2009 Anxiety UK Annual Report


2009 Anxiety UK Annual Report

Annual Review2009Registered charity no.Company registration no.Established1113403555112119701

ContentsMessage from Chair 4Questions & Answers 5Member’s Story 8Volunteer Experiences 10Services Report 12Strategic Developments 182009 Research Projects 20Media & Communications Report 21Funding & Finance Report 22Looking Ahead into 2010 26Staff and Trustees 272 3

Message from ChairDear Friends and Supporters,It has been a financially challenging year for Anxiety UK and I would like to start by thanking everyone who hashelped to support the charity and allowed us to continue to provide much needed support to those with anxietydisorders. I would especially extend these thanks to the staff team. All staff have worked tirelessly to sourcealternative funding streams following the news last spring that we were unsuccessful in our application forDepartment of Health funding. Despite it being an uncertain start to the year, we closed the year on a very positivenote with many successful projects and new ideas under our belt.We were very pleased to see our Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD) booklet which was funded by PfizerPharmaceuticals printed and distributed at the end of 2009. We are very aware of the need to continue to provideup to date information on all anxiety disorders and to continue to help educate both healthcare providers and thegeneral public. We had a fantastic response to our membership survey which we carried out earlier this year andone of the very clear comments from this was that GPs and healthcare providers are still not sufficiently aware ofanxiety disorders and the best way to treat them. In recognition of this, we are developing a number of trainingpackages for health care professionals and are also very pleased to have our Services Manager, Catherine O’Neillappointed to the Anxiety Disorders Steering Group for the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE).Looking forward to 2010 and into 2011, the future for Anxiety UK looks very exciting. We are currently working onthe redevelopment of the Anxiety UK website and the production of a range of new promotional and publicitymaterials. We recognise the importance of our website in bringing information and support to people at any time.The redesign will allow us to use all the latest technology and make the huge amount of information contained onthe website even more user-friendly.As ever we urge you to continue to support us as without your support we could not maintain the high qualityservice which we pride ourselves on. A very big welcome to anyone new to Anxiety UK, we hope that within thisannual report you will find a flavour of the essential work we do.With very best wishesLiz BradfordChair, Anxiety UKQuestions & Answerswith Nicky Lidbetter, Anxiety UK’s Chief Executive OfficerThe past year was obviously an extremely tough one financially for Anxiety UK. Do youthink the charity has come out of 2009 stronger?2009 was most certainly one of the toughest years we have faced in that whilst demand for our services almostquadrupled as a result of the economic downturn, our main core funding stream came to an end. Additionally,applications submitted to the Department of Health and other funding bodies in relation to securing support forcore elements of Anxiety UK’s service provision were also unsuccessful. Naturally this combination of eventscaused considerable concern and unrest at a time when so many more people were contacting the charity inneed. As always, Anxiety UK’s staff and volunteer team pulled together embarking on a mammoth fundraisingexercise involving undertaking of sponsored activities such as the Great Manchester Run through to developingcorporate relationships via Charity of the Year initiatives. The fundraising events, whilst successful and enjoyableto engage in and indeed serve as an indicator of our ever-resourceful approach to ‘hard times’, have inevitablymeant we have been stretched to the limit on many occasions. It is a testament to the commitment of our smallstaff team and dedicated volunteers that we have continued in the face of adversity to provide our much-neededservices.So yes, we have come out of this stronger; however I do feel that the need to fundraise versus the need to deliverservices is becoming more and more of a careful balancing act.Despite the financial problems Anxiety UK still helped thousands of people across thecountry. Which pieces of work rank among your highlights?Anxiety UK’s services are valued highly by thousands every year. This is particularly true for our in-housepublication Anxious Times, which is always well-received. This year the magazine underwent a make-over andnow has a full colour front cover, making it more appealing to the eye. Feedback from our readers has beenvery positive and we’d like to make the whole magazine full colour if we had the resources to do this. Anotherkey highlight was the response to the Department of Health’s New Horizon’s document which we led on andwhich featured comments and feedback from a number of fellow anxiety charities including Triumph Over Phobia.It was particularly heartening to work with colleagues representing other anxiety charities on a project of thisnature and magnitude, and I feel confident that in producing this joint response the Department of Health nowhas the opportunity to ensure the needs of anxiety sufferers are truly reflected in mental health service provisionover the next ten years. Finally, in response to the economic downturn and the ever-increasing number of callsbeing made to our national helpline, we launched a Manchester Credit Crunch Helpline in the Autumn to assistindividuals living in Manchester affected by financial difficulties and associated anxiety.4 5

This year saw a fresh intake of volunteers, many of whom suffer from anxiety themselves.How important are volunteers to Anxiety UK?Our volunteers are absolutely the ‘lifeblood’ of the organisation and it is true to say that without their commitment,enthusiasm and dedication, Anxiety UK’s services simply would not exist. Because so many of our volunteershave direct experience of living with anxiety, they are very well-placed to provide responsive and effectiveservices to other sufferers. The charity is committed to ensuring that all volunteers are afforded the best possiblepersonal development opportunities whilst volunteering and to this end, in 2010 we will commence work on there-accreditation process to ensure we continue to hold the ‘Investing in Volunteers’ kite mark award.Anxiety UK recently joined the Mindful Employer scheme aimed at increasing awarenessof mental health at work and supporting employers. Do you see Anxiety UK leading byexample and do you hope other employers will follow?Sadly, mental health discrimination still exists and the stigma associated with living with a mental health difficulty issomething that continues to be an issue for many of our members. As Anxiety UK is a user-led charity, that is, it isrun by and for those with personal experience of living with an anxiety disorder, therefore it is imperative that welead from the front. All of our staff have direct experience of living with anxiety and they defy the stereotypes thatsociety has of mental illness on a daily basis through their dedication and sheer hard work. We know that 1 in 3people will experience panic attacks whilst 1 in 10 people with have a disabling anxiety disorder at some point intheir lives. With statistics like this it is clear to see that anxiety disorders in particular are very common. We shouldtherefore be moving to a situation whereby it is perfectly acceptable for anyone to disclose that they have had amental health difficulty without fear of recrimination. I would like to think that Anxiety UK can underline that it is abest-practice employer and that it is committed to supporting individuals with mental health in the workplace.Finally, what does Anxiety UK have planned for 2010? Do you think it could be a landmarkyear, especially with the charity’s 40th anniversary coming up?I’m really confident about 2010. We have a number of excellent projects that we would like to deliver and whichwe are awaiting confirmation of funding for. It is indeed our 40th anniversary, too, and because of this we will beholding a celebratory event in June to mark this special year. We hope to have the founder of Anxiety UK (or “ThePhobics Society” as it was known as in the 1970s) present at this event along with other key supporters of thecharity. Overall, I do hope that we can look towards entering into a period of stability over the coming year as I feelthat this is important not only for our staff and volunteers, but crucially for the thousands of individuals who, quitefrankly, see Anxiety UK as their lifeline.2009 in Numbers5,608,154hits to the wealth of informationand resources available on theAnxiety UK website14,048anxiety sufferers and the peoplewho support them made calls tothe helpline and specialist helplineservices6500copies of Anxious Timesdistributed1791 requestedsupport through to the emailsupport service460 individualsaccessed therapy throughAnxiety UK43 new volunteers gavetheir time to Anxiety UK tosupport others£15,652.73of donations were made toAnxiety UK from the Anxiety UKmembership in response to ourfinancial crisis140 people enteredthe Anxiety UK poetrycompetition6 7

Member’s StoryIn our Annual Reports we like to have one particular member write about how anxiety hasaffected their life. Mervyn Harnell, a social phobic since childhood, tells his story.My social phobia originates in early childhood. Looking back, I believe both my father and my sister suffered fromsocial anxiety and my mother was also a little neurotic, understandably as she had tuberculosis in both lungsand died from it when I was 11 years old. This was 1942, mid-way through the Second World War. The war had adevastating effect on the emotional health of my whole family, especially during the bombing of Bristol, the citywhere I was born and bred, and lived for more than sixty years.I feltchained to thewall by invisiblechains and couldn’tleave the sanctuaryof home for abouttwo years.I originally joined Anxiety UK, or the National Phobics’ Society as it was then, soonafter it was set up by Katharine Fisher, and she wrote to me on a couple ofoccasions after she developed Parkinson’s Disease. Around this time Iwas writing to several other members of the society, and was eventuallyasked by an agoraphobic lady living in Bolton to go and live with her as acompanion and carer, which I did.The agoraphobia that I suffered from developed around 1957, but wasshort-lived. I had been through a traumatic episode in my life, becameacutely depressed and wasn’t functioning as a human being. I wouldsit for hours in the kitchen, immobile just staring at the wall. The outsideworld had become a very frightening, confusing, disorientating place,alien and completely irrelevant to my inner world and my needs.I felt chained to the wall by invisible chains and couldn’t leave the sanctuaryof home for about two years. Eventually a social worker persuaded my father,with whom I was living at this time that I needed help and transport was arrangedfor me to go to the Bristol Royal Infirmary. I was seen by a psychiatrist, who arrangedfor me to be taken to Barrow hospital straight away (this was a neurosis centre near Bristol). I spent the next nineweeks there, and was given ECT treatment (Electroconvulsive Therapy). It worked wonders for the depression asI began to function again, and rejoined the land of the living. The agoraphobic symptoms also greatly improved.I have always been very fortunate in coming from a musical family, and being able to play the guitar. I love musicof most kinds, and when I was discharged from hospital a friend of mine took me to see some friends of his whowere starting up a rock and roll group, and wanted a rhythm guitarist to complete the foursome. I fitted theirrequirements, joined them, and spent the next five years ‘rocking and rolling’ at various venues in and aroundBristol.This experience not only helped to complete my recuperation from the‘breakdown’ and shut down of my brain, but also helped me to start socialisingagain and overcome my innate shyness, which has plagued me throughoutmy life.I believe we need to challenge this invisible enemy, this destructive trainof thought, and replace the negative thoughts with positive ones. Iknow this won’t be easy, and can only be put into practice, perhaps, ata particular stage in a sufferer’s life when enough confidence has beenbuilt up. Having genuine, caring and loving support helps a sufferer tofeel good about themselves makes them feel they mean something toothers, and that life really is worthwhile.Havinggenuine,caring and lovingsupport helps asufferer to feelgood aboutthemselves8 9

Volunteer ExperiencesVolunteers are crucially important to Anxiety UK and the charity prides itself on providinghigh quality, volunteering opportunities. Currently volunteers give their time in a varietyof capacities undertaking roles such as helpline volunteer, email support volunteer, mediavolunteer through to the Anxiety UK therapists who give their time freely.Anxiety UK has held the prestigious ‘Investing in Volunteers’ kite mark since 2007 and will be entering the reaccreditationprocess through Volunteering England in 2010.Detailed below are extracts from submissions by Anxiety UK volunteers which outline the role the charity hasplayed in their personal development:Christie Laganis, volunteer since January 2008I have thoroughly enjoyed my time volunteering at Anxiety UK and ithas provided me with an invaluable experience. Working amongstsuch a knowledgeable and passionate team has furthered myinsight and has made me more passionate about pursuinga career in mental health. The strength of character ofthe people who volunteer and work at Anxiety UK isinspirational and I think the supportive nature of Anxiety UKhelps you grow in confidence.Matthew Gannicliffe, volunteer since September 2009I was in a pretty desperate position when I started and it’s been a hugely positive experience; a significant factorin helping me move forward. It’s been unbelievably rewarding to have a role where my unfortunately-acquiredexperiences are valued and of use to others.Having been so isolated and shut away, the exposure to both callers’ experiences and this area of work hasshifted my perspective and my self-esteem upwards. I’ve always had an interest in thisarea but I feel like I’ve started on a path of exploring it properly. Regardless ofwhether it leads to work it’s certainly proving worthwhile on personal level.Laura Cutts, volunteer since September 2009I’ve enjoyed meeting the other volunteers and staff and everyone’sbeen really helpful and friendly. At first I was terrified of picking up thephone but with everyone’s encouragement I managed to answer myfirst call and it wasn’t as scary as I’d thought it would be!I’ve enjoyed listening to lots of different people and it’s a fantasticfeeling when you know the person feels better and has found whatyou’ve said useful. When I’ve had a difficult call or when I just need totalk about it, then there’s always been someone here to listen to mewhich has really helped.Joanne Bramley, volunteer since March 2009Thestrength ofcharacter ofthe people whovolunteer and workat Anxiety UK isinspirationalI began volunteering at Anxiety UK to gain experience tohelp me pursue a career in Clinical Psychology. I definitelythink it has done that and it has taught me things thatmy degree in Psychology never could, including theimportance of empathy, understanding and choice. It hasopened up so many more doors to me and has providedme with a unique experience. So much so in fact that I haverecently secured a position within the NHS in Blackpool as an‘Improving Access to Psychological Therapies, PsychologicalWell-being Practitioner’.I decided to do voluntary work as a form of ‘self-help’ as I suffer from social anxiety and have not felt able todo paid work for a number of years. With AUK I have found an environment where I feel safe and accepted.Everyone is so supportive and this has helped me to test my coping skills and build on them. I feel part of a teamwhich makes me feel valued and useful and it’s good to know that I am making a contribution in helping to raiseawareness of anxiety and to help those who are being affected by it.It’s also been a great way to make some new friends and to meet people I would not normally come across. Ifeel the experience I’ve gained from volunteering is a great addition to my CV; I am particularly excited by theopportunities given to me for personal development and at the moment I am studying for an NVQ in Advice andGuidance.10 11

Services ReportGiven the funding issues that affected Anxiety UK in 2009 an executive decision was takento focus on our core services and ensure that they were working to the highest standardspossible. A general trend has been to ensure that AUK services were NICE compliant, andwere working wherever possible to an evidence based model of practice. An overview ofAUK services can be found below:Therapy ServicesThe table below details therapy referrals by location1501209060The Anxiety UK therapist team currently comprises of 138 practitioners from across the UK. They include ofa mixture of qualified and trainee practitioners from a range of disciplines, including Cognitive BehaviouralTherapists, Counsellors and Clinical Hypnotherapists.Anxiety UK provided therapy to 473 individuals during 2009. Interestingly, 2009 was the first year our referralsfor telephone based treatments overtook face to face therapy with 58% of referrals being made for CognitiveBehavioural Therapy overall (both face to face and phone). 33% of referrals were for Clinical Hypnotherapy, withonly 9% of referrals requesting counselling or NLP.300PhoneManchesterLondonEast SussexKentOxfordBucksLincolnLeedsN IrelandSurreyBirminghamBoltonEssexDerbyshireScotlandSheffieldHovePrestonSpainWestAylesburyBerkshireCardiffNottinghamStaffordshireNumber of therapists by disciplineAs with all other service areas it is clear to see that the highest demand for AUK therapy services is in Manchesterand London.120100806040200CH CBT C NLP PCBT PC WCBTTowards the end of 2009 and during an effort to drive up quality standards in the therapist team a bespoketherapist management system was developed by a volunteer from ‘Infonomics’ (an information economybusiness). This system will mean that in 2010 Anxiety UK will be able to report on outcomes data for its therapistteam, along with more closely monitoring referral rates.In 2010 Anxiety UK will look to build upon its service provision and is implementing a web-CBT and Counsellingservice, where individuals can access therapy via web-cam or instant messaging. There has been good take upthus far of this service, with results of the pilot due in 2010.Being a user led organisation means that Anxiety UK is very much in touch with the needs and difficulties faced byits membership. However, we have always aimed to be driven forwards by the people we serve and 2009 wasno exception. AUK carried out 3 surveys in 2009, 1 with members of the public, 1 with the AUK membership and 1in partnership with a range of other anxiety charities with regards to the governments ‘New Horizons’ document(this document is available to download at http://www.anxietyuk.org.uk/annualreports.php).12 13

The results of these surveys conveyed some interesting findings which included:Market Research Survey of Members of the Public:• 78% of people have a greater understanding of depression than anxiety disorders• 40% of people identify themselves as having suffered from an anxiety disorder atsome point in their lives• 35% of these people are amongst the group who weren’t generally aware ofconditions known as anxiety disorders• The most common anxiety disorders suffered by the general population – asidentified by themselves - are• Panic disorder/ attacks: 19%• Generalised anxiety disorder (GAD): 19%• Acrophobia: 13%• Social phobia: 13%• Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD): 12%• Arachnophobia: 12%• 48% of the general public feel compassion towards people suffering with ananxiety disorder – and only 3% feel unsympatheticNational Helpline: 08444 775 774Anxiety UK’s helpline this year secured the Mental HealthHelplines Partnership Quality Standard Mark after going througha formal re-assessment process.The Anxiety UK helpline team is manned by a team of volunteers who in themain are individuals with lived experience of anxiety. The helpline therefore alsoacts as an informal transitional employment service with training and personaldevelopment activities offered. There are currently 21 volunteers undertakingregular helpline shifts. Of these, 72% have personal experience of anxietyconditions which reflects the user led nature of the organisation. Anxiety UK consistently recruits volunteers froma range of age groups and ethnic backgrounds (there has been a significant cohort of volunteers from Africanor Asian backgrounds in the past year). The volunteer team has also consisted of almost equal numbers of maleand female volunteers over the past year. One encouraging statistic is that 65% of AUK volunteers managed toachieve paid employment in the last year which reflects the experience that volunteering for Anxiety UK provides.During 2009 the national helpline has been a popularway for the general public to contact Anxiety UK. 65%of all calls to the national helpline have been answeredby the Anxiety UK team (see Fig.1). After investigationit was found that the current number of lines AUKuses for its helpline provision is not sufficient to meetthe increased demand for calls in the past year. Inresponse to this another line has been ordered.AUK membership survey:• Most people accessed therapy via Anxiety UK due to the length of waiting lists in the NHS and thereduced cost of AUK therapy services• 69% of people surveyed felt that Anxiety UK had helped them feel less isolated• 65% of people felt they couldn’t tell their friends, family or colleagues about their anxiety without fear ordiscrimination (this is interesting with regard to the above finding, that only 3% of the general public feelunsympathetic to those with anxiety)• 96% of people had not heard of the IAPT program – we will re-evaluate this next year when the programhas completed its roll out across the countryFigure 1.Helpline calls annual summary14 15

Fundraising & Finance ReportDespite the difficulties there have been some real fundraising successes. Here’s a fullround-up of the funding we did receive over 2009, as well as exciting fundraising links wedevelopedThe issue of fundraising was a constant throughout 2009 after our unsuccessful bid for funding through theDepartment of Health’s ‘Section 64’ Third Sector Strategic Fund in February. After hearing the news, we began asustained period of completing funding applications and searching for possible funding avenues.Fortunately, NHS North West and four Greater Manchester Primary Care Trusts (PCTs- Salford, Stockport, Trafford& Manchester) provided a short term financial contribution, meaning the charity could survive for another year.Meanwhile, the staff team rallied together and raised over £2,000 by taking part in the Great Manchester Run.Anxiety UK also received funding from the Bernard Lewis Family Trust,which was used to appoint our Communications Officer; and also fromthe Office of the Third Sector’s Targeted Support Fund, whichsupported the development of the Manchester Credit CrunchHelpline which helps Manchester residents suffering fromincreased anxiety and stress because of the recession.Potential fundraising relationships have also beenestablished that, we hope, could bring further fundingsuccess in the future. We’re particularly pleasedwith our links with pharmaceutical company Pfizerand the medical equipment suppliers Smith andNephew, with Pfizer funding our GAD booklet andSmith and Nephew funding a booklet on needlephobia to be produced in 2010.Another link we’re proud to have established is withthe business networking group Rejuvenate, based inManchester. Rejuvenate organised two small eventsfor the charity which raised in excess of £1,000. Wehope to be involved in holding more events next year.22 23

Financial Information2009 represented a challenging year in terms of finances for Anxiety UK. However theAnxiety UK staff and volunteer team, and indeed the Anxiety UK membership cametogether to meet this challenge raising funds which enabled the charity despite operatingin such a harsh climate, to bring in a very small surplus of just over £12,000.The following information is derived from the full audited financial accounts for the year ended 31st December2009 and provides a summary for ease of understanding.If you would prefer to see a fuller version, Anxiety UK’s completed accounts should be consulted. These havebeen filed with Companies House and the Charity Commission and are also available directly from Anxiety UKupon request.51%OtherIncome12%IndividualDonations13%StatutorySectorGrants14%MembershipSubscriptions5%Trust andCorporateDonations4%InvestmentIncomeIncome 2009Individual donations: £16,956 (12%)Statutory sector grants: £19,000 (13%)Trust & corporate donations: £6,900 (5%)Investment income: £6,209 (4%)Membership subscriptions: £20,361 (14%)Earned income: £1,485 (1%)Other income: £73,205 (51%)Total: £144,1161%Earned IncomeTotals1%Cost of GeneratingFunds2%Governance CostsTotal income and expenditure (£) 2009 2008Income 144,116 271,837Expenditure 131,648 195,204Operating surplus 12,468 76,633Unrestricted general funds 256,802 197,10412%SupportCostsDesignated funds 6,000 53,353Total funds 262,925 250,45785%Charitable ActivitiesExpenditure 2009Cost of generating funds(shop sales & other activities): £1, 935 (1%)Governance costs: £2,410 (2%)Support costs(IT, finance, admin, rent): £16,155 (12%)Charitable activities (costs directlyallocated to projects and services) £111,746 (85%)Total: £131,64824 25

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