onto its traineeship programme to help improve their future career opportunities.

Carl Krauhaus, Head of Early Help and Prevention at CACT, said:

“Without the support of FFT, the Next Steps residential trips simply would not be possible, so we are incredibly grateful for this partnership.”