Loneliness – MH Sunday 2023

During the sermon slot in the 0930 service on 5th February 2023 Preb Dr Peter Speck and Rev Sally Womersley focused on the topic of Loneliness, which we had taken as our theme for this, the Abbey’s 15th Mental Health Sunday service.

Peter explored the differences between ‘loneliness’ and ‘being alone’ – and discussed how what for one person might be loneliness with a possible negative feeling, might be the opposite for another person who has chosen to keep their own company and wishes to be alone. There are, of course, many reasons why individuals may be alone, and why people feel lonely. And this might also occur at any time from childhood to adulthood, through all ages and life stages. Sally asked whether there was a link between loneliness and poor mental health. Peter responded that this could be the case and if you are suffering with poor mental health then loneliness or being alone could exacerbate your illness.

The bulletin this week listed a number of local organisations across a wider area and this list is also on the Triangulate stand by the South Door. The theme of Loneliness was carried throughout the day at the Vine service and Compline at Nine online.

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Tree of Life – Mental Health Sunday 27.02.22

Photo kindly taken and supplied by Jane Russell

In the 14th annual service at Romsey Abbey The Revd Dr Mich Lajeunesse, Assistant Curate spoke to Alison Dolphin, Community Chaplain at Southern Health Trust about the Tree of Life Cafe, now held weekly at The Wisdom Centre, Romsey on a Monday afternoon.

To learn more and to attend the Tree of Life Cafe:  http://www.facebook.com/pages/category/Community/The-Tree-of-Life-Cafe-1841673099394070/

During the service Mich announced that Triangulate will be making a donation of £250 to the Tree of Life cafe, as well as the same donations to the Man Gang, Youth in Romsey and the Samaritans.

Note from Bridget Brook, Triangulate:

Each year the Abbey holds a Mental Health Awareness service, focusing on different topics and aspects of mental health .

As many of you know our annual Mental Health Awareness Service always has a focus on encouraging and supporting people to speak out and this remains as crucial now as when Triangulate was formed 14 years ago. Huge steps have been taken in our communities and in our society and many know and understand the importance of having open, honest conversations – of the benefits in asking others how they really are and for taking the time to listen. But for as many as know this and feel supported to do this, there are many who are without that encouragement, who still feel the stigma and discrimination surrounding mental ill health and who do not know where to turn. By turning the spotlight onto this topic we hope everyone will feel they can ask for support and in turn can offer to support others. Please do have a look at the Triangulate stand by the South Door where there are resources and booklets free to take.


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A virtual marathon in May …

Relay Marathon – Thank you from Romsey Abbey

Whilst the Rotary Relay Marathon was postponed, the Exercising Spirit and Mind Team decided to run the marathon on its original date – complying with all social distancing rules. So our team ran individually 2.6 miles near their home and as part of their daily exercise.

Thank you to those who sponsored the team – the amazing sum of £2000 was raised which this year will go to Romsey Abbey in support of our joint projects.

We look forward to a time when we can run as a team again.


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Mental Health Sunday hears about the work of the Samaritans – 23.02.20

At Sunday’s 12th Mental Health Sunday in Romsey Abbey the congregation was delighted to hear about the work of the Samaritans from Anne-Marie Drummond, Director of the Winchester and District branch.

During the service Anne-Marie gave a short, informative presentation which was followed by a question and answer session led by Preb. Dr Peter Speck. Topics covered included how important it is for people to speak out and ask for support when they need it; that the Samaritans provide a 24/7 service; and that no matter what the distress is, anyone can call them at any time.

At the end of the service a cheque for £500 was presented to Anne-Marie by Ian Cox and Bridget Brook of Triangulate towards the work of the Winchester and District branch of the Samaritans.

Photo shows Bridget Brook thanking Anne-Marie Drummond (left) for attending the service. Also in photo are Preb. Dr Peter Speck and Ian Cox, Trustees of Triangulate.

Image: Ken Gibson – Romsey Abbey

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Charity concert in support of Triangulate and FORAM 02.11.19

Triangulate was delighted to be named as the charity partner, along with FORAM (Friends of Romsey Abbey Music) for a concert by the Charity Symphony Orchestra.

The Abbey Choir performed Lift up your heads (Mathias), How beautiful upon the mountains (Stainer) and the Hallelujah Chorus (Handel) before the orchestra, led by Craig Lawton performed the young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra (Britten).

After the Choir sang The Lord bless you and keep you (Rutter) the orchestra returned for Symphony no 3 Organ (Saint-Saens).

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Mental Health Awareness Sunday 03.03.19 – Caring for the Caregiver

This year we focused on the topic of ‘Caring’ and who looks after those who care for others, focusing specifically on two areas.

During the sermon slot Peter Speck interviewed Mich Lajeunesse about support available within the NHS, and in particular Southampton General Hospital where he is based. Mich explained how there are individuals looking out for those who are maybe showing signs of struggling and who can, at an early stage, step in and signpost to sources of support.


Our second inter view was with Wendy Morrish who is a Trustee at Romsey Young Carers. Thomas asked Wendy what impact the role of caring for someone in the family was likely to have on a young person and Wendy explained how a young carer may feel isolated, angry, guilty and that these emotions impact on life at school, with friends and can lead to limited career and life choices.  The results of the charity’s work are clear to see. In support of this work Triangulate has made a donation of £250 towards the work of Romsey Young Carers. We received many positive comments after the service and are glad people found it informative.


Triangulate continues to signpost to sources of support by making available from our stand near the South Door a series of useful booklets and information sheets. We also support the bookstall by providing titles of relevance to wellbeing, the profits of which go to the Abbey. Following our focus on care we have purchased two well-known titles (The Carer’s Handbook and The Selfish Pig’ Guide to Caring) both now available.

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New Trustee – Reverend Thomas Wharton

The current Trustees are delighted to announce that Reverend Thomas Wharton, Vicar of Romsey, has agreed to become a Trustee of Triangulate, continuing the Abbey’s close involvement with the charity’s mission.

Triangulate, now in its 10th year, was set up to raise awareness of the need for positive mental health approaches in the workplace. Over the years it has produced and distributed thousands of leaflets to individuals and businesses, both locally and nationally. Its remit has covered speaking with businesses, running training sessions, being a member of Romsey Chamber of Commerce and signposting individuals to professional sources of support.

The Abbey has been central to all that Triangulate has achieved, continuing to host a permanent stand from where resources and information are always available. An Annual Mental Health Sunday has been at the forefront of our commitment to providing a space where mental health is considered equal to physical health and where the stigma and discrimination so often associated with mental health is challenged.

As a keen runner Thomas has already signed up for the team jointly entered by Triangulate and Romsey Abbey in the Rotary Relay Marathon on 12.05.19.  Exercising Spirit and Mind has entered a team every year since the event’s start and is pleased to support this popular community event.

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Richard Frost awarded MBE for services to mental health

We are delighted to hear the news that Richard Frost has been appointed an MBE – see details below. Richard has been a key supporter of Triangulate over many years, taking part in many of our events, visiting us in Romsey several times and always available for guidance and support. Triangulate continues to work in partnership with Mindful Employer.

Richard Frost, an Employment Specialist with the Trust’s Workways service, has been appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for his services to mental health in the Queen’s Birthday Honours 2018.

Richard leads a team that provides support for people whose mental health affects their ability to stay in work. He also leads the UK-wide MINDFUL EMPLOYER scheme, which provides information and support for employers in recruiting and retaining staff who experience mental ill health. Since it began in 2004, MINDFUL EMPLOYER has spread throughout the UK and is also operating in Australia, Canada, Greece and New Zealand.

Commenting, Richard said:  “I feel deeply honoured and humbled to have been appointed as an MBE.  It is also a real tribute to the many people I have endeavoured to support over the years, my colleagues at Workways and the hundreds of employers who have committed themselves to supporting what we do.”

Melanie Walker, Chief Executive of Devon Partnership NHS Trust, said:  “Richard personifies everything that is good about the NHS.  Over a long career he has displayed unerring dedication to supporting and enabling people with a wide range of needs – and his work has had a profound and positive impact on the lives of many people and their families. He was instrumental in creating and launching MINDFUL EMPLOYER – which is now a global scheme.  His MBE is thoroughly deserved and, on behalf of our Board and all of our staff, I offer him our heartfelt congratulations.”

Devon-born and currently living in Dartington, Richard has worked in the field of employment since 1979, specialising in helping people with disabilities. He has worked in mental health since joining Devon Partnership NHS Trust in 2002, although his interest in this area dates back many years – due in part to his own personal experience of depression.

Richard is a lay minister in the Church of England where he serves with his wife, Jane, a Curate on the Totnes Team. He graduated with an MSc Vocational Rehabilitation through Sheffield Hallam University in 2012.

Posted by Devon Partnership Trust 09.06.18


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