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Launch of Letchworth Wellbeing Centre

28 Feb 17 - 27 Feb 18

A wellbeing centre, one of the first of its kind, has opened in Letchworth Garden City. Jointly run by Hertfordshire Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (HPFT) and Herts Mind Network, it will specialise in delivering joined-up care for the local community and creating great outcomes for service users and carers alike.

Letchworth Wellbeing Centre’s launch on Friday 24 February was attended by nearly 100 people, including special guests 80s pop star Kim Wilde and former manager of Cambridge United, Martin Ling.

Also present were the chief executives of HPFT, Tom Cahill; Herts Mind Network, Julie Nicholson, and Paul Farmer, of Mind.

The launch of the centre followed a three-year development. Julie Nicholson was looking to start a peer support project and HPFT agreed to fund it, if a building could be located.

The centre is on a prominent site in the old post office on Broadway, in the heart of Letchworth.

Tom Cahill said: “The Trust is proud to work in joint partnership with Mind. Both partners will work together in providing joined-up care for the local community.” He added: “The fact the building is on the high street in the centre of town is a testament to how far we have come.”

Paul Farmer said: “In the old days I had to call the press to try to get our voices heard; now it’s the other way round. Individual journeys begin with shared support and the Letchworth Wellbeing Centre will be the starting point for many.”

Martin Ling spoke candidly about his struggle with mental illness. His journey to recovery is still ongoing but he believes he can help spread awareness and encourage people to speak out.

He said: “I’ve played in front of 80 000 people at Wembley, but getting treatment for mental health was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. I don’t know a lot about football or mental health, but I know a little, and if people listen to me because of my playing career then I’m happy and will feel like I’ve made a difference.”

The centre will offer peer-to-peer support, confidence-building classes, CBT and self-management workshops, housing and vocational advice, courses in recovery from common mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression, and mindfulness and relaxation tuition.

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