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.”

Standing Together Cymru Team

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, [email protected].