“A Real Lifeline…”

“A real lifeline for my mental health….my safeplace…I started to manage my depression…ambitions I never thought I’d be able to achieve.”

Just some of the comments relating to the benefits provided by the Rotunda charity, which offers a wide variety of services for the community in Liverpool, including education, counselling, advice and activities for people of all ages.

The Steve Morgan Foundation has provided a three-year grant of £75,000 to help with core costs including the salary for Mental Health Coordinator Heather Caird.

Two years into the grant, Heather has been working hard to embed mental health into the charity’s curriculum and deliver in-house services including social developmental classwork and one-to-one emotional support.

“Being a member of staff whose focus is aimed towards mental health has greatly benefitted the people who come through the doors of Rotunda,” says Heather.

“Individuals have had the benefit of a person who they can talk to and seek advice and guidance from and who can speak up on their behalf about the importance of taking care of your mental health in the same way as you would take care of your physical health.”

Since being successful with the grant application, Rotunda has also received one of the Steve Morgan Foundation’s Smiley Buses, providing  transport not only to help with the charity’s varied activities but also bring in more people to the centre, including participants who have been hard to engage.

Only last weekend the Smiley Bus was out and about delivering winter donations of hats, scarfs, gloves, coats and other clothing to the homeless and vulnerable from the local community.

The Steve Morgan Foundation had also previously funded a Volunteer Coordinator at the charity.

Rotunda continues to play such a major part in the community by delivering a huge variety of services under one roof.

Personal development, employability and volunteering programmes are delivered alongside health and wellbeing activities including counselling, arts, horticulture and community events, which provide support to meet the needs of the different user groups.

The charity is used for a large part by people from North Liverpool who face daily challenges including caring responsibilities, ill health, lack of qualifications, unemployment, mental health issues, and a lack of confidence and personal aspirations.

Over time there was a steep rise in the number of youngsters suffering from mental health difficulties, which prompted the need for this new role.

Heather is also particularly thrilled to have been handed the opportunity of becoming the charity’s first ever Mental Health Coordinator.

“I am so thankful to have been given this opportunity to use my skills and creativity to support and educate people about mental health,” she says.

“I have found my time here to be challenging sometimes but I have felt fully supported by my line manager in improving my skills and overcoming challenges with my own mental health and disability.”

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