Nick has done his run!

Nick: one of our very generous members ran the Manchester half marathon in May raising money for SPARC and achieving an impressive feat of athleticism. If that wasn’t enough Nick also donned a Forrest Gump outfit. Adding the insulation of a hat and fake beard to the already hot day.

We’re still getting sponsorship  money brought in so we are not sure how much has been raised yet but we will be sure to keep everyone updated.

However much is raised, we can all agree that Nicks generosity and dedication is an inspiration to us all.

Keep on running Nick!

We are having a summer fair!

We at SPARC are holding a summer fair on July 14th from 1:00-4:00 pm. Amongst other things there will be a raffle and a tombola, a visit from the local fire service and police as well as a chance for members of the public to see what we do here in the centre.














So save the date and cross your fingers for sunshine!


Aquarium Software Is Running For SPARC!

Aquarium Software have made us one of their charities of the year! This is great news and to kick it off one of their employees is planning a gruelling 62 mile run to raise money for us and two other equally deserving causes.

All is explained; in their words below:

Aquarium Software based in Cheshire, have been operating for over 10 years and provide technical solutions to the Fintech and Insuretech sectors.  As part of their Corporate Social Responsibility policy they have chosen three charities to support, SPARC being one of them.  

One of Aquarium’s employees, Gavin Reynolds, is raising money by taking on the ‘Race to The Stones’, a 2 day, 100km ultra-marathon along Britain’s oldest path; The Ridgeway. His goal is to raise £1,000 for their charities, but with over a month to go before the run he and everyone at Aquarium are hoping they can raise much more! His page can be found at

So good luck to Gavin and thank you to Aquarium for thinking of us! Its uplifting to know that there are businesses with such strong values of social responsibility and community. That choose to support charities at a local level and understand that mental health is an important issue for us all.

A Generous Donation From Stockport Rotary Club!

On Monday we had a visit from Stockport Rotary Club who came to the centre to make a very Generous donation of £500.

James Campbell met Clyde Raine, Mary Griffiths James and Bernadette Holgate and took them on a tour of the centre. We discussed issues around mental health, funding and how important community based work can be for people.

We would like to thank everyone from the Stockport Rotary Club for their generosity!

CogKNITive Therapy! Knitting Their way to awareness!

CogKNITive therapy is a group that is determined to be seen and heard.

Run by Gill Ball; the group is creating a bandage, not just any bandage. This isn’t a little rag like you might be picturing. It’s a giant 1 stone behemoth. Imagine 31 (and a half) double-decker busses parked end to end and that’s about the length we’re talking about.

The bandage is to raise awareness of mental health issues and to protest against cuts. As they can’t be seen like physical difficulties, the bandage illustrates the magnitude of what 1/4 people cope with every day. Gill hopes to be able to take it to Downing Street to show that mental health is an issue worth fighting for.

Yesterday Gill visited Stockport Mind with the unbelievably large bandage ball, Lynn and Colin (Managers at SPARC and Mind respectively) were there to show our support for this great idea.

New Fundraising!

Hello all! We have decided to start a push for funding for 3 of our most in need services; Cognitive Behavioural therapy, the Under 30s Group, and the Dual Diagnosis Group.

You can donate online by clicking HERE or or on any of the pictures in this post. You are also welcome come into the centre and donate in person. If you would like to donate to a specific service simply write down which one in the ‘donation comment’ box near the bottom of the page.

Cognitive behavioural therapy at SPARC– A part of the wider mental health alliance counselling service. At the moment CBT at SPARC consists of 2 therapists that operate to very high standards and tailor therapy to each individual that they work with. As they are part of SPARC and not bound by the requirements of statutory services they are able to work with each person to identify how many sessions are needed rather than work to a fixed number of weeks. CBTs at SPARC are also able to work with staff to deliver a highly holistic intervention in order to promote sustained positive results. Funding for this group would go towards paying for our qualified therapist so that we can maintain the high quality therapy that we currently have. This service is a new direction for SPARC and we are passionate about keeping it going so we can help as many people as possible.

Dual Diagnosis Group– The Dual Diagnosis group is one of our longer running groups and is an impressive example of peer support in action. The group runs after normal SPARC hours (5-7pm). The group provides a safe place for people to discuss mental heath and substance issues. It is a supportive environment that allows people to speak with others who have similar experiences but also share different insights and coping mechanisms. Alongside this the group also enjoys social activities where people can come to relax and have fun. Money raised for this group would go towards running the group and setting up day trips/outings arranged by the members themselves. This is a very popular and unique group that  is highly valued by both members and staff.

U30s– The Under 30s group was created as here at SPARC we have a core of younger people who were missing out on a place to engage with individuals of a similar age. This group has developed into a highly social and inclusive group where members are responsible for what the group does from week to week. This put the power in the hands of the under 30s themselves and promotes debate, coordination and teamwork. Any funds raised for this group would go towards costs for the group so that they can go to more places and do more varied activities. This group has been running on a shoe string for quite a while now and we really hope we can upgrade this to a boot strap!

Cook N’ Taste!

Calling all budding chefs! The Cook N’ Taste Group is back at SPARC!

This group is a great place to learn how to make tasty and healthy food that’s also affordable enough for you to try at home.

This group is a good place if you want to learn some cookery skills or even if you
just want some new recipe ideas.  The group runs over a 6 week period and meets at SPARC. There’s a great atmosphere of interaction and fun and hopefully it will inspire you to try new food and improve your diet.







Dates of the group are: April- 18th & 25th, May- 2nd, 9th, 16th, 23rd.

Give us a call or speak to a member of staff if you’re interested.


Lets Look at the Art and Craft In-reach Sessions!

The art and craft in-reach sessions have been taking place on Arden and Norbury wards since 2013.

They provide an activity and something creative to do for anyone on the wards. The group helps people socialise, work together and of course have a bit of fun. The projects that the group work on are often displayed on the wards which allows people to have an impact on their environment that they can be proud of .

There are a variety of activities that take place in the sessions, sometimes focused around small pieces of work such as making cards and sometimes people work together on a larger project. The picture below is of the most recent project completed by the group. 

We hope that this group strengthens ties between people on the wards and the rest of SPARC. People often come out of the wards and start attending the centre and we hope that groups like this and the Music In-reach (more info on the way) can make that transition a little bit easier.


Womens Group: Dance Movement Therapy

Good news for the Womens Group! If you want to try a different kind of therapy that uses creativity, body senses, movement and stillness you now have the opportunity to get involved with Dance Movement Therapy at SPARC.

This therapy is for anyone who would like to develop emotionally, cognitively, physically, spiritually and in particular developing in relationship to one’s body.

Dance Movement Therapy can help with: Depression, anxiety, stress, confidence, body image, social functioning, physical functioning, creativity and focus, balance and poise and issues with loss/grief.

It will run on Wednesdays from the 25/01/17 between 11:00 and 12:00.

This group is for members of SPARC and women only, please ask a member of staff or give us a ring if you would like to get involved.