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Former mental health patient raises over £600 for NHS trust

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A woman from Lincolnshire who received mental health care and support from Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (LPFT) has raised a large sum of money to give back to the ward where she was cared for.

Zoe Keeton was treated by LPFT back in 2016 when she experienced a period of mental ill health, suffering from anxiety, ruminating thoughts, agoraphobia and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). She was unable to leave her house for a number of months, which impacted on her life and her husband and children. Zoe was admitted to the Charlesworth Ward at the Peter Hodgkinson Centre in Lincoln, a ward for people who are experiencing a severe, short term episode of mental illness.

Zoe wanted to give back to the Trust and raise awareness of mental health recovery. She began her fundraising efforts in July 2018; she ran an appeal on social media for unwanted items she could sell and spent her weekends at car boot sales. In addition to the money raised, she donated a hamper of games, activities, slippers, and toiletries to the ward.

Doreen Johnson, Associate Practitioner for LPFT, has been supporting Zoe with her mental health for over 15 months. Doreen said: 

Zoe has made great progress and positive changes in her life. She has been determined, tenacious, and innovative with the fundraising. She is proof that even if you’ve suffered a severe enduring mental illness, with the right support from family and professionals, you can make changes to your life and inspire others to see that there is a future. She has a wonderful caring nature; she always has a smile and even when things are difficult for her she continues to care for others. She is such an inspiration.”

Raising money and donating items to the ward are not the only things Zoe has been doing to give back to the Trust; she has also been donating her time as a volunteer at the Trust’s Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) Suite and at the Charlesworth Ward, both at the Peter Hodgkinson Centre in Lincoln.

Registered Mental Health Nurse, Zoe Anderson who works on the ECT Suite said:

“Zoe has made a tremendous difference and has been a real asset to the team. When we are busy caring for patients in the treatment and recovery areas, she is able to greet patients and relatives when they arrive, offer support and reassurance and provide refreshments post-recovery. Attending the department for treatment can be a stressful time for patients and having Zoe here helps to alleviate their anxieties.”

Volunteering led Zoe to apply for a permanent position using LPFT’s Individual Placement and Support (IPS) Employment Service which aims to help and support current and former service users into paid employment. She is now successfully employed in the role of Clinical Apprentice with the Trust.

Zoe said:

“Once I started on the road to recovery, I realised how much the Trust had helped to enable me to have a good quality of life again, living with my illnesses.”

“I began to raise money so I could contribute towards giving patients a gift of comfort during their stay. I will be forever grateful to everyone who has helped me. Each and every one of them has touched my life – the support and encouragement is priceless.”

The money raised by Zoe was donated to the Trust’s charity, Charitable Funds. Money raised through Charitable Funds can be used to enhance services and facilities that would not otherwise be funded by the NHS.