I joined Stages just over a year ago, after losing a family member through suicide, while she was an inpatient. Then a year on from that, my brother decided that he could manage without his medication. August that year was a complete nightmare, using all the experience I had developed over the years suddenly meant nothing at all, until I met up with a couple of members of #Stages. I quite often wonder, if my Sister had access to the group, would she still be with us today. ? I know how much the group means to me & everyone in it. I can quite honestly say, it has made such a difference to my quality of life & would go as far to say, it actually saves the NHS money. Less Dr’s Appointments, hospital visits, psychiatrist appointments & being able to manage on little medication. I personally wouldn’t want to be without this group, it has made such a difference to my life & my families. They have seen my confidence grow since joining the group. M.C. Corby

I joined Stages 9 weeks ago and can already say they are an amazing bunch of people; very welcoming, non-judgemental and caring. I learnt a lot on the mindfulness course and incorporating it into my everyday life has been beneficial in a number of ways. I have met people on similar journeys and some on completely different journeys but every one of them is supportive to each other and accepting and supportive of each other’s needs and differences. When meeting with Stages family, i know I can be myself without judgement. I have learnt a lot from the people at Stages and have met some life-long friends. Thank you xx A.M.Corby

I really and truly enjoyed my mindfulness course and met some wonderful people on the way. I feel so grounded now . I sleep better and enjoy doing the meditations . Thank you to Katie and Stages for giving me the opportunity to use these new skills in my everyday life. X  E.M.Corby

Doing the mindfulness course with stages has helped me no end . Helping me find my centre of concentration when my mind wanders helping relieve stress and anxiety. Stages isn’t a group it’s a little family . Personal, loving, unjudgemental. Made some wonderful friends x thank you katie x  J.C. Corby

This course was a life changer for me, it helped me on so many levels, I am so much calmer in stressful situations and have bought practice into my every day routine. Can’t thank stages enough. I also met some wonderful people there that were non judgmental , warm, open and very giving. Thank you all X  L.P Corby

I don’t know where I would be without Stages. The mindfulness course has helped me no end to cope with my situation. Katie who started the charity up 2 years ago works tirelessly raising funds for the charity so more people can be helped. The best thing is they are lovely people and once you have done the mindfulness course you are not left because there are refreshers and therapy evenings and lunches. They are soooo supportive can’t recommend it enough. L.S.Corby

My doctor made me aware of stages when I was very lonely and depressed
Katie accepted me to attend the mindfulness group and I attended the meetings. From the very first visit I felt part of a family no judgement no feelings of I shouldn’t have cried and most of all I felt I could cope with looking after my husband.
Unfortunately my husband passed away and I was immediately supported by the mindfulness group. I have learnt how to still my mind and meditate to help me. I love these people and to be honest I don’t know where I would be today if I hadn’t of had mindfulness in my life. X Katie xx C.A.Corby

Since 2011 I have had Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Since I was diagnosed, I have tried many things to help me with this debilitating illness, but sadly nothing really helped. I got to a point in October 2015 where I just didn’t know what to do anymore. I’d tried everything my doctor had advised, I’d tried speaking to my friends and family, but the truth is, unless you’ve been there it is incredibly difficult to help.

I was then made aware of STAGES and thank goodness Katie accepted my request for help. I instantly felt an acceptance from walking through the doors on that first night. An acceptance of my mental health and the good and the bad days that come with it. I don’t worry about saying how I really feel as there will be no judgement, just support. Before I was welcomed into STAGES, and despite having lots of caring friends and family, I felt so alone. Now I have an amazing support network which I cherish and I am truly grateful for. I have made some amazing friends, who have all been through different experiences, but who I can relate to so much.

I have benefitted hugely from the mindfulness course. It has given me the right strategies to cope and an awareness I did not have previously. I also benefit greatly from the reiki nights as it gives me a peace I don’t usually get to experience.

There are so many people with mental health issues with no where to go; no hope to heal and no where to receive real empathic non-judgemental support. I know this because I was one of them. STAGES provides all of this and I am incredibly lucky to be supported by such a wonderful charity.  R.M.Corby

I joined Stages September 2015 ,I heard About it through a friend that goes there,and I’m glad my referral was accepted, because I had no where else to go,the waiting lists were very long.  I suffer with my mental health (PTSD) and stages has been a godsend to me the people are friendly and they don’t judge.
They do holistic therapies, Indian head massage, Reiki ,Reflexology, and Tea/ Coffee meet ups just for a chat.  I’ve also done a Mindfulness course, which honestly has brought me out of my shell, I’ve shared things on this course, which l wouldn’t have done before.  The meditations are calming, and have also gave me some tools to help me cope with my flashbacks. Stages is my Beautiful amazing family, and I don’t know where I would be today if it wasn’t for them.  I Am Truly Grateful X  H.A.Corby

My wife S***** and I have been together for fourteen years now.
Our first ten years were quite difficult because of S****’s illness
(bipolar depression) and her coping mechanisms for dealing with it. On
two occasions I had to make the decision to have S*** sectioned for
her own mental health, which I found incredibly difficult and
emotional. After one of many stays in hospital, S***** received
eighteen months of psychological treatment at Stuart Road which led to
her engaging with the STAGES group. This experience led directly to
her finding new and valuable friends who can offer her the support she
needs because they understand what she is going through. I am also a
member of the STAGES group, and I have witnessed first-hand the
friendship and bond S**** has formed with Katie Read the group
director, as well as the other group members. We all help and support
each other through our difficulties and this makes us stronger. This
has had a positive influence on my relationship with S**** and given
us a happier and more stable life together.

The STAGES group is a very worthy cause and I believe charitable
funding would do so much good for the group and the people of Corby it
already helps, as well as newcomers who would be able to join. D.A.Corby

STAGES, which stands for Support Training Advice Guidance & Educational Services, is a support network for people in Corby and the surrounding area offering help with mental health issues through the use of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, mindfulness, meditation, complimentary therapies and holistic support.

Mental health issues have always been a big part of my life. I’m currently 47 years old and since the age 17 have been receiving treatment from the Corby Community Mental Health Team for various diagnoses including depression and anxiety, and more recently, bipolar depression. Bipolar depression became a major feature of my life in 2005 when I had a lengthy 6 month stay in hospital. After this I had no support to speak of. I suffered regular breakdowns of my mental health from this point on, which between the years 2010-2014 resulted in annual stays in mental health hospitals for months at a time over the summer periods.

After the last of these visits I started to get involved with the STAGES group upon release. I became aware of this great network through meeting Wayne Read on a life skills course I took part in at Stuart Road Corby Mental Health Clinic, leading me to meet his wife Katie who is the STAGES group director. I’d always wanted to be treated holistically because as you can see above, being treated as the sum of my symptoms didn’t work for me, so this was a dream come true. It’s no coincidence that I haven’t looked back since and I’m now in remission and out of hospital for the longest period of time since receiving my bipolar diagnosis.

As I’m sure you’re aware, mental health issues aren’t always taken as seriously as physical ones, but they can be every bit as debilitating, and often more so. This isn’t a glamorous cause, but it is certainly is an important one. STAGES has helped me to turn my life around and I believe it could help so many more people if it just got the funding and support it needs to continue its good work. S.A. Corby

I first found out about Stages through a friend of mine, who had already attended a few sessions. I suffer with depression, and attending these sessions have helped me no end, not only with mindfulness but meeting people with similar problems to myself. The support we give each other is amazing, and will be hard to top anywhere else. The director was very welcoming, and the group meetings have a family feel to them.  H.G. Corby

I’ve recently just joined stages, on my first day I was very nervous,soon as I walked in the door I was introduced to every one, & made to feel welcome. H A Corby

Stages really helped me at a time i needed it, and even today i still use the tools they taught me to cope with everyday life. Just like to say thankyou for all your support and help xxx T J Corby .

Stages is important for wellbeing and is an important steppingstone for recovery. The work , time and love for healing is what the STAGES team give in abundance. The holistic therapies and the Mindfulness courses available give another viewpoint that someone in a very difficult and vulnerable state would not and could not understand. A.S, Corby

I had the good fortune to get introduced to Katie who arranged for me to do the mindfulness programme. I suffer from a range of physical disabilities but I also have very bad anxiety and depression and slight agrophobia. I tried to do the class program but found that too difficult so Katie arranged for me to do my program one to one, I am by no means cured of all my anxiety issues etc but I am taking the baby steps I need to try and lead a more joyful life. Without the help and the opportunity to carry on with different therapies I would no doubt carry on my downward spiral of depression self hate and worthlessness that has been consuming my life. The services provided are invaluable and I hope that they can carry on providing these and more . L W, Corby

I had been under a lot of stress for years because of my husband’s addiction. It led me into depression and unable to go out and socialise as I would get very panicky in company. Through the Mindfulness course which I was introduced to by Katie at Stages, I am slowly learning how to be at peace through meditation and the help through other group members. By doing this course with other people who understand what you’re going through is a big plus and helps you on the journey to recovery. These courses need to continue as I know there are a lot of people in need of them, and better to be taught how to cope rather than drain the NHS resources by needing to take prescription drugs. Just a big thank you to Katie and Stages it needs to continue. LS, Corby

Stages are the best thing to happen to me. I suffer from mental health and was so lost until i began there course because of them i have some hope in my life. Would love to carry on with their group therapy. Such kind People. LR, Corby

I would like to say a huge thank you for being asked to attend the Mindfulness course. I have felt so calm and looking at my life differently.  I no longer feel so stressed and depressed. The kindness of everyone at the group is making Mondays a time to look forward to. I feel that I have gained so much so that I can lead a much calmer and happy life knowing that there are fantastic help from groups like this willing to help people like me.  CA, Corby

My life has changed since joining stages in ways that can only be described as Amazing !! .I have been house bound socially awkward as a result of anxiety and depression couldn’t cope with exposure to new people or crowded areas .Through reading a testimony on a media sight I plucked the courage to email Katie and find out what the idea of mindfulness and who would be in the group etc.
My group was in an evening and with it being winter months ! ,despite my anxious arousal exceptionally high I turned up at the group I was warmly met by Katie and facilitators’ (Louise and tim) .i struggled hugely the first evening however muddled to the end .Each week coming home with literature and meditation links I after a while really became part of my day ,a survival kit just for me ! .I know manage school drop off ,shopping and more importantly improve my friendship bond I have established with members of my group .Stages has continued to work with another group of ten people offering the same real life experiences of depression,chaos,drug / alcohol and pain addiction,they also have aspired to the new way of life in mindfulness including a range of additional sources ie,Reiki and indian head massage .stages has become a key role in our comunity with limited resources and understanding .Along side this we have had a few coffee ,chat meet which have been truly benefited myself and others .Without stages there would be a huge void in my life .The founder of it Katie is the most empathetic,completely passionate and caring to all walks of life I couldn’t thank her enough ,if I could ask for anything in this world it would be for this beneficial charity to continue in its life changing,positive family of survivors and who have found inner peace within their own skin .
Namaste.  KM,Corby.

I have become aware of stages since September 2014 with the thanks from social media I enquired about the mindfulness and thought I would give it a try. I completed the mindfulness as best as I could .The benefits I have from going to the course are humongous! .i met two amazing facilitators who were ,warm ,caring and very aware of the real life of pain suffering and depression .The group was guided gently and in laymans terms ! Meeting other people was huge challenge for myself and to be integrated in a small group with the most beautiful and kind souls helped myself and I could see the confidence and change within the groups as the weeks went on .The literature and cd of meditation is my life skill a bible if you like . I can genuinely say if I don’t use mindfulness in my day I do struggle and drain very quickly.Katie has the most kind heart and supportive in all aspects .The group of friends I have met have made me feel part of something very genuine and at the low times supportive .i love how after the group a firm bond has been sealed within us .After mindfulness I became part of a Reiki one session and completed it .It was the first training course since i was made redundant to ill health .The Reiki shares and continued meditations and coffee evenings has benefited myself hugely.i actually look forward to getting up dressed and out to meet friends and continue to grow my self esteem and confidence.Stages has been my life line without I I would continue to be lost within the mental health system which is shockingly overwhelmed and limited support .Stages has compassion skilled support and individuals who are understanding and empathy is superb .i really hope stages continue to be funded and help other individuals the benefits are priceless.I’m humbled and so very grateful to all involved. KF Corby.

Stages has helped me in various ways.  I suffer from agoraphobia, social phobia, anxiety and depression and am now a recovering addict.  I tried to attend a Mindfulness Course in July last year but didn’t get past the first session because I was still struggling with my alcohol addiction.  However, stages group members have still been there to support me online through social media groups,  etc and finally when I managed to get sober, I joined the November group.  Since attending the Stages Mindfulness course and the other various group support sessions and receiving one to one reflexology and reiki, my life has turned around.  I feel connected with friends who support me. I have lived here for almost 10 years and was unable to establish friendships due to my agoraphobia .  I feel that I now have a purpose and have volunteered as transport and helping serve tea and coffee etc and when the latest group started, I even felt able to talk to new people about how much I felt the group had helped me. I have grown in confidence and cannot recommend this group highly enough.  In the past I have felt let down by the lack of help from services such as CAN and the NHS.  WR, Corby

Some days the sadness of bereavement overwhelms me . I function to a degree and mostly get through the days. I am starting on a new stage of my life and I needed to be refreshed on my inner wisdom and to learn different strategies to function more fully at this time. Not only to function more fully but to be compassionate and kind with myself when I need to do nothing. So, to learn to be, and feel ok with that is part of what I got from the course. This 8 week programme has helped me take the steps that are right for me. To remain in the present even if that is uncomfortable, knowing it will pass and to be grateful for what is in my life. And I believe it is helping me sleep better, that is the biggest change and I am thankful for that. I was on the verge of requesting medication as the lack of sleep has been disabling. So thank you Tim who led the course, and to Katie for organising it. What we need now is a beautiful setting for the group to be held in, just saying….. LM Corby

I.would like to give you feed back.  I was a front line worker depression ,anxiety and various health complications resulted in me being medically retired by the nhs despite being loyal to them for 18 years .My life spiralled out of control and happiness was zapped into pity .Then October 2012 I was in a horrific car accident which has even more impacted on my life and frustrations .By you coming into my life introduction to stages meeting you ,Tim Louise and Wayne to do the eight week program was a life send …..currently I’m not where I.want to be with the meditation and change which is frustrating me as I’m normally a fast learner and facilitator well was in the past .What the warmth support and empathy has gave me to date words just don’t justify it .I am now actually in company at sessions and following through with the literature. I will still need a while to go but your encouragement has brought back the spark I.once had and need back .I am confident with support that once mastered by myself ….My future life plan will be training in this field it relates to me in all aspects .you have fired me up. Tim ,Louise.I truly thank you immensley.kind regards,K.F. Corby

I have always been disappointed at the lack of services for people with mental health conditions, that are free and accessible.  When I read about this group, I was instantly interested due to my major struggle to access the therapies I felt that I needed.  Mindfullness was something I did not know a lot about, but reading about it made me more and more curious, and my psychiatrist said to me he wished he could prescribe it to everyone!  I have found the course to be both interesting and easy to understand.  I liken it to a journey, where the first step of getting through the door feeling so nerve wracked is the biggest!!
I felt instantly at ease with the group leaders and the company director, and as each week went by and I learned the meditations along with how to accept thoughts, feelings and emotions, just as they are.
I feel this course has made me feel more in control of my life, and the meditations I have learned give me the head space I need so badly at times.  I have a son with autism and associated conditions and found it so hard to gain acceptance of this, but during this course, I started to gain this acceptance, and peace.  Living in the moment has eased my stress, and anxiety, and made me realise that there is so much beauty in the world, if we choose to stop and stay in the moment.
I will continue to practice the meditations and incorporating mindfullness into my daily life.  My favourite phrase is now “The past is history, the future a mystery, but this moment is a gift, that’s why it’s called the present!”  EC, Corby,Northants

I developed a Mindfulness Practice several years ago after developing a disability. I found my new enforced circumstances emotionally challenging and soon spiralled into depression and chronic anxiety. I was offered antidepressants but I do not tolerate medication well and there were too many side effects for me to deal with.

I was on the waiting list for counselling via my GP for many months and was never offered a place despite frequent visits where I was very distressed. Throughout this period I developed an addiction to the pain killers I was given to manage my physical symptoms. As a mother of three children this had a huge impact on my family.

After following the scientific research into Mindfulness for addictions, pain management and mental health, I decided to develop a practice. It was life-changing. Eight years on I have completed extensive teacher training courses and feel privileged to be part of Stages, to be able to teach others how to manage their mental and physical health through Mindfulness.

There are many vulnerable people who are not able to access the support they desperately need either due to a lack of NHS resources or the inability to pay privately for help. This places a huge strain on the already stretched NHS as service users are often left on medication for indefinite periods of time which often then leads to further health problems due to side effects.

Through the Stages programme attendees are taught how to manage their own conditions through mindfulness. Support is offered anytime it’s needed throughout the programme and CD’s, MP’3s and worksheets are given to support the practice at home.  In addition Katie offers a range of holistic therapy treatment and operates a library with books relevant to specific conditions.

If I had been offered  a programme like this eight years ago life for me, for my entire family, would have been completely different  LJ – Corby

I had been dealing with a difficult family situation for a while when I first heard of Stages.  I had been searching for a drug free way to manage my low mood and anxiety, which was exacerbated by my inability to sleep.
After talking to Katie she referred me to Louise Jensen to attend six weekly sessions centred around Mindfulness.Louise was compassionate and after talking through my circumstances helped me to look at things from a different perspective, as well as teaching me to meditate.  The theory behind mindfulness was easy to understand and scientific research was interesting.
Outside of the sessions I was provided with a manual, MP’3s and a cd so I could practice every day between meetings, and could contact Louise at any time for additional support.
This course has been hugely beneficial to me, changing my relationship, not just with myself, but with those around me. I now feel I have the tools I need to deal with panic and anxiety and has greatly improved the quality of my sleep.  I will continue to practice the meditations daily.
I would certainly recommend Stages to others.TP-Corby

I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to undertake the first STAGES Mindfulness course. Myself and my partner have benefited enormously from the skills this course has taught us.

The mindfulness meditation practice has helped me cope with both my own work related stress and my partner’s continuing recovery from alcohol abuse. It has helped me to improve my wellbeing step by step, leaving me with a daily practice I can rely on to calm me down when I am feeling overwrought and anxious. The group meetings were a good chance to share progress and setbacks in a very safe, non-judgemental and welcoming environment.  I have gained new perspectives from reflecting on my own behaviour and have started to see situations with fresh eyes, which has helped me to start to react to stress triggers differently.

Additionally, the alternative therapy treatments on offer have given me some much needed relaxation and relief from stress related pain.  I highly recommend this course to anyone who like me, suffers with depression, stress, anxiety and associated physical pain. MA, Corby

I started the Healing Minds Mindfulness course when I was alcohol dependant and during the course I successfully completed a medically assisted home detox as part of my ongoing recovery.  I had already tried going to AA and CA meetings for support, but couldn’t relate to them as they seemed quite religion based, which didn’t feel right for me.

However, the Healing Minds course has helped me massively as it has taught me coping mechanisms to deal with underlying depression, anxiety and urges to resume drinking.  My partner also did the mindfulness course and it has helped strengthen our relationship enormously, as we have grown together in self awareness, honesty and forgiveness of each other.

I was very apprehensive before the first session, but within minutes was made to feel at ease, with no pressure to share my thoughts and feelings,  unless I felt comfortable doing so.  Tama-do sessions have cured a long standing back injury and the head massage was incredibly relaxing, which really helped during a very stressful time in my life.  Thankyou for helping me turn my life around in a more positive direction. MN, Corby

I am and continue to be delighted to receive awesome treatments from the Stages Healing Minds Project, which include reflexology and Reiki.   As a bipolar disorder sufferer I find the treatments most effective in bringing me inner peace, gentle healing and contentment. I would also like to add that Katie Read as a therapist excels in the above named therapies that I have been lucky enough to have received and I would very much like to receive other therapies that are on offer. The fact that this is a free service, as it is lottery funded, makes it available to the likes of me who, due to ill health, is on benefits at this time.  SD, Corby

I have found this Mindfulness course very helpful.  Being a person who has had depression and anxiety for a long period of time, I had developed unhelpful thinking patterns and behaviours.  Through mindfulness and the lovely complementary therapies that are part of the package I am a lot calmer and feel a lot more able to deal with my anxieties and emotional behaviour.  The tutors are warm and compassionate and have the experience and tools that guide you to being the strong, capable person you become when you practice the mindfulness skills .  I definitely recommend this wonderful course as a great way to help you to help yourself in a caring, positive way. CD, Corby

Mindfulness has allowed me through the guidance of the course leaders to recognize my strengths and build on my weaknesses. It has allowed me utilise the skills and techniques passed on to be used in my daily life to enable me to cope with my very stressful life as a full time working mother; with a challenging work environment. It has allowed me time to reassess my priorities and recognize what fulfils me and makes me stronger and happier. CA, Corby.

The Mindfulness Course provided through the Healing Minds Project has helped me in so many ways. I seem to be managing to cope with my busy life in a way that previously I had not thought possible. I was a regular meditator before this course anyway, but the course has extended my awareness to another level.  My husband suffers from several Mental Health conditions and is addicted to alcohol and has been in relapse now for almost a year following his longest period of sobriety last year. Mindfulness has given me the skills to be able to continue with my life in a more proactive way instead of reacting to my husband’s addiction. I have become more tolerant and forgiving and seem to be more productive at work and with my studies.  The holistic therapies have been a godsend and the Tama Do has helped tremendously with pain relief following shoulder surgery I had recently and neck pain and this has enabled me to continue my daily life without the need for pain killers which were making me ill from side effects and lethargy.  I can’t recommend this project highly enough and hope that my husband will soon be in a position to benefit form this also.  KR, Corby
The mindfulness course has helped me the learn to savour the moment that I am in. I have learned to bring my thoughts back to the present moment and enjoy all that it has to offer, using all of my senses. When I have felt overwhelmed by stress or anxiety, I have used lots of the techniques taught in mindfulness to dispel my racing thoughts and instead find peace in that moment of time. LD, Corby

I am housebound due to a chronic health condition and wanted help to deal with the emotional distress this brings. I was thrilled Louise has come to my home to teach my Mindfulness and this has given me the tools to deal with my condition and the acceptance to begin to love myself again, just as I am. In-between sessions I play the CD provided and look forward to my daily meditation. I can’t thanks Stages enough for this opportunity. CM,Corby, Northamptonshire.

I have been looking for ways to deal with my high pain levels and have been unable to find that support through the NHS. Stages have thrown me a lifeline by offering home visits. I am enjoying the programme and have learnt that although it can not change my circumstances, it can change the way I feel about them. I was surprised that my pain has actually reduced, which I believe is because I am no longer so fixated on it.  LM, Corby,Northants.

Mindfulness has been a great help for me to cope better with my mental health. The de-stress qualities of mindfulness especially in a group setting has been far more effective than trying mindfulness on my own.  If anyone is suffering from mental health issues this mindfulness program provided by STAGES will most definitely help, the lucky ones who can gain access to this will be well rewarded for their efforts.  SH, Corby.
I have thoroughly enjoyed the mindfulness course. As well as meeting a wonderful new bunch of people, including Louise and Tim, the course facilitators’, I felt comfortable and safe within the group setting which led me to receive valuable information, knowledge, education, training and understanding of new ways to tackle the issues that I have been facing and trying to deal with for a long period of time, these difficulties entailed, stress, anxiety, change, among other deep rooted negative thoughts and believes I held firmly about myself. This course that I have just completed has helped me with the above mentioned negative thought and behavior patterns and so much more. I recommend this course to all who need both a helping hand for behaviour patterns that may be holding you back to others who can’t see light at the end of the tunnel, this course is magnificent. Fantastic course, first class on every level, thank you so much Tim and Louise and Katie and not to mention Aron who without there kindness and generosity, i would have struggled to attend. SD, Corby


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