News and events

News and events

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NELFT NHS Foundation Trust provides a range of community health and mental health services across the north east London Boroughs of Barking & Dagenham, Havering, Redbridge, Waltham Forest, Essex and Kent and Medway.

Read the latest NELFT news, including information on our services, new trust staff, research and development of our services.

Rehabilitation programme trains users of service to become baristas

Sunflowers Cafe logo, NELFT logos and green background

Rehabilitation Programme at Sunflowers Court inpatient unit in Goodmayes has seen users of service trained as baristas at the new café.

Three people have been trained as baristas by Redemption Roasters, a social enterprise with a mission to reduce reoffending in the UK through coffee. They take turns to work three-hour shifts alongside a ward staff member in the café as part of their rehabilitation programme.

Dr Emmanuel Okoro, Consultant forensic psychiatrist and Clinical Director at NELFT Forensic Services, said:

“Actively involving patients in vocational and occupational therapy activities is crucial for their rehabilitation and successful reintegration into the community, and plays a pivotal role in rebuilding lives and curbing future relapse.

“The new café is a valuable addition to the array of occupational therapeutic activities as part of the rehabilitation package, contingent upon multidisciplinary team risk assessments and compliance with low-secure procedural security.”

Upon their discharge, Redemption Roasters offer paid employment within one of their coffee shops to each of the baristas they have trained should they wish to take it up.

One of the trained baristas enjoyed the training so much, he chose to complete a City and Guilds official Barista qualification with support from New City College.

Sarah Lynn, Project Manager at NELFT, said:

“It has been a great privilege to be involved with a project that impacts on a variety of people. Our staff now have somewhere on site to buy a variety of food and drink, our visitors now have somewhere to go  with their loved ones and our longer-term patients have a pathway to work experience and future employment on discharge.

“I am very proud see how far our baristas have come from their initial training with Redemption Roasters and the daily enthusiasm they all show when working a shift .This is what rehabilitation is about and the difference it can make to the futures of service users.”

Joseph Lindo, Integrated Care Director for the Acute and Rehab Directorate at NELFT, said:

“There are just under one thousand staff members in our directorate not including patients and relatives who benefit from having this new facility onsite. The new cafe will enhance staff wellbeing and morale whilst also providing a new rehabilitation opportunity for our service users.”

The café environment is set to continue to improve as NELFT has secured a grant with Hospital Rooms, a charity who work to bring world-class art to mental health hospitals.

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