The Heath Big Local has shown its support for a new initiative by a well-respected mental health charity, by awarding £5500 for the 'Pause' project from the Community Chest Fund.
Sunday for many can be one of the most difficult days of the week. The charity, Art & Soul, is very focused on the individual’s well-being and offers a safe space to relax, receive support, meet up with others in similar situations, and enjoy the Art & Soul experience on a weekend.
Kerry, Project Worker at Art & Soul said: “The additional opening hours also allows people who work during the week to be able to access support. Many of our current members also work and it will be nice to see them when they are not just on annual leave or occasionally in a crisis situation.”
He continues: “Mainstream services are not open over the weekend and it is nice to be able to be open to support the police and emergency services whose time is often taken up with mental health related calls.
“Art & Soul would much rather a member of the public sit comfortably in safety in our project whilst waiting for support from either family, friends or crisis support services than be with uniformed services.”
The atmosphere within Art & Soul is uplifting in itself; sometimes people just need someone to talk to, to understand, and to feel heard. It has been well documented nationally that emergency services have for a long time spent time with people, when other emergency calls are coming through. Some of the local Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) feel that places like Art & Soul are more suitable.
Vikki, Senior Project Worker, says: “To be clear, we’re not saying the Police are by any means relinquishing responsibility for people in serious need. The majority of callers they have brought into Art & Soul have preferred spending time with us, and have in fact returned independently.
“Emergency services in general are aware that their uniform can often seem intimidating.”
Art & Soul supports all manner of people, not just individuals who have serious mental illness, but also the many who struggle with loneliness and isolation. For further information, Art & Soul can be found in the Market Place in Uttoxeter and is open to anybody in the community.
You can also find out more by phoning them on 01889 359243, or visiting their website.