A new college to support people’s mental health and wellbeing in north Cumbria will be created, thanks to a £49,000 grant.
Together We Community Interest Company (CIC) has been awarded the cash by The SHINE Fund, the official charity of Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust, to set up the college.
It will provide a programme of free courses and workshops aimed at helping people to improve their wellbeing and recover from mental health issues.
These will be developed and delivered by peers who have lived experience of mental illness themselves.
Together We CIC aims to begin delivering courses online by May this year, with in-person courses starting across the north of the county from July as COVID-19 restrictions lift.
Ken Jarrold CBE, chair of the council of governors and board of directors at the foundation trust, said: “We are very pleased to be helping Together We CIC to set up a Recovery College for North Cumbria.
“Recovery colleges are now a well-established model providing peer-led wellbeing support to people around the world and in much of the rest of the North East of England.
“We know from our close links with recovery colleges in the North East how valuable they are as a complement to other mental health services.
“They increase people’s ability to stay well, and can be a launch pad into mainstream education, employment and re-connection with their community.
“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic there has rightly been a focus on its impact on people’s mental health, and we know the effects of this may last for a long time after lockdown has lifted.
“We want to make sure there is help for people when they need it.
“This new recovery college will play a vital part in supporting communities in North Cumbria.”
Together We CIC combines mental and physical wellbeing support to provide a fully inclusive service to people of all ages across Cumbria.
Sisters Janine Ward and Samantha Joughin were inspired to launch the organisation in 2017 after their brother died by suicide.
Janine, managing director of Together We CIC, said: “We wanted to provide a unique and responsive service to those with mental health problems, helping people to live worthwhile and meaningful lives.
“Since 2017 we have grown considerably, empowering people to take control over their mental and physical health and wellbeing by offering tailored care plans to each person which incorporate a wide range of mental health support and fitness sessions.
“We put the individual at the centre of their recovery journey and support them to make a difference in their lives.
“We are over the moon to have the great opportunity to lead on this across North Cumbria.”