#YouAreNotAlone Fertility Week 28th October – 3rd November 2019

Fertility Week shines a light on and helps to spread awareness of fertility issues to a wider audience. It is a real issue that 1 in 6 couples in the UK face, and is something that not only affects your physical health, but something that can affect your mental health too.

Heather, our Head of Client Services, shares her IVF journey to help raise awareness on the first day of National Fertility Awareness Week – #MentalMatters…


In 2016, after 5 year of trying for a baby we took the plunge into IVF. I’d avoided it because I didn’t want a baby that way but sometimes as you become more desperate for something what you are and are not willing to try changes. My faith played a big part in me pushing though and is a big part of my life.

I’ve never been someone with an especially positive or excitable mood. In fact I would go so far as to say I have a fairly consistent low mood. I have been like that for as long as I can remember and I didn’t even realise it before this process.

I endured the fertility drugs and in many ways the process brought me and my husband, Mark, together more.

I was tired and to be honest just really could not be bothered to do anything and if I thought it was an option for me I would probably have stayed at home full stop. I stopped doing things I do to stay well, like walking my dog Pearl but I pushed through the process because the possible outcome was overwhelmingly worth it.

In August 2016 we found out after the first round of treatment I was pregnant. I was so happy although like I said, I’m not excitable.

A few months in I started to think how my experience of pregnancy was nowhere near as great as I had imagined. Then my friend said one sentence that made me realise I wasn’t great either.
“Do you know you’re a bit down Hev?”
“No, I don’t”
It seems daft now! I’d worked in mental health for ten years but I didn’t see it in myself!

I’d stopped doing what I enjoyed and what kept me well. I started getting up later, going to work, coming home and watching tv, going to bed and repeat. Every week day. No socialising at all except work. It crept up on me. I’m an introvert anyway so I have a tendency to hibernate at the best of times.

During my third trimester I started to feel brighter. The impending gift gave me something to look forward to and I felt amazing. When Eva came she was just perfect.

The fertility problems highlighted an issue in me. It made me see I had low mood. It made me see there are times when that dips into depression. It made me realise the importance of the small things I do that keep me afloat.

Since this revelation about my own mental health, I have noticed more when I have dipped. I have been able to consciously push myself to do what I know helps to try and stop it getting worse (I don’t always do this, just like I don’t always do my Physio exercises and then my back hurts again – I don’t know why, maybe lack of motivation is a symptom of the low mood).

I know I’m fortunate that I don’t have a chronic mental health problem and I can function even when I’m not on top form. The fertility process was not pleasant but what it gave me is an awareness in my own mental health and, of course, Eva.

The Charity Times Awards 2019

The Charity Times Awards 2019

We’re still on cloud 9 here at The Cellar Trust because this month we took home gold in the Cross-sector Partnership of the Year Award at the Charity Times Awards 2019!

The Awards celebrate the achievements and contributions of charities across the country, and we’re delighted to have been chosen as the winners in our category. We are thrilled that a local charity like ours has received this recognition and we are so grateful to Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust, Bradford Metropolitan District Council, and MyWellbeing College for their support.

Brent Kilmurray, Chief Executive at Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust said: “The Cellar Trust is a highly respected, well engaged community organisation providing support for people in mental health crisis in Bradford and beyond. The Charity has been a fantastic partner to the Trust, working creatively with us to support development of pathways reaching into communities, involving people with lived experience and working with us to create innovative cross-sector partnerships. The Cellar Trust has people at the heart of everything it does, with a team of fantastic peer support workers heading up service delivery, all of whom have lived experience.”

Councillor Susan Hinchcliffe, Leader of Bradford Council, said: “Tackling mental health issues to enable people to live a more positive life is an important priority for us and this is a well-deserved award for The Cellar Trust as a key partner in delivering these services. Mental health problems can affect anyone at any time and they can be devastating to that individual, their friends and family. The Cellar Trust’s work is not just to help those in crisis. It also works with the council and other health partners to supporting people with mental health issue back into work, enabling them to live a happier and healthier life, benefiting everyone in the district.”



30 ways to improve your mental health

30 ways to improve your mental health

Did you know it’s our 30th anniversary this month? We’ll be sharing lots of information about our history, plans for the future, and a some fun and themed challenges throughout the month to celebrate 30 years of The Cellar Trust! We thought we’d kick start things by sharing our 30 ways to improve your mental health…

1 – Listen to your favourite music

Music can give you a fantastic boost. Whether you’re into pop, rock or indie, do something today that involved music – turn on the radio, make a new feel-good Spotify playlist, or head to a record store to get out and about and find inspiration.

2 – Go for a walk

Being outside and in breathing in the fresh air is great for the mind and body. Whether you go for a 10 minute stroll or a full day hike, even just a little bit of time spent outside can make a huge difference. Check out some of our favourite walks and green spaces here.

3 – Do something that used to make you happy as a child

Whether you make jam sandwiches for lunch or start a diary, do something from your childhood that made you happy.

4 – Organise and de-clutter

A drawer full of odds and ends or a wardrobe that needs a little TLC? Why not spend an hour organising something in your home! It feels great to get de-clutter and even doing something small is a big achievement. Did you know we have a charity shop in Shipley town centre? If you decide to have a clear out please do think of us.

5 – Compliment yourself and someone else

Start your day by mentally listing or writing down three things you like about yourself. This could be something as simple as the colour of your eyes, an achievement you’ve had during the week, or you favourite personality trait, and then remember how that makes you feel! While you’re at it, compliment someone else during your day, whether you praise a colleague on a fantastic job, or tell a friend that you love their new nail colour. Small acts of kindness towards yourself and others feel amazing!

6 – Get an early night

We’re all guilty of going to bed late or not getting enough sleep in general. When possible, why not head to bed half an hour early to make sure you’re ready for the day ahead. That extra bit of sleep will work wonders and put a spring in your step.

7 – Have a social media ‘detox’

We’re all guilty of spending too much time on social media. Today make a conscious effort to reduce your phone screen time or stay away from it altogether if you can!

8 – Cook something different or bake a cake

Dig out those old recipe books or find something new to make or bake. Cooking and baking are both very therapeutic activities, and you can enjoy the results yourself or share with friends and family.

9 – Make plans with a friend

Whether you make plans with someone you see every week or someone you may only see once a year, get something booked in the diary with a person you love to spend time with. Catch up over a coffee go to one another’s for tea.

10 – Paint, write, or try something else creative

Doing creative activities is great for wellbeing, so why not try something different for day 10? Try your hand at poetry, song-writing, painting, drawing, knitting, and something else you’ve always wanted to have a go at.

11 – Plan a healthy meal

It’s really easy to rely on convenience food when you’re busy or have a lot on your mind. Go out of your way to make a healthy snack or meal – whether that be a little pack of pomegranate seeds or a lovely bowl of salad!

12 – Read a book

Why not scour your local charity book store to find something new to read? You may stumble across a new fiction find, or a fantastic autobiography by someone inspirational

13 – Find a quite place to meditate

Whether you take five minutes out to sit and relax, or listen to some soothing music – try different meditation techniques and see if you can find one that works for you.

14 – Dance while you do the housework

Tackling household chores can seem like a mammoth task, but if you pop some music on and dance your way around the vaccum cleaning or bop along while washing dishes, it’ll make it more fun and lift your mood!

15 – Treat yourself to a colouring book

Colouring is great for mindfulness, and there’s loads of brilliant options out there from patterns to landscapes! Pick yourself up a book and some pencils/crayons today

16 – Go to the cinema

Not been to the cinema in ages and seen an advert that’s caught your eye? Why not take a solo trip to the cinema to see the latest independent film or big blockbuster! There’s also lots of fantastic 2-4-1 offers out there so bring a friend if you fancy making it a trip for two!

17 – Be a tourist in your own town

No matter how long you’ve lived in a town or city, there’s always something new to explore. Why not check out the community boards at your local event spaces and libraries, or have a google search to see if there’s anything new and exciting happening in your area

18 – Go on a picnic

Check the weather forecast and if there’s a beautiful day coming up then head out on a picnic. Spending even just a few minutes in the sunshine (remember the sun cream!) can boost your mood

19 – Write a to-do list

Lists are a great way to help you get those ever-increasing mental notes down on paper. Whether you use the notes app on your phone or treat yourself to a notebook or some post-its, writing things down can really help with stress, and consolidating your thoughts can make bigger tasks more manageable

20 – Say no to something

If you feel rushed off your feet and are able to say no to a function or event then do it! Having time to relax and recuperate is important, and being busy all the time may mean you don’t get the chance for ‘me time’

21 – Plan a games night

Whether you opt for Monopoly, Kerplunk, or Twister, why not book in a games night with a few friends? It’s a great way to have a laugh and get together with your favourite people!

22 – Drink more water

Sometimes we’re so busy we forget to drink, or we just slip into bad habits of only having soft drinks! Make a point of drinking enough water each day – you’ll feel more energised and it’s a great start towards a healthier lifestyle

23 – Practice a hobby

Have a hobby you love but sometimes feel like you don’t get to spend enough time on it? Block out some time in your diary to pick it back up again! It can be ten minutes of crocheting or an hour of badminton – make time for the things you love

24 – Do 30 minutes of yoga

Yoga is a great way to start your day, or to unwind and relax. There are lots of classes in and around Bradford, or why not sign up to an online class so you can do it from home?

25 – Write down something great that happened today

Write down something fantastic from your day and put it somewhere visible (on the fridge, in your diary etc.) to remind yourself of an achievement, big or small, that happened today

26 – Ask for help

Is there a task you’ve been struggling with at work, or do you need to talk to someone about how you feel? Ask for help. It can be a colleague, a friend, or someone else, just be sure to take the first step in asking for some help and assistance if you need it

27 – Set a small goal

This can be anything from a week of making packed lunches instead of convenience eating, to trying to spend less time on social media. Go for something challenging but achievable and enjoy the feeling of accomplishment

28 – Pamper yourself

Taking ten minutes out to do a face mask or paint your nails can make you feel so much better. Head down to your local supermarket or beauty store and pick up something small for a mini pamper

29 – Write an email, send a letter or message someone you haven’t spoken to in a while

Some of us have friends we don’t get to see very often, which can be down to distance, hectic schedules, or anything in between. Take the time to write someone an email, letter or message to let them know you’re thinking of them and find out what their latest news is

30 – Take up a new sport

Always fancied joining a local club or taking up a new sport? Now’s the time to go for it! It’s a great way to get yourself out there and meet new people