The Big Six- Jerry

Member Stories

his blog is part of a series of articles where you can get to know more about our Members. The Members of Designs In Mind are our Designer Makers- learning skills in a variety of forms that create the beautiful products we sell in our shop. All our Members are in touch with Mental Health services in Shropshire and everyone has a different story. The Big Six shares a little insight into who they are and what they do here at Designs In Mind.

Jerry this is your Big Six are you ready?

1. How do you describe what you do at Designs In Mind to other people?

I don’t really talk about it that much, so to re-phrase it how might I say what I do…

On a therapeutic level- continuity, friendship, openness and understanding that helps put me at ease, reduces anxiety

On a practical level of what we’re doing- at the moment I feel quite multi purpose. I do a job if I can. I keep the workshop area tidy. I help out with recycling. I like to help out with practical tasks necessary for the day to day running

On a creative level- commissions are great when we can get them. It is exciting to be looking more at products, gifts. I find this exciting. I’m coming up with ideas and I would like to see it through- it is motivating to come up with saleable products.

I am always pleased to be here

2. Name 3 of your specialist skills here…

I think I do have a good eye for design in general- what looks good, feels good, what might be popular. The original, the eccentric. I’m pretty confident in what looks good.

The practical implementation of design. We have products to sell and we’re learning to balance the mass with the unique. I am interested in making sure, what we make is viable. We need to make money. Take the bags we’re making at the minute, I am very enthused by their ability to sell.

This place can encourage people to support each other. I feel like I contribute to this.

3. What are your favourite words of wisdom?

It might sound a little trite, but I believe in community. So my words of wisdom would be community, community, community. It exists on so many levels and the social glue that holds us all together is so important- often under valued in society.

4. The votes are in- You’ve won! If you got elected as Prime Minister what changes would you like to see in healthcare?

Fundamentally the NHS should be a health service not nannying and not being told what to do. Somehow we have to engender a culture that we want the best for people in both physical and mental health. Healthcare services should be about positive health promotion not an illness service, healthy environments that are more integrated within life.

Ultimately particularly within mental health I would want to design the service out of existence so that it is rendered redundant. We need more people supporting one another in their communities. Doctors who haven’t got to go to university to get their degrees- but people who know how to doctor in the community. If the community was healthier I wouldn’t need to access the support- it needs re-designing.

Changes are happening with the government passing over responsibility to councils. But I am sceptical as budgets have been reduced. Councils are having to learn on the job, priorities are stretched and ultimately the service suffers.

5. What inspires you?

Nature is one of the first things that inspires me. It sounds bland but I don’t know how to put it more succinctly. Going for a walk, or it could just be watching a sparrow that inspires me.

There are people in the wider community that are doing things in a wider thinking and progressive way- often not reliant on huge funds. It is a sign that they are more resilient and self sufficient- anyone who can draw from the community I am totally inspired by that.

6. What’s the most ridiculous thing you’ve heard people say about Mental Health?

I can’t think of anything ridiculous said to me about mental health. I probably don’t get out enough! I’m sure if I drank in a pub I’d hear plenty.

Thank you Jerry!