Standing Together Cymru
Standing Together Cymru is a project which aims to improve mental health, wellbeing and build community connections.
In order to reduce loneliness and isolation in people living in later life housing in South East Wales. The four new people working on this project will be a part of the Mental Health Foundation’s growing Later Life Team, strengthening our commitment to improving mental health across the life course.
Following the success of the original Standing Together project, which ran in London from 2015-2018, the Foundation has now secured funding from The Welsh Big Lottery to run a three-year project. We are delighted to be working in partnership with Melin Homes, Derwen Cymru, United Welsh and Newport City Homes. They have been involved in co-producing the project with us and pictured is a photo from a taster session we held in 2017.
We will be facilitating weekly self-help groups in our partners later life housing schemes. Deepening the links between group participants, empowering people to develop supportive and meaningful relationships and to feel better able to cope.
The project will establish thirty groups spread between the housing partners. Each group will be facilitated by two Mental Health Foundation staff for up to six months. During which time the community engagement officer will work to identify suitable volunteers from the groups, housing staff or the local community, to ensure the group is sustained beyond the direct involvement of the Foundation
The Standing Together Cymru team is made up of a project manager & lead facilitator, two group facilitators and a community engagement officer. The community engagement officers role will be to develop the sustainability of the project by identifying and training volunteers to continue the groups after our initial involvement of six months. Katie Bellaris is already in post as project manager and lead facilitator:
“I have a background in community development and have seen the impact projects such as Standing Together Cymru can have on a person’s wellbeing. I feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to manage such an exciting and meaningful project and hope to empower the individuals who access the project to develop relationships, resilience and to feel less isolated.”
We are hoping the three other members of staff will be in post by December. We start facilitating groups in the new year.
The project in Wales will benefit from the learning and experience that the London project created and will look to emulate the success they achieved. For more information about Standing Together Cymru please contact Katie, firstname.lastname@example.org
Peer Education Programme
The Mental Health Foundation’s Peer Education Project is being piloted in Wales.
The Peer Education Project is a school-based programme that aims to give young people the skills and knowledge they need to safeguard their mental health, and that of their peers. The project equips staff to recruit and train a group of Peer Educators in their school, who deliver a syllabus of mental health lessons to their younger peers.
Through interactive exercises and group discussions, the project introduces mental health as something that we all have. It encourages students to think about ways to stay well, how to seek help and support friends. It also introduces common myths around mental health, and the stigma and discrimination people experiences as a result.
Following two years of successful implementation in England, the Peer Education Project is being rolled out in two schools in Wales in 2017/18. We hope to bring the project to even more schools across the UK in 2018/19.
Single Parents Wellbeing
Single Parents Wellbeing is a CIC that is run by single parents for single parents. We provide a compassionate, proactive and empowering approach to being a single parent.
With a focus on wellbeing and mental health. Our core elements are physical wellbeing where we have regular walking for wellbeing rambles, meeting all over on the weekends, bank holidays etc to build friendships and tackle isolation and loneliness, whilst using and promoting a powerful resilience tool of gentle exercise to combat mental health. Then we have the Wellbeing Workshops which are Big Lottery funded, in partnership with the MHF, 6 week workshops of thought provoking discussions, activities and theories around mental health, relationships, self esteem and developing the importance of self care in the parents. All whilst creating a meaningful peer support group, who can also go on to become volunteers for the project. Lastly, we are launching our innovative website in December. Where we aim to reach single parents all over Wales with interactive blogs, vlogs, webinars, podcasts and other exciting content.
Follow us @singleparentswellbeing on Twitter, Facebook or view our website