Dual Diagnosis Group Dates

The Dual Diagnosis Group is now being held twice a month 5-7PM. Below are the sessions for the rest of this year.

The Dual Diagnosis Group is a peer support group for people who have mental health and substance issues (including alcohol). It is a friendly, welcoming group with an emphasis on members supporting each other through shared experiences and open minded discussions. Please give us a call before attending for the first time.

Dual Diagnosis Group Dates:

August 2017

17th and 31st

September 2017

14th and 28th

October 2017

12th and 26th


9th and 23rd

December 2017

14th and 28th


This years holiday was a great success!

In May a group of our members and staff went to Scarborough and stayed in the Grand Hotel for the second time. The weather was beautiful, fun was had, memories were made and chips were eaten.



Here’s Sue’s account of the trip:

“This year for the SPARC holiday we returned to the Grand Hotel Scarborough by popular demand. The holiday was facilitated by staff Sue and James and 9 members went along. Travel was with National Coaches from Stockport; it was a great way to travel.

Whilst we were in Scarborough we spent time exploring the area and we visited places of interest in Peasholm Park, South Cliff Gardens, the castle area and the church where Ann Bronte is buried. Midweek we had a coach excursion taking us to Whitby via Goathland where the popular TV programme Heartbeat was filmed. Everyone had a great time and the weather was fantastic. At Whitby we all enjoyed delicious fish and chips. Meals were provided in the hotel as part of the package and we were treated to nightly cabaret and bingo. The holiday was a great success and enjoyed by all.”

You can donate to us through PayPal

If you get the urge to donate to SPARC you can do it in a number of ways such as Everyclick, GiveAsYouLive and good old fashioned coins

If you have a PayPal account you can also donate to us through that. Its quite easy and secure. We appreciate any donation, whatever the amount. Everything donated gets put back into the centre and helps to support the plethora of groups that we run every week.

If you would like to donate you can do so by clicking HERE. Thank you for your support!

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!

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.

SPARC United is top of the league!

The Cheshire Ability Counts Football League that is!table





Ability Counts was formed as part of the FA’s strategy for developing football for people with mixed abilities. SPARC United have been training hard and honing their skills and have finally made it to the top. Lets take a moment to bask in the glory of being at the top; and keep our fingers crossed for the rest of the season!

Click here for the official webpage.

Lets Look Again: Table Top Gardeners!

Its been a while since we’ve had a check in with the Table Top Gardening Group. A lot has happened since we had a look in July (click the words in bold to read that article). James Campbell; the facilitator of the group has written a little about whats been going on:


“The tabletop gardeners summer display at the entrance to Runnymede court proved a great success and received lots of positive comments which was good for the gardeners to hear.

As the summer came to an end and the days became colder the dying flowers had to be replaced. this provided the opportunity for a new project which was to create a spring bulb display.4

The bulbs were planted in four troughs with all the bulbs being chosen by the gardeners- everything from hyacinths, crocus, narcissus and tulips. The troughs were also planted with conifers and ivy for ongoing interest as the troughs will be a permanent feature.1

What was salvageable from the summer display such as pelargoniums and ivy were used as pot plants for Runnymede.

I’m halfway through the funding period which has seen the completion of 2 blocks of 10 sessions, with a further 2 blocks of 10 to do. this will take us up to the middle of April.
I’m really enjoying facilitating the sessions as it takes our work providing therapeutic activities out into the community and advertises SPARC. The gardening season has proved popular with the participants and it also compliments Runnymedes existing activities.”

Here’s a couple of photos of the finished troughs in place for the winter.





Lets Look at the Under 30’s Group!

The Under 30’s group is a great group if you are looking for something to break up the routine. It is a supportive, social group for young adults with a mental health issue. The group aims to reduce stigma and isolation by bringing together people of a similar age in a relaxed and supportive environment.

They do a different activity each week and all the activities are chosen by the group members.

Have a look at the list below if you for an idea of the kind of thing they get up to.

The group runs at the centre every Tuesday from 1:30 to 4:30. If you are interested please give us a ring or ask a member of staff before attending.