The Old School, Margery Lane, Durham, County Durham DH1 4QJ

A Project Supporting People with Mental Health Problems.

Background and History St. Margarets Centre is a training workshop for persons recovering from mental health illness. It was established in September 1991 and 3 years later acquired full charitable status. In April 1997 a partnership was formed with Durham County Council Social Services. The affairs of the project are controlled by a management committee made up of representatives from local churches in and around Durham City and members include a group of Trustees of St. Margarets Centre charity. The overall responsibility of the day to day running of the project lies with the General Manager. Training and work therapy is offered in woodwork, craft, kitchen and cooking skills, garden experience ( the centre has an allotment) and computing and office skills.

The Centre’s Aims The aim of the centre is to develop a therapeutic work setting which will motivate people to regain their confidence and self esteem, thereby enabling them to return to open employment or to proceed to further training. The ultimate success rate will depend upon the capabililty and progression rate of the individual. Although the workshop in priniciple is of a sheltered nature, it is structured so as to assimilate as normal a working environment as possible in order to create a sense of 'usefulness' whilst at the same time make preparation for a return to open employment. Another aim of the centre is to create greater choice and opportunity for people with mental health and learning difficulties to access, employment, training, voluntary work, community activities and mainstream further education. The Centre provides a wide range of activities within a welcoming environment. St Margarets Centre is an independent, voluntary sector organisation where attendees, volunteers and staff work closely together to improve the quality of people lives, support recovery and self-development.