Hello and welcome!
My name is James and I am a community councillor in sunny Rhyl on the North Wales coast.
I have been a very active community cllr for over two years now and during this time I have been struck at the sheer amount of my residents, often drawn from the poorest in my community, who are struggling with what is often considered low-level mental health issues (anxiety and depression) or loneliness. After spending many years prior to becoming a cllr as an adviser with the Citizen's Advice Bureau in my town I began to understand the sheer scale and often crippling effects that mental health issues, such as anxiety and depression, have on the lives of sufferers and their families. In September 2017 I returned to university to study for my LLM in law but within a month realised that tackling these growing social issues of untreated mental heath and loneliness was THE priority for many in my community. I quickly switched from law and at masters level to social sciences, specifically social policy.
During the final six months of my MA I researched new ideas for tackling these issues at community level but in a climate post-Brexit and after nine years of cuts to our community health and social services. I am about to return to university once again to embark on a three year doctoral (PhD) research programme.
I am crowd funding for my new community music for mental health and loneliness project in Rhyl, North Wales. It's called Music In Mind North Wales and my aim is to raise enough to start buying instruments for poor residents of all ages that otherwise could not afford them and pay for regular community space and time with qualified music teachers. I also aim to start a community choir specifically aimed at those suffering from loneliness and isolation that would not normally have the means or opportunity to leave their homes or socialise. The long term aim is to be able to pay for transport to and from homes and the local community centre for our regular choir practice.