Social Enterprise Spotlight – Mind's Well

Posted: 04 August 2015, in Press Release

In our latest Social Enterprise Spotlight is Maria Naranjo and Mind’s Well – an Edinburgh social enterprise recovery college, providing peer led services for people with mental health challenges. Get in touch with Maria on 0131 624 8988 / and check out Connect with them on Twitter and Facebook too.
Every few weeks we focus on a randomly selected social enterprise member for intense marketing support and promotion. Mind’s Well will feature in all e-bulletins, on our website homepage and on all our social media, alongside other support, reaching thousands of people across Scotland and beyond.

What’s your social and/or environmental mission? Our vision is a world where individuals enjoy fulfilling lives in communities that are conducive to positive mental, physical, emotional and spiritual health in a holistic and inclusive way. Our social mission is to empower people through education and peer-led services to enjoy more fulfilling lives.

How do you do it? We provide peer led services for people who are experiencing psychological distress. Mental ill-health costs the Scottish economy in excess of £8 to 9 billion a year. We support people who are experiencing mild or moderate mental health issues through education, therapeutic peer-led services and mentorship.

What’s your personal motivation for being a social entrepreneur? Four years ago I lost my job, I had some personal issues and I was contemplating taking my own life. One day I discovered the healing power of talking to people who had been in a similar situation. I found that mutuality, respect, empowerment and a strengths-based approach towards recovery helped me.

What are your current projects? Training and consultancy – we deliver training around mental health which counts as CPD and offer consultancy to support organisations to deliver recovery focused services. Peer led services – we deliver a range of services that include one to one support, mentoring, surgeries in the community and more.

What exciting things do you have coming up? Mind’s Well has organised a Recovery College and peer-led services launch event on 7 and 8 August in Ocean Terminal Community Space, Edinburgh. This event will raise awareness around mental health and well-being in the community as well as promoting our work and upcoming events and services.

Who do you want to work with more? We’d like to work more with other social enterprises that offer activities such as rock climbing, alternative therapies etc. We will be running a membership scheme and we’re looking to offer our clients a wide range of options to try to engage in recovery.

What’s your biggest challenge?
Our biggest challenge has been getting funding to expand the business. Up until now I’ve relied on volunteers. Now we’re ready to employ the volunteers that I’ve been training for the last couple of years.

What top tip would you give to other social enterprises? Do your research and find the right people who believe in your business to support you. Balance your time between tasks that you find boring and things that motivate you. It works for me to do a bit of finance and then Internet research. Do not be too harsh on yourself. This is a difficult path but you are not alone, it just may seem that way. Find peers to share your experiences with.