The season for giving is upon us! Volunteering with Mind, Rushden

Since the season for altruistic goodwill is almost upon us, I decided to volunteer for 2 days with the local branch of Mind, the mental health charity, in Rushden, Northamptonshire.
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Mind has branches nationwide with over 100 local Minds across England and Wales, offering people with mental health issues excellent care and services, tailored to their needs.

On the first day, I spent a morning tidying and sorting out the wonderful art supply boxes in the room used for art therapy sessions on a Wednesday morning, on the second floor of the building, Phoenix House on Skinner’s Hill Rushden.

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Thus, after a couple of hours of sorting through a bank of drawers, locating supplies such as glitter, sequins, card, paper and stickers should be slightly less taxing!

Reception Reception

Whilst in the art room, I spent some time enjoying the work the care users have produced as part of a regular art therapy session that is held there every Wednesday morning and which allows participants to express their thoughts and feelings that they may find difficult to put into words.

Other courses available through Mind include wellbeing courses such as Anger and Anxiety Management, Food and Mood, Stress & Emotional Resilience and Self Awareness.

The rest of my volunteering time was spent in the Crisis Café where anybody over the age of 17½ can simply drop in (see timetable for locations and opening times to include late nights). No appointment or referral is necessary – just ring the bell and you will be met by a friendly Mental Health Professional who will put the kettle on and offer professional support.

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If you can’t get to a café you can always call the 24/7 Mental Health Integrated Response Hub (freephone) 0800 448 0828 (in collaboration with the NHS).

As well as a safe space where anyone struggling with mental health can go for professional support, the Crisis Café also holds a coffee morning each Monday from 10am to 11.30am, where visitors can come and catch up with old friends for a chat or simply sit in a warm space with something to drink, with the knowledge that there are friendly professionals on hand if needed.

The café is populated with Mind Mental Health Workers and Northamptonshire Healthcare Foundation Trust professionals at all times, but above all, is a warm, welcoming safe space for people to come and talk.

And the one thing I noticed during my time with Mind is that talking things through is incredibly healing for people who may be suffering any one of a number of mental health issues at any time, and being able to do so without having to make an appointment or secure a referral beforehand, is vital.