Globetrotters update – 200 Million Steps and Still Going Strong!



Total Steps Walked by Inverclyde Globetrotters


Total Miles Walked by Inverclyde Globetrotters


Miles to Go Till We Reach our 100,000 Mile Target


Miles to Go Till We’re Home from the Moon


Number of Likes on Facebook



A massive “Well Done” on reaching the unbelievable milestone of walking 200 million steps; something which no-one could ever have imagined when Globetrotters set off on their first virtual walk in 2008.

Lunar Trek Update

The latest news from the return leg of the Lunar Trek which was launched with Chest, Heart & Stroke Scotland back in September 2011 is that there is now less than 67,000 miles to go till they’re home. This means with the help of groups and individuals across Scotland over 400,000 miles have been walked. Can you believe that?

For more information on the Inverclyde Globetrotters, you can go to their facebook page or get in touch by email:


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A strange and puzzling train encounter

Engaging with people is good for our mental wellbeing.  But sometimes it can be a bit strange.

Night-time, I board an empty train carriage for home with a newspaper to read.  Following behind is a lone woman who rather oddly sits in front of me.  A surprise, but, I accepted she may have her own reasons for choosing to sit opposite me when there was a whole carriage of seats for her to choose from.  I put my newspaper on the little table between us to read in a moment, but the woman suddenly takes it from the table and opens it up instead.

Somewhat embarrassed, I said to her:  “Excuse me, do you know that is a Newspaper I have just bought?”

“Oh yes,” she said with her face hidden by the opened pages, “I’m just having a wee look through it.”

How strange.  I didn’t know what to say.

“Okay then,” I finally said, and watched out the window instead.  A minute later, the woman puts the paper back on the table and relocates to the seats directly across the passageway.  Out of her bag she produced her own copy of the same newspaper and began reading it!

She got off two stops before me.

I got home, amazed by this little encounter.   “What just happened there?” was all I could think, and I’m still thinking about it.  Life can be puzzling, but some things are beyond understanding.

But casual encounters with people can be interesting and rewarding too.  So maybe the question is: how will I respond next time someone ‘harmlessly’ sits in front of me in an empty train?

And what good experiences have other people had? I’m hoping other people have had interesting conversations, heard a different perspective on life, or even met someone (no matter how unusually) who became a friend.

Story by a  community reporter.

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Inspiration and connections – Reflections on the Scottish Recovery Network Event

Stadium 2 Cropped

One of the many good things about the event run by Scottish Recovery Network was meeting people and hearing what they thought.

We asked some people to send us their reflections to add to what we heard on the day.  So this is a joint piece from the Mind Waves team and from New Horizons Borders and Stirling Users Network.

“Lots of good speakers and lots of useful material from other groups.  We’re taking it all back to share with others in our group.”

“I was encouraged by the positive view of the future and the message of taking a personal responsibility for our own wellbeing.”

“It was a long journey there and home but well worth it – a good day.”

Story by Community Reporter team

“I liked Rachel Perkins’ message that by changing the balance of power and creating inclusive communities, we can start to reduce the centrality of mental health in people’s lives.  She argued for care planning and care co-ordination to be taken away from statutory to peer-led services.”

“There was plenty to keep delegates busy between conference proceedings.  Activities, such as tours of Murrayfield, entertainment from choirs and dance groups, alternative therapies and stalls from national organisations with information on recovery-themed work, ensured a captivating day.  Meeting friends, old and new, is also an enjoyable part of the experience.

Mindwaves in Action

The final part of the day focused on workshop discussions on a wide range of topics chosen by delegates.  The StUN people facilitated a debate on peer-led services.  The feeling in the room was that people are coming round to seeing peer-led services as the way forward.

At the end of it all, there we still had as many questions as answers, but then, that’s when you know that you’ve been to a good conference!”

“An event that brings so many like-minded people together from such widespread geographical area must involve a huge amount of organisation. But to take part and experience the shared vision that we are all moving forward in the same direction is a real honour and left me feeling, as with previous SRN events, inspired and re-energised. Listening to the speakers & participating in the workshops was a real reminder of the strength, size & passion of the recovery movement in Scotland. When you are a small user-led service in a rural area it can often leave you feeling isolated but events like these are a fantastic reminder that we are part of a wider network striving to influence the future of mental health services.”

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Heart of Scotstoun Health Walk – What We’ve Accomplished

We started out on a beautiful sunny day, from the very new Heart of Scotstoun Community Centre, at 11 am on Friday 5th August 2011 and come rain, shine, sleet, snow but not ice, we have been walking ever since.

There were seven of us including Heather Macleod, Glasgow Walks Coordinator. Over the year and a half HoS Walking Group has been in running, 65 walkers have taken part in our expeditions, although not all at once.

The photographs show us at the Community Centre and walking along the old railway.  Walking is a great way to discover more about what is in your local area.

The most important thing about our walks is that walkers have fun and enjoy each other’s company.

Some join the walk to help lose weight, some to improve their fitness, perhaps after poor health. Heart of Scotstoun is good for our physical and our mental wellbeing.  Walkers’ ages range from early twenties to seventies and over. Some walk slowly, others quite quickly, but we can accommodate both. The best bit is that everyone enjoys themselves.

We are proud of the fact that we have given people the chance to get out and meet new and old friends in a safe and supportive environment.

The group now has six volunteer walk leaders giving us the ability to keep going through holidays and cover the needs of both fit and less able walkers.

Almost 2 years on from our first walk we are still going strong and have just produced our first newsletter and will be leading our first themed heritage walk in May at Victoria Park.

If you want to find out more, get in touch with Heather, who is the Walk Glasgow Co-ordinator, at Glasgow Life/Glasgow Sport.

Martin Cowan, Volunteer Health Walk Leader, Heart of Scotstoun

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Taking over the asylum

Open your mind to a story depicting the harsh reality of life on a psychiatric ward. Join the patients, and prepare to enjoy both highs and lows throughout this emotional roller-coaster.

Taking over the Asylum proved to be a hit in Glasgow at the Citizens Theatre before moving on to the Lyceum Theatre in Edinburgh.

This play is essentially a black comedy and was originally a success back in the early 1990s, with a young David Tennant starring. The Paisley star has been on a constant high since he movingly portrayed Campbell in the original television drama. Ken Stott was another notable actor from the original series, remaining prominent name in Scotland today.

Fifteen years on: the play has been spiced up, modernized and adapted for the stage. Writer Donna Franceschild, was keen to stick to (yet jazz up a little) this mesmerizing plot involving a range of characters set in a psychiatric ward. It’s a play that focuses on playing the role with truth, whatever that may be. No matter how you dress it up though, Taking over the asylum is, ultimately, a tragedy with jokes.

Its dark plot adds to the realism of many who can appreciate time on wards across Scotland. Nobody wants to be there but in the darkness of the crisis you are going through, you can find light and hope with others who share a similar journey to you. The erratic pace of the script effectively mirrors rapid mood changes, consistent with some diagnoses, adding drama for the audience and leaving everyone both exhausted and entertained.

The narrative surrounds the radical idea of bringing life into a decaying psychiatric ward. An un-used radio station is revived to bring stimulation and activity into the normally mundane ward. “Ready Eddie’ played by Iain Robertson is the radio anchor man and faces his own demons as soon as he arrives – realizing just how out of touch the equipment is.

Help is at hand though, as ‘Campbell’, played with so much energy by Brian Vernel, turns his despair into hope by dreaming of becoming a radio star and generating plans to raise much needed cash for the project.

Little encouragement is shown by the ward staff to patients – dismissing ambition as delusions of grandeur. Amidst the knock-backs: true talent shines through bringing hope to service users across the country. It doesn’t matter how often authorities dismiss you because of illness; it’s okay to believe in your own abilities, prevail and tell anyone; “You’re a loony and proud.” Taking over the Asylum is a story highlighting the constant battle between figures in power and those at their mercy.

The young cast bring freshness to the topical themes of dealing with mental illness. The over-rising message that shines through the darkness of this play is to treat everyone in life for who they are and don’t define them by a diagnosis.

Story by Community Reporter
Holly McCormack

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Recovery, Social Media and Participation in our own destiny

Geoff Huggins spoke for Government at the SRN Conference to address the needs of Scotland’s mental health and wellbeing.  He is the Head of the Mental Health team.

He talked about how he believes in promoting well-being and preventing mental illness in the first place. The National Programme for Improving Mental Health and Well-being aims to improve the mental health of everyone in Scotland, and to improve the quality of life of people experiencing mental health problems or mental illness.

He also talked about how new ways of communication can be part of this.

The aim of the National Programme is to bring about a system of self referral for people to be in more control of their own care. The tool of the internet could pick up over 1 million people asking for help with stress, isolation, depression, sleep and addictions.

For example ‘hard to reach groups could use the new technology to Google “I feel alone” ‘. Feedback on people’s experience of services could be a collaborative evaluation using people-friendly software to produce a statistical and quantitative assessment.

“The Government will continue to push ahead to see these supports come about.”

He added that we need to know what recovery means besides diagnosis and pharmaceutical treatment. How are social relationships, work, housing and other factors involved; such as the environment and community?

Geoff Huggins said that he and the Government hope to see people’s “participation in their own destiny.”

People who were at the event were positive about what Geoff Huggins said.

“This is a good reminder about the day and the theme of future interventions, the way forward and how we can all take a personal responsibility for wellbeing.  I see mental health evolving to a more equal basis and was very interested in what Geoff Huggins said.”

Story by Community Reporter

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On becoming an informed Rainbow

Like other Mindwaves reporters, I went along to this year’s Scottish Recovery Network Gathering at Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh.  Now, I’m new to all this.  I had no idea what to expect, who I would see, or what would be going on, despite having a programme brochure for the event.  I went in green and blind.

First of all, there were 20 second x 20 image presentations from five seasoned Mental Health professionals and one Scottish Government official who was described as ‘Head of Mental Health’.  That was funny for a start. I did not know the Government had a ‘Head of Mental Health’.  Perhaps the elected participants in Holyrood and civil servants need such an official to keep them in working order!

Among some of the ‘visions of recovery’ was the idea of having places in the High Street across the country where people could drop in for some mental health refreshment or guidance, and drop back out again any time they felt like it.

After these informative, quick-fire presentations, we came to the ‘Keynote’ speaker, Dr.Rachel Perkins OBE.  When she started to speak, the whole mood of the conference chamber changed.  Her approach was witty and no nonsense, coming from what can only be described as a clear and lucid understanding of the issues faced by users of Mental Health services.  This because she herself is an active user of such services.  Dr. Perkins had a delivery style so dynamic it kept us all agog.  Her most important point, for me, was the dire need to simplify what can be a complicated, multi-agency process when seeking help.  My own experience was just as she suggested, being referred from one agency to the next, going here to see him, there to see her, over the boundary to see someone else who could help, then back to her and him….and on and on…   Such a state of affairs would send anyone round the bend, and may even stop people who really need help from even trying to find it.  Dr. Perkins presented a solution to this shoddy, all over the place framework – a one point stop where diagnosis and prognosis can be made, and a proper customised course of action or assistances can be made.  From then, one could access services as and when required, as we do with a Doctor for physical ailments, instead of being looped in to a never ending  plethora of agencies and possible ‘solution providers’.

So much was covered over the day, but I left with a complete impression that people like Dr. Perkins are actively trying to change things for the better.  I might have went in green and blind, but I came out as a rainbow with high definition vision.

John Copeland

Mindwaves Reporter

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