MindSpace Stamford is broadening its appeal to younger adults, as we can see from this article by volunteer, Ellie Fox-Ricketts.
The 5 ways to wellbeing pilot in schools is how I became involved with MindSpace. Another student and I represented Stamford High School for the day at Stamford Welland Academy. On this day we learnt about the 5 ways to wellbeing and shared our ideas to develop it further.
We were asked back as older students, and this is when I told MindSpace about my Extended Project Qualification topic: Is the NHS failing mental health patients? I also shared a BBC animation of my mental health journey that I was nominated for by the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS). I was one of five children who progressed to filming at that time.
This conversation led to the current day where MindSpace invited me to be a key member in a new project. I am now going through the process of induction to be a volunteer and have had many meetings both in person as well as virtually, given the current situation. These have centred around a young adults’ group that we are aiming to start as soon as it is safe to do so and will be specifically for 18-25-year olds. The formation of the young adults’ group is being led by six volunteers aged 19-24, with a more senior member overseeing things. We will be piloting this first to see what works well and what doesn’t, after which we will open it to the public.
I have loved my work with the charity so far, due to the people I have met and the opportunities I have had. I feel It will work well alongside my Open University course where I will be undertaking a degree in psychology, as this is my passion and future career plan.
During the coronavirus lockdown, I have been trying to do the 5 ways as much as possible. Things I have done to connect are messaging, emailing and video calling family and friends. To Be Active I have been taking my dog on a long walk every day and I have been exercising in the house. I have been Taking Notice and feeling grateful for the small things in life because me and my family are still healthy, and I have more quality time with my mum. I just try to think positive as it is easy to focus on the negatives such as no work, no exams, etc. but most people are in the same boat and health is the most important thing. Keep Learning is one I think I do quite well as I have been reading lots of books, learning life skills and doing more household jobs. Lastly is Acts of Kindness, which Mum and I do regularly. Mum is a Key Worker so has been caring still. I have helped older family members set up online food shopping, we have lent things to neighbours (all sanitised) and brought food for multiple people. For this one, the small gestures also mean a lot. For example, saying hi, smiling or chatting for 5 minutes with someone out the window or on your daily walk will mean a lot to a lot of people. I hope everyone can see how easy these 5 ways to wellbeing are and that they can still be done in the current pandemic.
Ellie Fox-Ricketts, MindSpace Volunteer
This was one of a series of MindSpace articles published in The Stamford Mercury during the Coronavirus lockdown.