September 22nd, 2016

Redditch mental health group issue desperate plea for help

Redditch mental health group issue desperate plea for help Redditch mental health group issue desperate plea for help
Updated: 1:49 pm, Sep 09, 2016

A REDDITCH mental health support group has issued a desperate plea for help and volunteers.

The Friendship and Support Group, which was set up in 2013, provides a safe space for people with mental health problems and their carers, but only has a few regular volunteers to help run the service.

What started out as a once-a-week session with group coordinator Mary Jones has turned into a 24-hour service and help is desperately needed for both Mary and the service users.

She said: “Some weeks, I will deal with multiple people in crisis and on the brink of suicide.

“Social and crisis services are often unable to deal with them for various reasons, but I am always on call.”

“Our group aim is that no-one in the Redditch community is left feeling abandoned, so I help whenever and however I can.

“But I must confess it is difficult to do it alone.”

Group volunteer, Mike Lewington, said he has seen the number of people needing and using the service increasing and the pressure on the pair is also growing.

He said: “We need more volunteers – reliable, compassionate and dependable volunteers – to help us deal with the ever increasing number of people in need of a helping hand.

He said: “We try to ensure that there is always someone out there who is willing to listen and we work together to try and address at least some of the issues.”

Both Mike and Mary have some experience in working professionally with mental health, but they stress that this is not a requirement for their volunteers.

“Even just someone to come and help me set out the chairs and make tea at the meetings would be a great help,” added Mary.

The support group meets on Thursdays at The Space at the Winyates Centre, a venue provided free of charge by Reach CIC, from 11am-1pm, and 6.30pm-8pm.

Anyone with queries or interested in volunteering can call Mary on 07989154258.

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