It is my intention to facilitate and deliver various affordable wellbeing and self-help programmes within the rural communities in North Ceredigion. This is a rural part of West Wales with very little access to public transport and opportunities for socializing. Many of these communities have seen the closure of many services over the year, such as Post Offices, local village shops and primary schools, and many residents living in outlying areas can experience isolation.
There has been major cuts to the mental health service provisions in this area. This leaves a big gap of support within the community and therefore I wish to address this by offering vulnerable and isolated individuals with a safe space, support, friendship and a sense of belonging.
Many facilitators, including myself, have attempted to bring wellbeing programmes to these communities in the past. Due to the low population in these communities such programmes often become financially unviable due to costs involved with transport, initial outlay and venue hire, and thus those people who might benefit the most lose out as overhead costs make these programmes financially unsustainable. Increasing the cost would make these programmes too expensive and inaccessible for many.
I believe that physical contact and a sense of having a warm, welcoming and supportive community is essential for individuals who are struggling with poor physical or mental health. While social media and the internet can address some of the isolation often felt by these people, real-time, real-life connection beyond screens and virtual interaction offers a powerful boost to our wellbeing.
Therefore, my aim is to raise sufficient funding to cover overheads costs such as venue hire and travel so that I can go into these communities and offer wellbeing programmes for a period of six months, run on a donation basis, therefore, making it affordable and accessible to all.
My vision is to provide and facilitate a safe and sacred space so that together, within a group setting, we can discuss and explore various health and wellbeing topics collectively. I will provide the opportunity to explore and experience a range of self-help tools such as movement, meditation, guided visualizations, play, dance, and music. My long-term goal is to empower individuals with a set of tools that they can take home and use daily to enhance their own sense of well being and share with others.
In the long term, these groups are immensely valuable, offering an additional layer of community-level social support to help people achieve and maintain a sense of belonging, increasing the collective wellbeing of their communities.
I am a native to this area and have in the past experienced long periods of anxiety, depression and physical illness. This has given me valuable insight as to the impact that isolation experienced in these communities has on your mental, physical, emotional and spiritual health. These are the areas I wish to address in providing a supportive service within the community.