Over the past decade, residents leading the Local Conversation in Holyhead, Anglesey worked with local residents to tackle priorities identified by the community.

Two people stood outside the Mon CF community building

Local people are at the forefront of the decision-making process and are supported to build confidence and to feel comfortable with making decisions that affect their neighbourhood.

As economic conditions change in the area, reflecting the broader national picture of lower increasing poverty rates and inequality, the importance of building social connections and creating opportunities locally become more important.

A Steering Group of residents chose priorities for 2020 – 2021 which were: to empower young people and strengthen youth leadership; bring the town together through community events; and ensure Holyhead is a happy place to live.

As an emergency response to increasing mental health issues, and part of their ongoing priority to ensure Holyhead is a happy place to live, they launched a campaign to deliver mental health training to 100 residents. It aims to equip people with the skills to identify potential signs of mental ill health to support both themselves and others.

The campaign has reached beyond the local community. Virginia Crosbie, MP for Ynys Môn, supported the campaign and called for compulsory mental health training to be made available in workplaces nationally. Partnership work and empowering the local community to advocate for change has been fundamental in bringing about this campaign as part of their wellbeing priority.

Through partnerships, the project’s Community Plan has become more sustainable and effective. Local mental health charity Mind Cymru has offered a free confidential advice service and the local authority has provided space for them to set up a wellbeing allotment.

We recognise the impact of inequalities on mental health and strive to support our communities to make a difference. Together with residents and the local council we are working to make a change.

Stephanie Pritchard

Local Conversation Project Manager

Funded by People’s Health Trust using money raised by Health Lottery Wales