A community project in Newcastle’s West End is celebrating its success in combating the impact of coronavirus on the wellbeing of local families.
Reviving the Heart of the West End (RHWE), which works with individuals to unlock the capacity to aspire and build the capacity to achieve aspirations, had a very different plan in place for its Karbon funded ‘Steps for Action’ project.
However, despite the unexpected change in circumstances brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic, the project has soared and the Wellbeing Takeaway initiative was born.
RHWE secured a £6,658 grant from Karbon’s ‘Investing in Communities’ fund back in June 2019, for its Steps for Action project, which works with individuals to explore their personal and professional next steps.
The two-pronged programme, which was set to last for 12 months, was made up of a STEPS course, looking at confidence and self-esteem, and a Creative Action Course around supporting the community to address social issues.
RHWE completed the STEPS course and were in the early stages of the Creative Action sessions when Covid-19 hit, and participant numbers dropped. However, the remaining group members were really keen to continue.
Sandra English is the Personal Development Lead for RHWE. She said: “For the women on the programme, there was no greater social issue arising from the pandemic than that of their community’s mental wellbeing. They were all very concerned for family members, friends, and neighbours who were really suffering with their mental health.
“In response they formed Wellbeing Takeaway, providing 50 mental wellbeing activity packs for the most vulnerable families in their communities. They gave a lot of thought to the psychological and emotional aspects of the packs, which were designed to make recipients feel valued.
“This group of women who themselves have seen their struggles and hardship have become so empowered and motivated through this, they are a true inspiration. They have found a new belief in themselves and each other and are exploring the potential next steps of setting up Wellbeing Takeaway as a Community Interest Company.”
Alongside the ‘Investing in Communities’ fund, Karbon launched a Community grant fund specifically to support projects and groups which were working to combat the impact of Covid-19. To date the fund has supported 97 projects totalling over £117k.