About 35 people attended an event at the RWB library on Thursday 10th October to mark World Mental Health Day and to provide an opportunity for local people living with Mental Health issues to come together to meet others living with similar issues in the community and with professionals and volunteers providing support locally.
There was an informal circle discussion, which people could join in with if they felt comfortable. Most people were able to join in and this raised potential activities/issues for consideration at a future Royal Wootton Bassett & Cricklade Health and Wellbeing group.
- Loneliness and isolation were felt to be a significant additional/contributory element of living with Mental Health issues in the Royal Wootton Bassett and Cricklade Community Area.
- There are quite a lot of activities taking place in the community already, but people are not always aware of them or confident enough to link in.
- People liked the idea of continuing an informal ‘coffee morning’ style gathering for people to meet regularly and share experiences, concerns and knowledge.
- There had previously been a ‘computer club’ at the library and people found it helpful and wonder if it could be reinstated.
- There was felt to be a need of opportunities for younger people living with mental health issues to meet others and engage in meaningful activities (volunteering/routes to employment).
- Similarly issues were highlighted for military wives/husbands, especially those who had moved away from the support of family and friends.
Existing opportunities in the area were discussed and representatives of various groups and organisations were able to share further details with individuals, including:
Royal Wootton Bassett Shed, Walking groups, Active Health at Lime Kiln Leisure Centre, RWB Tuneless Choir, Seated Dancing, Health Trainer Sessions at RWB library, Age UK – fitness and Friendship sessions, Shared reading group at the library (specifically for people with memory problems and their carers), Richmond Fellowship – mentoring service and support into employment, Home from hospital support, Citizens Advice Wiltshire, Wiltshire Council Local Area Co-ordinators and Wiltshire Council Area Boards.
There was also time for people to have more quiet and individual conversations that were equally valuable and will feed into the work of the Area Board and it’s partners.
The Royal Wootton Bassett and Cricklade Area Board will carry forward these discussions in their new Health and Wellbeing Group, which will meet for the first time on Tuesday 29th October from 10 – 11am at RWB&C library.
Meanwhile the Community Engagement Manager (CEM) and Local Area Co-ordinator will work with volunteers to support further informal coffee morning/discussion groups at the library.
If you would like to be involved in the Health and Wellbeing Group or if you can volunteer to help support/run coffee and conversation mornings
Please contact the CEM – firstname.lastname@example.org
The Local Area Co-ordinator – email@example.com