Live Well Kent hasn’t stopped supporting people during the lockdown.
Our network of organisations has found new ways to reach out to those who are struggling, and to bring people together to help one another.
Here are just some of the things that have been happening.
East Kent Mind
Creative pursuits can help people feel more in control of their mental health. East Kent Mind held a virtual ‘make, mend & motivate’ session where participants crafted medals to recognise just how much progress they’ve made during the lockdown. One participant said: “I love crafting – it helps me to relax.”
Richmond Fellowship, which provides support with mental health recovery, held an online kindness party. for its clients. People discussed ways to be kinder to themselves and each other – both good ways to strengthen your mental wellbeing during this difficult time.
SpeakUpCIC allows people with mental health issues to support one another. Lately, they’ve been meeting online. “If I’m going through a rough patch, a chat over a cup with somebody really helps. I love helping people at the SpeakUpCIC groups. If somebody is feeling lonely, I will always speak to them and help to cheer them up. Being kind to others helps make you feel better about yourself too. It’s a two-way thing.”
Rethink Sahayak specialises in mental health support for the BAME (black, Asian & minority ethnic) community. It has been providing culturally sensitive support throughout the lockdown, and is working with the local Sikh Gurdwara (temple) to provide food for vulnerable members of the community. The knitting group it runs to bring people together have stayed busy – members made blankets which will be offered to the local hospital.
Swale Your Way
Swale Your Way helps people who feel isolated to come together and support one another. The friendships they’ve formed at Swale Your Way activity meet-ups (such as cooking workshops, knitting groups and exercise classes) have been very helpful during the lockdown. Together, they have developed a strong support network. Members regularly check in with one another and provide help if someone is struggling.
Take Off is run by people who experience mental ill health, for people who experience mental ill health. It holds activities, including cookery workshops, that bring people together and allow them to share advice. Now, a cookery workshop client is paying this help forward by setting up a food bank for people affected by the lockdown.
Kind gestures go a long way, so Porchlight worker Angie is sending her clients cards with positive messages. She supports people who feel their mental health is a barrier to finding work and wanted them know we’re still here for them during the lockdown.