A self-help group for women recovering from mental health issues who may be experiencing isolation, disability or accessibility issues
- Improved social links and ties
- Collective action and control
- Increased confidence, knowledge, skills and assets
Women Sharing Cornwall is a self-help group for women in St Austell who are experiencing mental health issues.
The two-year project, funded by People’s Health Trust, involved weekly activities and a safe space for members to socialise and share concerns.
Project members were encouraged to engage in all aspects of running the group including developing new ideas for activities. Guest facilitators were also invited to offer expertise in areas like IT, baking or arts and crafts.
Initiatives like the ‘buddy’ programme, which involved an existing member of the group helping a new member to settle in, enabled members to build support networks and friendships. Additionally, some project members met outside of the group setting and chose to access wider community resources which they might not have used otherwise.
The group also provided opportunities to develop members’ skills and knowledge, whilst enabling them to meet new people, through partnerships with other organisations in the local area.
The project was funded by People’s Health Trust with money raised through The Health Lottery in the South West.
This case study was carried out by Ecorys UK, who are conducting an independent evaluation of People's Health Trust's Active Communities programme. This case study formed part of the second year of this evaluation process.