Mental health support training offered to community volunteers

Kate Beed of CPSL Mind, Susan van de Ven of Meldreth Community Coronavirus Support and Jose Hales of Melbourn Community Hub.

Kate Beed of CPSL Mind, Susan van de Ven of Meldreth Community Coronavirus Support and Jose Hales of Melbourn Community Hub. Picture: Jean Seers - Credit: Archant

Mental health support training is being offered to village volunteers who are helping the community during the coronavirus pandemic.

Meldreth Community Coronavirus Support has commissioned the Cambridgeshire, Peterborough and South Lincolnshire branch of Mind to offer mental health training to community volunteers, in partnership with Melbourn Community Hub.

The hub serves as a community centre for people in Melbourn and surrounding villages. During the first lockdown from March to July, its café was closed and the hub was turned into a response centre to help people who were self-isolating.

Services included a food bank and weekly cooked food, which was supplied to targeted individuals and families.

MCCS chair Susan van de Ven said: “Like all coronavirus community support groups, MCCS learned a lot about our community during spring lockdown.

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“People are coping in new and sometimes difficult circumstances, and often doing so alone. Volunteers have signed up to support others at an unprecedented time, in which it can often seem that there are more unknowns than known.

“For these reasons, we wanted to be sure and develop better tools for understanding and making a positive difference.”

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The mental health training programme has been made possible thanks to a grant from Cambridgeshire Community Foundation.

Kate Beed, of CPSL Mind, said: “Feeling part of a connected community is so important for our mental health and wellbeing.

“We are delighted to be able to offer this training programme to volunteers who are the very people creating those connections.

“The training will enable delegates to have positive conversations about mental health, spot early warning signs when someone might need more help and know how to access further support locally, including the range of support we are able to offer as CPSL Mind.”

Jose Hales, one of the directors of Melbourn Community Hub, added: “This programme is a natural fit for the hub community, given a long record of partnering with CPSL Mind.

“We’re delighted that our volunteers will have the chance to take part.”

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