Colourful cook-turned-entrepreneur Levi Roots met staff, patients and carers when he officially opened the Zinnia Centre – and became Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust’s first new foundation trust member of 2009.
Levi, who was shown around the final part of the Trust’s £70 million new hospitals project, follows in the footsteps of former heaveyweight champion, Frank Bruno, who became a member of the trust last year.
The Zinnia Centre in Showell Green Lane, Sparkhill - the final part of Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust’s £70 million new hospitals project - has significantly improved access to locally-designed mental health services in the area, previously served by an outpatient clinic on Stratford Road.
Named after a Caribbean flower associated with constancy and goodness, it is part of the trust’s National Centre for Mental Health in Birmingham. Two sister sites – the Barberry and Oleaster, both in Edgbaston – opened last year.
Levi, who became a success after pitching his Reggae Reggae sauce to Dragons’ Den experts, signed up as a foundation trust member and vowed to help raise the profile of mental health.
After his tour of the Zinnia Centre - which has 32 in-patient beds, an outpatient unit and bases for specialist teams serving the local community - Levi admitted his “eyes have been opened” to the reality of mental health.
Sue Turner, the trust’s chief executive, added: “It’s fantastic that Levi has chosen to support our trust. We hope his commitment will encourage others to sign up enabling them to have their say in how we develop.”
Anyone living within the trust’s area and aged over 16, or is either is accessing or has experience of our services can register to become a member.
For more information about becoming a member and membership benefits contact the foundation trust office on 0121 301 1229.