District Council Chairman announces official charity

The Chairman of the District Council, Councillor Marrilyn Smart OBE, has chosen Forest Mental Health Carers Support Group as the local charity to receive her official support this year.

The charity has been running for nine years and offers much needed support for the carers of local people with a wide range of mental health conditions.

The group meets on the last Thursday of the month from 1pm to 3pm at Sixteen Café, Bank Street, Coleford.

Cllr Smart said: “There are so many deserving causes in the local community, but this year I wanted the council to show its support for a charity which focuses on mental health.

“As carers themselves, the group supports each other as carers of people with mental health issues.  I hope that my support will raise the profile of this worthy cause more widely and as a result the charity gains additional financial help from other organisations.”

Gillian Warden-Heggie, Group Facilitator added: “We are delighted that Cllr Smart has chosen Forest Mental Health Carers Support Group as her charity this year. 

We are wholly dependent on grants and public fundraising and we are extremely grateful to Marrilyn for her support.

We have a fantastic group of carers who fully deserve this recognition for the crucial work that they carry out with relatives.  We hope that with Marrilyn’s help we will gain vital funding and also raise awareness of our work so we can offer additional help to those that need it.

“If you feel Forest Mental Health Carers Support Group are able to help you contact Roger Hare at Carers Gloucestershire on 0300 111 9000.  Alternatively, you can be referred by your GP.”

Cllr Len Lawton, Member Champion for mental health concluded: “As the Council’s Member Champion for mental health I’m delighted that Marrilyn has chosen to support the Forest Mental Health Carers Support Group this year and I look forward to working with Marrilyn to raise much needed funds for the charity.”

Councillor Smart is planning a number of fund raising activities to support the charity, including a cream tea event in September, a Christmas Carol Concert, and a formal dinner and hopes that residents and businesses will join her in providing a financial boost for this deserving cause.

Additional Information

For nine years the Forest of Dean Carers Support Group has been caring for the carers of local people with a wide range of mental health conditions. 

The fourteen group members have voluntarily taken responsibility for the welfare and happiness of a relative who may be experiencing Bi-polar disorder, schizophrenia, depression, severe anxiety, borderline personality disorder, psychosis or dual diagnosis.

Caring can be wonderfully rewarding work, but it can also be physically and mentally exhausting as well as extremely lonely and therefore a support network is so important.

The group meets one Thursday a month from 1pm to 3pm at Sixteen Café at Bank Street, Coleford. 

The charity is self-funded through grants book sales and fund raising events.  The funds go towards paying for visiting speakers, therapeutic activities, day-outings and a Christmas meal.

Some of the group’s members are ‘experts by experience’ and as well as giving talks for Carers Gloucestershire, they attend meetings on behalf of the group.



  • 01594 810000