The emotional and physical wellbeing of residents across Torbay has been placed at the top of the agenda through two projects.
In partnership with Sanctuary Housing, staff from social cafes in the Bay are providing local people with a range of resources to help them get through the coronavirus pandemic and beyond.
At the Gaia Giving Café in Paignton, a hub has been developed for people to access the support they need, which includes mental health services, activity sessions and peer befriending.
One of Gaia’s main aims is to reduce unplanned hospital admissions by offering support and signposting in the community.
The service will soon benefit from more than £50,000 of external funding – for this project and an additional climate change initiative – which has been secured by Sanctuary staff.
Meanwhile, at the Windmill Centre in Torquay, the Chronic Pain Café is run for people with chronic health issues. Currently meeting virtually, the café offers an informal support group where residents can chat to volunteers in the same position as them.
Residents can also access advice and guidance if they are in need of further support.
Sanctuary’s neighbourhood partnerships manager for Torbay, Lynne Roberts, said: “As a society, we are all going to be feeling the effects of Covid-19 and the lockdown for some time, so we are thrilled that our community partners are offering this holistic support for our residents.”
Gaia takes place from 9am to 3pm on Mondays to Saturdays at 39 Winner Street, Paignton, TQ3 3BN, and residents are welcome to pop along for a socially distanced chat. A Wellbeing Barista also works on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
And residents interested in joining in with the Chronic Pain Café’s online meet ups – which take place on Wednesdays at 1.30pm – can check the Windmill Centre’s Facebook page or email firstname.lastname@example.org for the relevant link. It is hoped that face-to-face meetings will resume from September onwards.