Firstly, I have some fantastic news to share, Mental Health North Dorset Help and Peer Support and Rural Mental Health Matters (RMHM), (Founder and CEO Melanie Costas) have just received a National Lottery ‘Connecting Communities’ Grant of £2,500 in order to jointly run a project we named “Socially Connecting Shaftesbury”.
Socially Connecting Shaftesbury is about connecting people living in and around Shaftesbury with all aspects of mental health and wellbeing related support/services, groups and other community organisations available in local and wider pan Dorset areas (including what is available cross borders of Somerset, Wiltshire and Hampshire).
The ‘pop up’ will enable us to talk to local people about what matters to them in terms of mental health and wellbeing. This project will help us capture the ‘evidence’ re challenges and barriers people face living in rural North Dorset from their personal experiences, be that people with direct ‘lived experience’, those that are diagnosed or undiagnosed in terms of mental illness, or merely people seeking information/help for a loved one/relative/friend. There are many issues facing people who live in rural/remote areas, including loneliness and isolation. We would really like to see this ‘pop up’ become a permanent high street fixture (for example acquiring an empty shop on a longer lease) in the longer term, so the evidence we gather will be crucial in maximising our chances of securing more grants in the future!
We plan to deliver this project as a one stop shop, ‘pop up’ in the Town Hall, Shaftesbury. So essentially a pop up Town Hall! and we will also spend three days joining Open House at Father’s House. We will also be contacting other organisations/groups across Dorset and borders, who have previously expressed an interest in having some allocated space within a ‘pop up’ shop.
As a free to the public ‘drop in’ project, we will be offering a place for people to pop in for a cuppa (we even have a budget for cake and biscuits!) and a chat at a central high street location, which is fully accessible.
These are the dates and times currently confirmed at Shaftesbury Town Hall and at Open House.
Socially Connecting Shaftesbury Project
The Town Hall, High St, Shaftesbury, SP7 8LY
Mon 25th October – 10.30am until 3.30pm LAUNCH DAY !
Weds 27th October – 10.30am until 3,30pm
Thurs 28th October – 2.pm until 7pm
Fri 29th October – 10.30am until 3.30pm
Sat 30th October – 10am until 3pm
Mon 1st November – 10.30am until 3.30pm
Weds 3rd November – 10.30am until 3.30pm
Thurs 4th November – 2pm until 7pm
Weds 17th November – 10.30am until 3.30pm
Thurs 19th November – 2pm until 7pm
Father’s House, Christy’s Lane, Shaftesbury, SP7 8PH
Tues 2nd November – 10am until 2 pm
Tues 9th November – 10 am until 2 pm
Tues 16th November – 10 am until 2 pm