Health and wellbeing

Funding level: £10,001 to £25,000

Submitted by: Jelf Insurance Partnership

Description

Spectrum People supports vulnerable adults in Wakefield & across Yorkshire– including those with a physical, mental health or learning disability, addictive behaviour, homelessness & former criminal behaviour. One thing common to all is poor mental health. Engaging with us uncovers their potential. Through this we aim to improve their health & wellbeing.
The charity started in 2013 but our activities really got underway in July 2015. Since then over 1100 adults have become involved with our Café and Chat, Appletree allotment, Recycle bike skills & many individual projects. They have interacted with these over 9000 times & we know we make a positive difference to their lives. A short survey indicates 80%+ have significantly improved wellbeing following our activities. Comments include:
“Since coming to the café I have felt more confident & more motivated to do other things. I had been feeling so isolated but here I can talk to people who are non-judgmental. I believe in myself again.”
“I was referred to the bike project by Job Centre Plus, it has been a great help in working towards overcoming my anxiety in social situations & also refreshing my ability to repair & service bikes.”
Giving individuals a sense of belonging, of community, giving them the confidence & self-belief to start again is key to each activity. We also have ground rules – to remind everyone that our activities are open to anyone, whatever their background. When we first started work in Wakefield market area there were some concerns about our Café and Chat but the local council & PCSOs saw petty crime reduce as individuals took pride in their café, developing trust & welcoming everyone in.
All our activities are provided free of charge so fund raising and donations are vital to our existence. We only have 3 staff, all working part-time (just 1.6 whole time equivalent). Without our amazing volunteers – virtually all of whom are also vulnerable adults – we couldn’t function. Volunteering further develops their resilience & in the last 6 months 730+ volunteer hours have helped us. We describe ourselves as a micro-charity – but one which kicks well above its size!
But we can do more & those we support have given us plenty of ideas. They want guided bike rides – a natural progression from the bike mechanic skills they learn at Recycle; fishing would give the calm, reflective setting many crave when in recovery from chaotic addiction – & the river is close to our two main locations. Providing complementary therapies such as aromatherapy & Indian head massage is something unaffordable to those we support & one member of staff has such a qualification which can be offered at our community anchor location. Pop-up activities similar to The Whizzhead drama are also planned. The Warwick Edinburgh Short Wellbeing Survey is used to measure how someone feels before & after each activity) & we use the “Five Ways to Wellbeing “ (give, connect, keep learning, be active, take notice) in supporting people to improved mental health & therefore overall health & wellbeing.
We work in partnership with a number of other local charities & understand how important it is we all work together, often supporting the same individuals. We also go into local schools with those we support giving passionate, heart-felt talks about addictive behaviour & how to stay away from it. Last year we delivered such talks to over 800 students & the inter-generational discussions which develop are inspirational.
Our charity is working well but we are limited now by lack of funding & we would really like to put into action the fishing, guided cycle rides & the holistic therapies & live well ideas people have requested. For this we need to ensure our three current workers can maximise their time & increase their part time working as needed, & take on more volunteers and purchase bikes, fishing gear and other materials. A successful bid would allow us to do all this, turning more lives around.

Spectrum People

Location: Wakefield

We support some of the most disadvantaged and vulnerable sectors of society with very little in the way of resources or finance. We will beg and borrow items which can help to develop service users confidence, capability, and social inclusion. 1000+ people have engaged with us in 2 years many times
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