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Bassetlaw CCG supports men’s mental health through Action Centre

Bassetlaw CCG supports Bassetlaw Action Centre, and in particular their work in supporting men’s mental health.  The Centre was recently awarded the Investing in Volunteers UK quality standard for excellence in volunteer management.

This demonstrates how the Action Centre values the work and support of its volunteers.  Volunteers provide great service to others and benefit themselves.

The comment from the assessor on the Action Centre was

“‘It is evident both from this self-assessment and our discussions in the (virtual) workshop that volunteers are at the heart of what you do.  They are well looked after within BAC with great care and attention given to proper management of them.”

Norman volunteers at BAC.

“I volunteer by leading the Men’s Walk and Talk sessions. As a person with a mental health condition, I found the first lockdown in March 2020 difficult. I worked from home and started to feel very isolated and alone. In July, we were told that the office was reopening and I couldn’t wait to get back.

Paula, the Get Out Get Active project development officer, approached me and asked if I was interested in volunteering for a new walking group, Men’s Walk and Talk. Having previous experience of volunteering as a Scout Leader, I thought this could be a good way to get out and meet people again.

The opportunity came at a good time as I was going through family issues that impacted my mental health a lot. I thought leading and organising the walk and talk group would help to support my own mental health as well as help others to speak more openly about theirs.

Paula is supporting me to set up the new group by offering training that has been funded by the Bassetlaw CCG small grants scheme for men’s mental health.

With the aim of the group being to get people to talk and support their mental wellbeing, I completed a Mental Health First Aid course.   I learnt how to approach people and that everyone responds differently to help. The training has given me more confidence to support and talk to people with mental health conditions.

I would love to see the group really set off and grow, so we will be running sessions during weekends when most people can make it. The group is there to support people struggling who may not be able to access other support groups due to work commitments. As someone who needed support in the past, I am excited to organise and lead this group.

I feel if this group manages to help one person, then it’s worth it. I have been in difficult situations due to my mental health and I would have benefitted from a group like this. I believe GOGA along with the funding from Bassetlaw CCG has been instrumental in creating a group like this.”

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