Forward For Life was set up in 2012 by Terry Rigby in Birmingham. Prior to the establishment of Forward For Life, Terry had worked in Health and Social Care, specifically in relation to mental health and wellbeing for the NHS, the charitable sector, and Local Authorities across the UK.
Terry’s passion for preventing suicide, and a passion that is still central to the work of Forward For Life, started in 1999 when he was appointed as the strategic lead for Suicide Prevention in the NHS in a North West based locality. From this point Terry was involved in the design, development, management, and commissioning of a range of grassroots programmes across the North West and the West Midlands. Programmes included the nationally recognised Arts on Prescription Service in Stockport, the Kin-Kitsu Health Education for young people programme in Sandwell and the Barbershop Programme in Birmingham.
Since the birth of Forward For Life, programmes with communities at their heart and a wider aim of preventing suicide have continued to be developed and successfully implemented. These programmes include the Public Health England endorsed ManMade Peer Support Programmes and the development of UK focussed suicide prevention training programmes including the one day SCHEMA programme and more recently the WISE STEPS online suicide prevention gatekeeper training workshop.
Forward For Life work closely with a range of associates, most markedly, alongside Common Unity in designing and developing programmes of work that make a real difference in people’s lives including the aforementioned ManMade Programme, the tailored suicide prevention programmes and the hugely successful online directory for Birmingham and Solihull known as The Waiting Room.
Our particular passion centres on Suicide Prevention and we believe the key to reducing the number of deaths by suicide does not just lie in the hands of health professionals but must be, and can be, dealt with effectively by everybody whatever their background.
“by engaging communities directly and by giving community members the skills and ongoing development opportunities to support people at risk of suicide, I believe, we can make a real difference.”
Our EPIC approach
Developed alongside Common Unity in 2016, Forward For Life adopts the EPIC approach to meet our aims as an organisation.
Through programmes that Educate, Protect, Intervene and Champion we support people to know what needs to be done to keep themselves and those around them as well as they can be.
Our approach to improving wellbeing recognises that short term investment in individual wellbeing has huge benefits in the long term.
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure – Benjamin Franklin
That’s why people are at the heart of everything we do. So, all our
programmes don’t start with illness, they start with building health and wellbeing.
Knowledge is power, and if people are educated to know what helps them function in a more healthy way, then people have the power to look after themselves better.
The learning we promote is one that helps people help themselves and help others. Being able to recognise and support others when they are struggling has benefits for all.
Life often throws us a curve ball. Our programmes support people to know what techniques they can use to best cope with the challenges we often unexpectedly face.
Good wellbeing is paramount in realising a good quality of life. We utilise every opportunity, be it training, programme development, events design or strategic support, to champion the importance of good wellbeing for all. We also champion other like-minded organisations across the health and social care sector.
Get in touch
If you want to hear more about what we do or how to access our training then please contact us.