We did wave goodbye to HARP, well, at least the name in 2011 as we affiliated with trepidation and excitement to national Mind and the federated network, becoming one of over 250 local Minds. There was some nervousness about what we would lose and whether local people would still recognise the organisation they had been using for the previous 22 years. We were worried that our local connections would be jeopardised and that we may be seen as a much bigger charity. On the plus side we were excited about the connections and learning we could have by being within the federated network, and having the support of the national charity and of course taking on the brand, which was recognised nationally as a leader in mental health.
Looking back I feel certain that we have gained massively through this move. We are reaching more people than ever before, we are able to share with colleagues all over the country and are helping shape the Mind strategy. The brand has made us more recognisable and helped us with fundraising, which we have seen as essential in order for us to maintain the services we see as important. The services that HARP delivered are still being delivered by Manchester Mind and are arguably stronger with this connection. There is no doubt though that 2011 was a big year for HARP and Manchester Mind.