Pre 1982

MHM originated from the National Schizophrenia Fellowship. The National Schizophrenia Fellowship had a number of regional offices, including ours which was based in Collingwood Street, Newcastle upon Tyne.

A regional development director, one development worker and an administrator were employed in the management of this regional office. The main focus of our work involved supporting carers and service users through 20 self-help groups. These self-help groups met monthly and covered the region from Berwick-upon-Tweed to Stockton-on-Tees. We also had a membership of over 600 people living in the North East. The Regional Development Director took guidance and direction from a voluntary management committee made of primarily carers with a number of professionals working in the mental health field. It also had an advisory committee made up of members, people attending our self-help groups and people using mental health services.


The National Schizophrenia Fellowship decided to close a number of its regional offices, including their Newcastle office. The management committee of the Newcastle regional office worked with the National Schizophrenia Fellowship, the Charity Commission and Companies House to establish the Northern Schizophrenia Fellowship (NSF) separately, and on 27th January 1984, we became incorporated both as a company limited by guarantee and a registered charity.

The founding members of NSF were George Lowe (Chairman), Dr. Ian Pagan Frazer, George Herbert, Margaret Bell and Arthur Banister. The first Director of NSF was Alex Gosling.

The first services NSF ran were a registered care home in Whitley Bay (Percy Road), a day service in Wallsend (Rosehill Day Centre), a drop in “safe space” one evening per week in central Newcastle (The New Way Out Club) and supported a local management group in Hetton le Hole with their supported housing.   The NSF offices also offered a safe space drop-in facility 5 days per week. We continued to run and support over 20 self-help groups with a combined membership of over 600 service users and carers. NSF also supported the set-up, development and management of Key Enterprises (North Tyneside), Waddington Street Day Services (Durham) and Blyth Star Enterprises (Northumberland).


NSF secured funding from Allied Dunbar Charitable Trust: Section 64 monies and local fundraising initiatives, which was used to recruit a second development post. Additional funding was also received from local grant making charitable trusts and pharmaceutical companies which helped our services grow.


Sir Roy Griffiths published the ‘Care in the Community – Agenda for action’ report.


The UK government published their response to Sir Roy Griffiths’ report in their White Paper ‘Caring for People – Community Care in the next decade and beyond’. This identified 6 key objectives and these objectives because enshrined in new legislation, enacted in the National Health Service and Community Care Act 1990. 

In August, Ian Grant was recruited as Director of NSF.

A gun incident in Monkseaton, North Tyneside involving someone with a mental illness attracted major media coverage which further spotlighted the national lack of health and social care, priority, focus and services for those individuals with severe and enduring mental illness, and NSF continued to campaign for improved services.

In December 1989, our second Registered Care Home opened in the West End of Newcastle. This service was a collaboration between the Newcastle Health Authority, West End Newcastle Social Services and ourselves.