Sheila Woodland, one of the founders of Bipolar UK, was an integral part of the charity's formation in the early 1980s. In 1982, whilst living in Wimbledon in south west London, she placed an advert in The Guardian newspaper looking for responses from people directly affected by manic depression (as bipolar was then known). 

Soon after, Philomena Germing from Barnes in north west London, placed similar adverts in The Times, The Daily Telegraph and The Observer. When the two women found out about each other, they decided to join forces. 

The initial 180 respondents to the adverts were contacted individually to suggest that they met to form a society. The first meeting was held on 25 February 1983 at Church House, Westminster Abbey Church hall and, from that day onwards, Bipolar UK has existed as an organisation with the aim of bringing people who are affected by bipolar together so they can support others who find themselves in the same boat.

Sheila was an incredible catalyst for change known for her vigour and candour. We give thanks for her commitment and honour her memory as we continue to strive forward and fulfil her vision where everyone affected by bipolar can access the support and understanding they need.

Read Sheila Woodland's obituary in the Guardian newspaper

Last updated: 14 December 2022