Mind boss lies to protesters over DWP contracts

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This is bitterly disappointing behaviour from a major mental health charity.

Mrs Mike benefits from a Mind-run art class, here in Mid-Wales, but will certainly think twice about attending if the charity is a DWP poodle.

Perhaps it is time for a reorganisation at the top – before the charity loses all of its supporters.

Mind’s chief executive has lied to service-users and other disabled activists who were protesting about his charity’s close links with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

Disabled activists who gathered outside Mind’s headquarters on Monday declared “war” on the charity because of its support for DWP policies that they say have damaged people in mental distress.

The protest, led by mental health service-users, was sparked by the decision of the charity’s policy and campaigns manager Tom Pollard to join DWP on secondment as a senior policy adviser.

The noisy protest saw activists brand Mind an “absolute disgrace” and brandish a bag containing “30 pieces of silver”, which they said was “blood money” for Pollard.

When Paul Farmer, Mind’s chief executive, left the building to speak to protesters (pictured), he told them the charity had “no contracts with DWP” and that he was “not interested in future contracts at this stage”.

But after the protest, a disgruntled member of Mind staff leaked details that appeared to be from the charity’s internal website, which showed that it was applying to join a DWP framework that will allow it to bid for employment and health-related contracts, each of which could be worth between £2 million and £30 million a year.

Source: Mind boss lies to protesters over DWP contracts

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11 thoughts on “Mind boss lies to protesters over DWP contracts

  1. Anna Zimmerman

    Hi Mike, I’m really glad that you are covering the issue of collusion between governments and NGOs that results in the betrayal of their original charitable purpose. Sadly this is increasingly common as governments seek to co-opt NGOs to act on their behalf through the mechanism of awarding highly lucrative contracts. Every party gains except the supposed beneficiaries of the ‘charity’, who must suffer subtle, but crucial changes in the ethos of the organisation usually resulting in degraded services. A good example of this is when Mind took over the running of an organisation local to me (forgive me withholding names) that had been devoted to helping people with learning and mental difficulties. It had always been run as a day centre, giving very vulnerable people a sense of community. When Mind took over on the behest of the government it was turned into a job centre cum slave labour depo. The service users are now forced to perform menial jobs that have been farmed out by local businesses, for no pay. Sometimes these tasks are physically damaging, resulting in nasty blistering and sores. The users are also expected to only attend for a few months, by which time they are supposed to get jobs. Given that many of the people there are quite incapable of ordinary work, the whole endeavour has become a cruel farce and is a travesty of its original purpose. Needless to say I will never give a single penny to Mind ever again – or many other ‘charities’ that have similarly become cash cows for insiders and fig leaves for government agendas. We all need to be a great deal more circumspect when donating money, as corruption is as rampant in the charity sector as in all others.

  2. Neilth

    He should be considering his position and then resign. Barefaced lying in this manner totally discredits both him and therefore his organisation. For the sake of MIND he must go.

  3. jeffrey davies

    ah pf again his charity is in league with gov has others are they taking the blood monies offered and bend to gov will strange that people are only realising this now look at cab it took 3million of the dwp cardiff they all at it

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Citizens Advice in Powys has nothing to do with any of this, and I don’t think the national organisation has either. Don’t tar us all with the same brush, please.

  4. Brian

    “no contracts with DWP” but “applying to join a DWP framework”,

    is double speak, as used by the Tories for camouflage. Paul Farmer needs removing from this post and replacing with someone who has the charities principle’s at heart.

  5. casalealex

    I cannot help but say that I do not have much faith in charities. Mainly because the ‘chiefs’ pay themselves exorbitant salaries – whilst many of the ‘indians’ get no pay whatsoever – that is charity! Just saying….

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      As a trustee board member of one charity, I can assure you that is not true in at least some cases.

      1. Mark

        I work as a Support Worker for a very large UK based international Disability charity and my colleagues & I work long shifts; no such things as weekends, can be rota’d any day and apart from Christmas Day, Boxing Day & New Year bank holidays, our staff association gave the rest away, i.e. we earn NLW for the rest. We receive NLW between 07.00 a.m. & 21.00 + a 10% enhanced hour until 22.00. If we’re working the ‘long’ shift – 09.00 a.m. until 9.00 a.m. which includes what is conveniently termed a ‘sleep-in’ 22.00 until 7.00 next morning – for which we receive £26.80 (9 hours at work: if we left the premises we would be disciplined & possibly fired, so we are AT WORK, for £2.80 an hour. I have been obliged to do 13 sleep-ins in one month, average is 6). We are actually on-call by the residents and most people do not sleep ‘well’. We’re lone-working, often now from 15.00 (with two profoundly disabled people [physical & learning disabled], until 09.00 a.m. when day staff arrive. All my colleagues either have to work many hours overtime, or take second jobs to make ends barely meet. Most of us work 50+ hours each week (not including the 9 hours of each ‘sleep-in’.
        Our London office recruited a ‘REWARDS MANAGER’ about 18 months ago to look into wage levels and other strategies to reward people in the organisation. We haven’t had a ‘proper’ wages increase for nearly six years – we got 1% (on £7.20) last year, but the organisation didn’t give us the usual £15.00 Christmas gift! Managers usually talk about wages in September & publish their ‘thoughts’ in October – nothing as yet! The REWARDS MANAGER’S post is being advertised at present @ £64,000.00 (appears to be a real doddle, might just apply!). SOCIAL CARE IS IN ABJECT CRISIS and most of the general public have no idea!

  6. Nick

    my findings of many charities and also my daughters findings are at best they are hit and mis depending on what needs you have

    mind are by far the worst having said that certain staff are good but on a minimum wage the turnover of staff is high so therefore the whole business does not function properly

    on on that basis my conclusions are don’t rely on them for any help at any time. sure you may get lucky and get help but for me i’m out

    On a plus point the samaritans are good at listening, and in an emergency the best of people to speak with so at least someone does care albeit not necessarily the charity that should be helping you

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