New Way Forward was formed in 2003 through a merge of two local associations, Trafford Association for Mental Health (TAMH) and Trafford Users Group (TUG). Each of these associations has a long history and proven track record of providing services to the local community. The individual organisations strengths and experience, both locally, regionally, nationally and also internationally blend together to form a unique new organisation. The new organisation adopts the same beliefs and philosophy as it’s predecessors and is determined to provide even better support to our users.
In 1976, a group of people recognised that people coming out of hospital after having mental health treatment often felt isolated in the community and that there was a gap in the ‘care in the community’ services. They decided to establish a place where patients could meet and socialise and a constitution was adopted that year. The group became a registered charity in 1979 in the name of Trafford Association for Mental Health. The ‘ Association’ as it became known, was funded by a grant from TMBC and raised extra money through fund raising. They met in a room in Altrincham library. In 1985, the association finally managed to get its own premises at 21A Cross Street Sale and established the first ‘drop in’. The group met 3 times per week and was run by dedicated and enthusiastic volunteers. This increased to every day per week except only on 2 Sundays per month. Visitor numbers reached over 15,000 attendances per year.
A program was established to encourage users to train as volunteers. 20 people went though the program. The volunteer program has been crucial to the success of New Way Forward as volunteers bring an insight into the struggles that mental health patients go through in their own lives and also in the community due to their personal experiences.