I myself am a sufferer from a mental health illness and have been for many years. I believe passionately that the best help that can be given to fellow sufferers is to provide a safe, secure and supportive environment where the ladies can be themselves, knowing that whatever their illness, someone at the club will also have suffered and can offer a support that really counts. Sharing their experiences has improved their self esteem and we offer a range of ar, craft and wellbeing therapies which our members take part in. The hardest thing is to admit that you have a problem. Imagine how it feels to wake up in the morning,wishing that you hadn't, sitting in a chair just waiting for it to be time to go back to bed and hopefully sleep so you don't have to think. This is the reality for our members. There is still a stigma attached to mental illnesses and people either can't or don't want to understand so it becomes a lonely, frightening and isolated life. We have achieved real improvements working with local GP surgeries in the area, and many of the ladies have been able to reduce medication, improve physically and do not need to attend their Gp as often as they have in the past. We have a great reputation within the communities we serve, which consists of six villages in North Norfolk and I have given talks to local groups about the work we do as well as producing some great artwork from the members. None of the committee take any expenses, it is all on a voluntary basis but we need to keep attracting funding as all the ladies are on very limited benefits and we only charge a minimal fee for attendance. There is so much more I would like to offer such as providing materials for the art and craft classes as well as encouraging the ladies to come on outings where they can learn to integrate with society again. I also would like to have an exhibition of their work so they can hopefully receive genuine appreciation of the works they produce.
Without help financially we would not be able to continue and many of the members tell family etc that without the club they would no longer be here!