We are sad to acknowledge that Graham Pryce, the founding member of Bipolar UK’s Croydon Support Group, passed away in November 2023.

The Croydon Support group was originally hosted in ‘Mind in Croydon’ before moving to its current venue of East Croydon United Reformed Church. If you are interested in attending the Croydon group, you can find more details here.

The Croydon group

Graham ran the Croydon group for many years and, as the founding member and a long-term volunteer, enabled the group to not only launch successfully, but also to keep going for over 20 years. His legacy carries on today. In creating a safe haven and space for attendees to feel connected with others who have also been affected by this often-devastating condition, Graham has been instrumental in improving many lives and many individuals’ wellbeing.

In November 2023, Bipolar UK evaluated our services, and in-person groups, such as the one Graham started, scored highly in terms of the positive change they can make: over half the attendees of in-person groups said it was the service they felt was most effective at creating positive change in their lives.

Bright and mischievous

Graham was bright, a highly intelligent and educated man who could relate and speak to any participants and engage with people from varying backgrounds. He always made people feel welcome and supported, and had a mischievous sense of humour at times.

Keen to volunteer in many different roles, Graham sadly experienced some discrimination at times as the understanding of bipolar disorder was low in many organisations. Undeterred, he created opportunities for fellow volunteers, Tracey, to learn about self-management and, along with Barbara, to help run the Croydon group.

Speakers and outings

The Croydon group was and is thriving. Graham organised many speakers to come and share their knowledge and wisdom and could easily fill one of the larger rooms at the church venue. Under his guidance, various people took a supporting role, including someone to bring the group library collection each month.

The group also organised occasional days out to local beauty spots, like National Trust properties. These opportunities are hugely important for people affected by bipolar to provide them with a safe space to socialise, and help reduce the stigma and isolation often felt by people living with the condition. That shared experience is priceless.

Attention to detail

Graham kept the group records meticulously and sent out a reminder letter in the post before each meeting. He was very caring and a font of knowledge about all the available help in Croydon area, through the voluntary sector and mental health services. He also volunteered in local care homes,

playing music that helped residents to reminisce, and he sought other volunteering opportunities to stay busy.

Graham touched many lives

Graham married Cecilia who cared for him when he was unwell and together they bought a house. Although they went through various challenges together, they made a lasting commitment to each other and a long marriage. They had a dog for some years, and Graham was very happy during that period, getting out for regular walks.

It is true to say that Graham Pryce touched the lives of hundreds of people with a bipolar diagnosis, as well as their friends and families. The team at Bipolar UK is deeply grateful for his contribution. We couldn’t do what we do without the commitment and support of our incredible volunteers like Graham. He will be truly missed.

Inspired by Graham’s contribution? Join us as a volunteer

Last updated: 7 December 2023