As of February 4th 2019 we will be changing our opening hours and moving to a more flexible and responsive working model.
When we started six years ago, we were open every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, we then morphed to being open from 10am till 8pm every Monday and selected other activities during the week planned on a week to week basis.
This worked well and over the last two years, we have been open on average between 25 and 30 hours a week, spread across either four or five days. We have had Mindfulness classes, Tai-Chi, Cookery, Gardening, ‘Wednesday Wellbeing’ sessions, a men’s group, art and craft sessions, benefits advice and our most successful offerings have been our two guitar groups.
This has worked well but we find ourselves in a situation where unfortunately we are not able to continue to open for ten hours each Monday on a regular basis.
We have no staff and everything we do is run by people with their own lived experience on a voluntary basis. The people running our sessions now are the people that have come along to attend the sessions over the last year or two.
Over time approximately a quarter of the people who come along to the charity will go on to help run it, this has worked well for us over the years.
We find ourselves in a situation now where a number of those helping over the last year or so are now moving on to do other things, including employment, running businesses, education, peer mentoring, involvement opportunities and much more and that is amazing.
At the same time more of the new people coming along are in or closer to crisis than we’ve ever seen before and we’re not experiencing the same flowthrough from attending the sessions to running them as we have previously.
That’s fine because we would never expect anyone to help out unless they felt ready. It has just meant that it has put more on those still running the charity and means we will have to adapt again.
For that reason, we will now be regularly open only from 10am till 3pm every Monday.
Each Sunday between the coordinators we will set a timetable for the coming week, it may be that we still offer as much as we have been but there is no added pressure on those running the sessions.
The sessions will be posted here and on all our channels and communicated to our members according to their preferences.