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The extreme heat

Hi readers, it’s Emily and William here in Dorchester, writing our column sitting outside Cote Restaurant, enjoying al-fresco dining. It’s a blue grey sky, not sunny but not cold, and it’s 7pm early evening. We are about to enjoy a meal.

It is actually our Christmas meal, which Laura (who helps us edit the column) treats us to every year, but we have missed the last two years because of covid. Does this mean we can order double?!

Something is different though. We have a gatecrasher! Luckily she’s lovely. Welcome to Becky from the Dorset Mental Health Forum (DMHF) who we’ll make the most of and interview, as we want to know why she’s here and what she does!

We have lots of questions, like what is the connection between her charity and our work at People First Dorset (PFD)? Why has she turned up? Was she thirsty?

Becky explained that the connection is not only her longstanding friendship with Laura, but that there is a lot of crossover between both charities. For a start, PFD is a group of people doing things for ourselves (also known as user-led) and the DMHF is the same.

Becky says; ’We are a group of people who all have our own experiences of mental health conditions (our own or caring for others), who help each other and show the wider community what we can do in spite of our experiences. We show that we do not need to be defined by our mental health condition. Our work also helps change the often negative perceptions of mental health in the community and increases understanding.’

Becky then asked us a few questions. We were not expecting that! And oh no, we have already run out of room so will continue this next week. Tune in and find out what was said!

The writers of the Our View column are supported in their editing by People First Dorset - a charity led and run by people with learning disabilities with support from staff.

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