Orchid Community is based in the South Hams within the Southwest of England.

We offer a network of skilled trainers, who create an environment of safety and compassionate care, whilst delivering professional and challenging training.

Our training seeks to nurture the skills inherent in people to work collaboratively to combat the issues of the day, that is affecting people’s lives. Whether it is at a personal, organisational or at a  societal level.

Orchid Community and Associates believe Mental ill health, suicide prevention and wellbeing is everyone’s business. At Orchid Community and Associates we believe that through training. We can together, all enable our communities to reduce the stigma of mental ill-health and suicide. Thus, move towards well-being and living well. We want to make Devon, Torbay and the Southwest of England a taboo and a stigma-free zone around the issues of Mental health and Suicide, all our suicide prevention work is carried out by our partner organisation Action to Prevent Suicide CIC( ATPS)


Around one in four people will experience a mental health problem each year, and many more suffer from low mental wellbeing. Connect 5 trains frontline community and health and care staff to help people improve their mental wellbeing, and signpost to more specialist support when needed.

Connect 5 Intro


Compassion Circles are a Highly Structured Technique to Create a Richer, Shared Human Community Experience

Compassion Circles are designed to shift teams, organizations, and communities.

• From delivering transactions to GROWING RELATIONSHIPS.
• From exclusion to INCLUSION.
• From isolated individuals to GROUP COHESION.
• From feeling alone to FEELING TOGETHER.
• From “I don’t care” to EVERYONE NEEDS CARE.
• From “I don’t matter” to EVERYONE MATTERS.
• From frustration and block to COMPASSIONATE FLOW.

This is 2-day training for people passionate about promoting a dialogue around compassion and thereby becoming part of a wave of compassion throughout health and social care in the UK.  Within this training participants will explore:

• Host leadership and making warm invitations
• The practice of equality
• The deeper meaning of dialogue
• The 3 ‘compassion creating’ habits (listening, asking and thanking)
• Powerful appreciation

The training will include:

• Experience of a 1 hour ‘Compassion Circle’
• Learning about skilfully leading dialogue rounds and pairs work|
• Developing an understanding of both the practical and philosophical differences between Debate, Discussion, and Dialogue
• Practice of embodying the underlying values of the work – walking your talk
• Gaining foundational competence in setting up and leading a 1 hour ‘Compassion Circle’ from invitation to follow-up

As a result of the training: 

Compassion Circles will be expertly hosted and facilitated offering regular safe space for reflection on care for self and compassion for others

This training will be supported by online learning materials so that as well as the confidence you develop within the training days in person you will be well resourced to revise, refocus and re-inspire yourself as you set up your first and subsequent ‘Compassion Circle’ sessions.  There will be pre-and post-reading and follow-up group calls to support you in establishing your first circle.

12 Parcipitants

Mental Health First Aid England

Orchid Community and Associates are linking with Astra Training and Consultancy in offering Mental Health First Aid.

Mental Health First Aid is an educational course which teaches people how to identify, understand and help a person who may be developing a mental health issue. In the same way as we learn physical first aid, Mental Health First Aid teaches you how to recognise those crucial warning signs of mental ill health.

Developed in Australia in 2000 and now internationally recognised in 23 countries, MHFA courses teach people how to recognise the signs and symptoms of common mental health issues, provide help on a first aid basis and effectively guide someone towards the right support.
To date we have trained over 1200 instructors in England who have delivered MHFA courses to over 150,000 people. Our network of approved instructors works with different sectors, organisations and communities throughout England, delivering a range of courses including Adult MHFA, Youth MHFA and Armed Forces MHFA.

Mental Health First Aid Youth

Our Youth MHFA course is an internationally recognised course designed specifically for those people that teach, work, live with or care for young people aged 8 to 18 years.

You will learn how to:

• Provide information, tools and techniques to promote a young person’s mental and emotional wellbeing
• Support a young person who might be experiencing mental and emotional distress.

MHFA won’t teach you how to be a therapist, but you will be able to say you’re a Youth Mental Health First Aider.

What will I learn?

Our Youth MHFA course is split into four manageable chunks. These are:

• What is mental health?
• Depression and anxiety
• Suicide and psychosis
• Self-harm and eating disorders.

Within each section there is clear focus on the issues faced by young people, including bullying/cyber bullying and substance misuse. The course also teaches the importance of promoting wellbeing and protective factors.

In each section you’ll learn how to:

• Spot the early signs of a mental health issue in young people
• Feel confident helping a young person experiencing mental ill health
• Provide help on a first aid basis
• Help protect a young person who might be at risk of harm
• Help prevent a mental health issue from getting worse
• Help a young person recover faster
• Guide a young person towards the right support
• Reduce the stigma of mental health issues.

How will I learn?

The Youth MHFA course usually takes place over two full days. However, the delivery of the course is flexible and may be delivered over a number of sessions.

The sessions will be a mix of presentations, discussions, and group work activities. Our instructors provide a safe learning environment and are trained to support you throughout the whole course. If you don’t feel comfortable joining in certain parts, then there is no pressure to.

Due to some of the sensitive subjects of our courses, we limit numbers to 16 people. We want everyone to feel safe and our instructors can help if people find some parts particularly difficult.

Everyone who attends the course will receive a copy of the Youth MHFA manual and workbook, which are both excellent support resources. When you have completed the course, you will receive a certificate to confirm that you are a trained Youth Mental Health First Aider.

Who can attend?

The course is for everyone and is relevant for people who teach, work, live with and care for 8 to 18 year olds, including young people themselves, although parental consent is required below the age of 16.


Each and every MHFA course is delivered by a quality assured instructor, who has attended the seven day instructor training programme accredited by the Royal Society for Public Health.

Everyone who attends our course will be asked to fill out an anonymous evaluation and provide their feedback. This ensures that our instructors and our courses are of the best quality at all times.

We have a very strong quality assurance process in place and are quick to respond to anything that falls below our very high standards.

Cultural Awareness and Capability

Orchid Community and Associates believe in the diversity of thoughts and actions that make up the rainbow of the human family. We believe that you cannot be culturally competent rather you can be Cultural capability and humble. We have designed training around the spirit of Ubuntu*. That helps individuals and organisations to look at how to respond in this manner. Diversity is at the heart of organisational wellbeing.

Ubuntu is an ancient African word meaning ‘humanity to others’. It also means ‘I am what I am because of who we all are’.

We Have trained Mental Health staff, Social workers, Teachers, Police service, Foster carers, Students across various disciplines at Bath, Exeter and Plymouth Universities.