Mental health group hosts family fun day in Royston

PUBLISHED: 17:31 16 August 2019

The Royston Rethink Mental Illness Peer Support Group founder Jessica Lake with town mayor Councillor Robert Inwood. Picture: Nicky Franzen-Vipers

The Royston Rethink Mental Illness Peer Support Group founder Jessica Lake with town mayor Councillor Robert Inwood. Picture: Nicky Franzen-Vipers

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A Royston mental health group hosted a family fun day at Coombes Community Centre at the weekend to encourage people to keep mentally, as well as physically, fit.

The Royston Rethink Mental Illness Peer Support Group hosted a family fun day at Coombes Community on Saturday. Picture: Nicky Franzen-VipersThe Royston Rethink Mental Illness Peer Support Group hosted a family fun day at Coombes Community on Saturday. Picture: Nicky Franzen-Vipers

Jessica Lake founded the Royston Rethink Mental Illness Peer Support Group last year - the group meets every other Thursday at the community centre in Burns Road.

She has experience of struggling with her own mental health and said there wasn't much support from professionals or peers in Royston or surrounding villages.

Royston town mayor Robert Inwood joined Jessica to welcome sports organisations from across the town on Saturday - including Royston Runners, Royston RUFC and team members from the leisure centre - giving visitors a chance to find out more about what is on offer in the town. Taster sessions were held and freebies were handed out.

Councillor Inwood told the Crow: "I'd just like to thank those behind the Royston Rethink group for inviting me to their event. I had a great time and chatted to a lot of people about a number of issues. It was great to see Royston's community spirit in action again."
The fun day, which was also held to increase awareness of the group and raise funds for their activities, was well attended by stallholders selling a range of products and gifts - many local and handmade.

The Royston Rethink Mental Illness Peer Support Group hosted a family fun day at Coombes Community on Saturday. Picture: Nicky Franzen-Vipers The Royston Rethink Mental Illness Peer Support Group hosted a family fun day at Coombes Community on Saturday. Picture: Nicky Franzen-Vipers

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Enough money was raised on the day to support the group through another year, and Jessica has said there will be another event at Christmas.

Read more: Bassingbourn woman tackles mental health 'taboo' in Royston group

The group provides an informal and friendly atmosphere, where members support each other in working through challenges with mental wellbeing.

Group facilitator Nicky Franzen-Vipers said: "I became involved with the group when I ran a skills session some months ago.

The Royston Rethink Mental Illness Peer Support Group founder Jessica Lake with town mayor Councillor Robert Inwood. Picture: Nicky Franzen-VipersThe Royston Rethink Mental Illness Peer Support Group founder Jessica Lake with town mayor Councillor Robert Inwood. Picture: Nicky Franzen-Vipers

"I found the people there so welcoming that I now go to most meetings and find myself feeling inspired by the group members.

"I'd encourage anyone who thinks their mental wellbeing could be better, to come and join us - just being with people who understand and don't judge when you're having a wobble can make all the difference."

For more information on the group, email Jessica.lake@hotmail.co.uk or NickyFV@outlook.com.

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