New role to engage with the community to improve mental wellbeing throughout the villages
Histon and Impington will have a Mental Wellbeing Champion from April. Annabell Webb has been appointed for an initial 2 year contract to increase mental wellbeing awareness and break down barriers in the villages. She will help with early intervention and prevention, working with the community and existing providers to develop, deliver and coordinate a range of activities and groups in the villages to promote mental wellbeing for all ages.
Annabell Webb said “This is such an exciting opportunity. I can’t wait to get started to help people improve their mental wellbeing and tackle the stigma associated with mental health.”
Community concern about the number of young people suffering from mental health issues provided the impetus for the creation of the Village Mental Health Forum in May 2015. The Forum organised the first Village Mental Wellbeing Week in April 2016. During the week a survey identified the need to increase activity and for a focal point for people of all ages who may have mental health concerns.
James Blandford-Baker, Chair of the Forum, said “Having Annabell as the champion will make a big difference in the way our community deals with mental health issues. She will be working closely with the current forum stakeholders including doctors, schools, churches, youth and family workers, who will be essential to the success of the project”
The champion has been recruited by Histon & Impington Community (HICOM) a village based charity that operates the village community minibus and supports older people through the Village Older Person’s Co-ordinator. Don Kelly, Chair of HICOM, said “Mental wellbeing is an increasingly important issue for our community and I am delighted that Annabell will be helping HICOM to expand into this much needed area”
Funding of the role has been secured from a wide variety of sources. Histon & Impington Parish Council has led the funding and grants have been received from Comic Relief Communities Charity programme, a charitable fund managed by Cambridgeshire Community Foundation, and the Batterson-Chivers Foundation. Support has been received from South Cambs District Council towards initial training needs. St Andrew’s Church, Histon will support the role for the next two years, plus Histon & Impington Feast and Friends of Histon & Impington Recreation and Poor’s Land Charity have each donated.
Neil Davies who has driven the initiative over the last year concludes “the positive response from the funders has been overwhelming, but fundraising to make the role sustainable in the longer term needs to continue”.
For more information contact:
Chris Cox – Trustee of HICOM
07906 767391 firstname.lastname@example.org
Histon & Impington Community Ltd, also known as HICOM, is a village based registered charity whose principal objective is the general community wellbeing of residents of all ages in the villages of Histon and Impington and neighbouring communities.
The charity currently works to meet this general objective through the provision and operation of Histon and Impington Community’s minibus since 1998. Engagement and employment of the Village Older Person’s Co-ordinator and assistant to support the needs of older village residents since 2011. Working towards increasing awareness and understanding of mental health wellbeing in the community through the appointment of the Mental Wellbeing Champion.
About the Histon and Impington Mental Wellbeing Forum
The Forum includes representatives of all village schools, school governors, village churches, villages children’s centre, children and youth workers, parish and district councillors and those involved locally with older residents. It has met on a regular basis, initially to prepare for the awareness week and now to work with the Mental Wellbeing Champion.
The initiative grew out of a conversation between Neil Davies and James Blandford-Baker in early spring 2015 when both became aware of tragic and challenging stories affecting young people in our community. As for so many in our villages, these stories affected us personally. With the reduction in statutory support and treatment for people of all ages with mental health conditions, as well as the stigma that is still associated with them, the Histon and Impington Mental Health Forum came together to see what could be done at a local level.