Spalding Safe Spaces
This month, Ayscoughfee Hall welcomed Spalding Safe Places. An initiative set up to support people with mental health problems; providing them with a physical refuge from the stresses they may face in everyday life.
Safe Spaces founder, Vanessa Browning, launched the programme in October 2016, with the help of Councillor Jack McLean and the Tonic Centre (a charity community hub in Spalding for health and wellbeing).
Vanessa herself battled mental health issues for 4 years, before meeting Jack through one of his campaigns for election. She mentioned to him the need for better mental health care in the area and from this was born ‘Community Mind Matters’, an online support forum for people with conditions such as depression and anxiety.
Following this, Vanessa set up a running club, aiming to support mental health sufferers in a more physical way, promoting mental health and wellbeing through exercise.
Safe Spaces is the next step in this physical support. As Vanessa puts it:
‘It’s about hearing people’s voices and bringing them out of isolation… making them feel like a person again, providing a space where they can feel comfortable, and being willing to listen.’
Beginning on the 4th of March, Vanessa will hold sessions every other Saturday at Ayscoughfee Hall from 11am – 3pm. She hopes to encourage people to improve their quality of life with a holistic approach; inviting herbalists, yoga teachers, and Mindfulness coaches to speak at the sessions.
By Elsa Trueman, Resilience Syndicate Intern at Ayscoughfee Hall Museum and Gardens