Our Places of Wellbeing initiative is designed to help tackle loneliness and isolation and to promote mental health and wellbeing.

Whilst there were already too many people suffering from worry, loneliness and depression prior to Covid-19, it has become increasingly evident that many people who were struggling to cope before the pandemic have now reached - and even gone beyond - breaking point; whilst others have unexpectedly found themselves living with extreme anxiety, pain and loss for the first time in their lives.

In the Autumn of 2020, in order to better understand the impact of the pandemic on our local communities, we undertook a Listening Exercise across Newcastle upon Tyne, North Tyneside and Northumberland. What we heard across the region inspired us to focus carefully upon, and develop, all those aspects of our work that support the establishment of Places of Wellbeing

Places of Wellbeing will include the continuation of Places of Welcome and, in addition, encourage the creation of other types of physical and virtual space where everyone feels welcomed, valued, and heard, and has the opportunity to make a positive contribution. Pre-lockdown, Aileen Innes became Places of Welcome Co-ordinator at Heaton Baptist Church and you can read more about her experiences here. From elsewhere, we have heard the story of Fiona and her experiences of attending Places of Welcome (name has been changed to preserve anonymity).

Places of Wellbeing embrace a multitude of activities, such as community gardens, physical or online friendship groups, crafting activities, walking groups, or one-to-one befriending services. Key to their success is partnership working between community agencies, churches and volunteers, with the intentional desire to work together to transform lives by restoring and building self-confidence, worth and dignity amongst all those who engage.

If you'd like to know more please email: admin@tct-tynetotweed.org

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We are grateful to Allchurches Trust for their funding support for our Places of Wellbeing initiative in 2021