Key mental health service in North Somerset finds a new home

Volunteers at Second Step. Picture: Mark Simmons

Volunteers at Second Step. Picture: Mark Simmons - Credit: ©Mark Simmons

The North Somerset Wellbeing Service is celebrating its move to a new centre, after a year of online support and connecting over Zoom.

The service, run by mental health charity Second Step, is 'delighted' to have a base in Weston, which it will be sharing with Safe Haven, North Somerset’s only crisis and recovery centre.

North Somerset Wellbeing Service will be opening its doors again for group sessions later in the month.

The service will use the centre in the Boulevard during the day, while Safe Haven opens every evening between 6pm and midnight.

As part of a gradual return to a combined face-to-face and online provision – the service will open its doors for its first face-to-face wellbeing session on May 25.

One client, Kerry, who has been attending regular group wellbeing sessions during the pandemic, is looking forward to the centre reopening.

She has experienced complex trauma and has been diagnosed with chronic depression and anxiety, as well as emotional intensity disorder.

Safe Haven Centre opened in Weston town centre.

Safe Haven Centre opened in Weston town centre. - Credit: Second Step

Kerry said: "The pandemic has been so tough but thanks to the wellbeing service I have learnt how to connect with people digitally.

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"Their courses and groups have been so important to me, I would have been lost without them.

"It’s great to know we’re one step nearer to being able to meet in person.”

The service’s in-person group sessions had to move online after the country went into the first lockdown in March 2020.

Despite these challenges, between April last year and March 2021, it ran 238 wellbeing sessions, recording 1,078 attendances.

Many clients were not used to emailing, let alone joining an online class on Zoom, so the team spent a lot of time giving people one-to-one support and helping them become more digitally confident.

Second Step’s chief executive Aileen Edwards said: “We couldn’t be more proud of the work being done in North Somerset.

"The key to its success is involving our clients in helping to shape the service.

"We hold regular coproduction meetings to make sure people’s experience, expertise and ideas are heard and used.”

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