Mental health service looking for new office as part of coronavirus recovery

PUBLISHED: 06:55 20 September 2020

The Second Step team is looking for a new office. Picture: Mark Simmons

The Second Step team is looking for a new office. Picture: Mark Simmons

©Mark Simmons

The North Somerset Wellbeing Service, which supports more than 200 people, is looking for a new head office as part of its post-coronavirus recovery

The service’s Old Street office in Clevedon was forced to close when lockdown restrictions came into effect in March.

The service, run by mental health organisation Second Step, responded to the pandemic by offering support online and through one-to-one telephone support.

A virtual wellbeing college was launched, with a variety of online wellbeing activities, resources, and group sessions.

Claire Denyer, North Somerset Wellbeing Service manager, said: “Like so many organisations, we’ve been reviewing the suitability of our current premises. The Old Street office does not allow us to run face-to-face group sessions safely under the social distancing rules.

“We’ve made the decision to look for new premises and we’re really excited about new opportunities this move might bring and the new people we could reach with our service.”

The service has invited all of its current clients to join an online Zoom meeting later this month to discuss the move. If clients are unable to attend the meeting, they are able to send their thoughts in to the service directly.

Chris Kinston, senior operations manager for Second Step, said: “We understand the value of clients helping us to shape and plan our services.

“We’re looking forward to hearing our clients’ thoughts about the future of the service. We appreciate the history they have with the Old Street building.

“We want to work closely with everyone involved in the service to make this transition as positive as possible.”

During lockdown, the small team has made 788 one-to-one support calls and run 76 wellbeing sessions.

One client, Vicky, said the online sessions kept her well during the pandemic. She said: “I’ve really enjoyed the online art sessions, arts and crafts are a big part of what keeps me well.

“Eighteen months ago I had a severe psychotic episode and have slowly been recovering. I never knew how grounding and mindful arts and crafts could be.”

The Wellbeing Service remains open and is running daily sessions for its clients. It plans to start face-to-face group sessions as soon as possible.

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