Buckhurst Way Clinic Social Space
Wellbeing Wednesdays are a community collaboration project between Voluntary Action Epping Forest, Loughton, Buckhurst Hill and Chigwell PCN, as well as the local Find Your Active Community Connector. The aim of the project is to provide a programme of health and wellbeing taster sessions for adults of working age who live with social anxiety and poor mental health.
The community asset of Buckhurst Way Clinic has been utilised as the venue to provide a safe and accessible space for both community wellbeing activities and peer support social interaction. The social interaction aspect has been important in the growth of the project because most of the participants did not know anyone before attending, aside from their referral link. However, since joining the project they have formed new friendships, and gained confidence in a thriving, friendly environment.
Active Essex commissioned the project and worked with the West Essex Find Your Active Community Connector to ensure the project was a success. Mirka Marri is the community connector and was able to identify local tutors and instructors that could run sessions and specifically engage with adults living with social anxiety and poor mental health.
The project was able to offer a range of sessions such as gardening, walk and talks, mental health workshops and yoga/aerobic classes. This range of activities meant the participants could be supported both physically and mentally and benefit from the different movements that would bring positive health outcomes.
Excellent participant feedback and the return of many of the residents has demonstrated the success of the project, as well as enabling the sessions to be tailored to the needs of the participants after successful group debriefs.
The programme provided the adults with links to professionals and key workers which meant they knew who and where to reach out to for support and advice. The project has managed to fulfil all the aims set out at the beginning of the planning process and has created a safe community environment for adults to explore what makes them feel good and have the confidence to gain new skills and try new activities.