Lancashire Mind Celebrates Success of Community Wellbeing Challenge

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We were joined by some of the groups involved for a fantastic celebration event at Stanley House.

The scheme, created three years ago, has created projects ranging from a female friendship forum set up by South Asian women and open to all in Nelson to wellbeing walks, craft groups and a community cooking initiative.

The Community Wellbeing Challenge was inspired by a similar project that Lancashire Mind has successfully delivered in schools across the county for several years.

It is aimed at people who want to know more about keeping themselves mentally well and who want to promote mental wellbeing in their community, as well as developing their own project management and team building skills.

Chris Bell, Engagement and Inclusion Lead for Lancashire Mind, said:” The Wellbeing Challenge has made lasting changes in many schools and now the community challenge is doing the same, and we couldn’t be happier. This event is a recognition and celebration of all the great work each group has done to improve mental health and wellbeing in their own communities.”

The challenge runs over 12 weeks to develop an asset or project for the community that will promote mental wellbeing. Groups are supported by Lancashire Mind to launch their idea and to make it sustainable.

There have been 12 groups that have taken part in the challenge over the last three years who have created projects, including a ‘Cooking with Kindness’ group from Pennine Lancashire Community Farm (PLCF) that cooks a free lunch once a month made with food from PLCF for people in the community, wellbeing walks, craft groups and good music playlists and video signposting for young people about where to go to get support with their mental health.

Will Wilkinson, team leader of the Burnley Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service Prince’s Trust, said: “The Community Wellbeing Challenge has been really beneficial for our young people. It has improved their knowledge about looking after their own wellbeing and they have gone on to use that knowledge to support their community’s wellbeing as part of the challenge.

“We have developed a great partnership with Lancashire Mind, and the projects we’ve created as part of the challenge have been different, pushed us out of our comfort zone, and had real impact in the community.

“This celebration event was a good way to bring our Community Wellbeing Challenges to a close, and it was great to connect with new people and see the work that other groups have done in their community”

Joanne Birkner, an Engagement and Inclusion Coordinator for Lancashire Mind who has worked with several of the groups, said: “It’s been an honour to have been involved with some of these amazing groups and see what they have achieved. They’ve developed some fantastic and lasting assets for their communities and developed an awareness of their own mental health and wellbeing as well.

“There are so many great organisations and people across Lancashire from wide and varying communities who all have different needs and requirements but who are all supporting wellbeing in their community and making a huge impact. It’s been a learning journey for us too and it really does make me proud to see what’s been achieved.”

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