Mental health support group encouraging you to #Walkandtalk
- Credit: Courtesy of Share-Royston
A group of Royston residents, who set up a new Facebook group aimed at supporting others with their mental health, are encouraging the community to take part in their 'Walk and Talk' initiative and more.
The 'Share-Royston' page was set up by Karl Lattion, with a group of helpers including Bridgette Cameron, Natalie Mclarney and Craig McMurrough - also known as Mr Ovary in town due to his marathon fundraising efforts in an eye-catching costume.
Craig told the Crow: "We wanted to create a group that was all about action, so Share - Royston is just that."
Karl said: "Personally, I've been struggling with my own mental health. Throughout the pandemic I've really been getting cabin fever, and I knew this was not just me, conversations I'd had with my friends showed they were in the same situation. So I decided, I really wanted to make a difference and help people.
"I know the outlook is looking better for COVID now the vaccine is here but we’ve still got a long way to go. And as a community there are some truly great kind people in Royston and the surrounding areas. In fact the support we've had for the page has been truly overwhelming.
"I'm also sure that at the end of this all, separation anxiety for kids and parents will be another huge issue, and we want to start supporting people ASAP.
"We have put a fantastic team together for Share - Royston. Setting it up to try and help and support people, whether it is for anxiety/ mental health, struggling financially to get food/clothes, ideas of things to do and much, much more. After all, if you keep your mind active it can truly make a difference to your mental state.
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"We’ve set up foodbank support, clothing banks and our next big initiative, Walk and Talk.
"Walk and Talk, using #Walkandtalk, is unique to Royston - it'll get people out of the house. It's brought this lovely sense of community, encouraging people to pick up on what exists in the town.
"This idea has already excited loads of people, we know that just getting out of the house and talking to people makes such a difference. To support this we also have mental health first aiders as part of the group, and a crisis team on standby should we need them.
"At the moment, we are allowed out to exercise for one hour with someone outside our household. Lots of people have shut themselves off from the world and just talking that hour out a day to walk and talk is already showing some really positive results.
"We get people to go out, tag #walkandtalk and then post their photos on the page."
The next phase of Walk and Talk is to have a 5k and 10k route around Royston.
The group also has a weekly planner for people to sign up to various classes and activities, led by the community. Those involved range from personal trainers giving their time for free, to Craig's next door neighbour Professor Tanya Horeck - a film academic - hosting a movie night.
Karl added: "We also want to say a huge thank you to everyone who has donated their time and talents. People think donating is about the financial implication. It really isn't, it's about donating your time to someone, teaching a talent, or something you don't need anymore - and is I believe far more beneficial and costs nothing."
If you'd like to know more about Share Royston head to the Facebook page.