Southend Trust Links Live
Southend Trust Links want to stay in touch with members, who are adults with mental health problems and mild learning disabilities through the period of the pandemic. The ambition is to de-escalate issues and provide positive resources during an emotionally challenging time.
We also want to provide broader wellbeing support and engagement for the general public during a time of social isolation, anxiety and illness.
What was your response to Covid-19?
Our physical face to face services have closed:
- Growing Together therapeutic gardens,
- Recovery College and
- Wellbeing Hub.
Southend Trust Links set up livestreaming on Facebook three times per day– a wellbeing post, a skills post and a garden related post. The videos are uploaded to YouTube so that they can be accessed by those not on Facebook.
We have Zoom ‘tea and chat’ sessions with members, quizzes, courses and workshops as well. Some emergency funding was accessed to purchase tablets and WIFI dongles for members without technology, along with regular telephone support calls.
What is the impact and benefits?
Many members say that the COVID response offer is a lifeline to them. The three videos each day provide a structure to their day, a chance to see staff and volunteers, and to gain learning and inspiration. Members feel cared for, supported to work through issues they face.
G has been known to Growing Together for almost three years, she is recovering from a recent relapse in her mental health and as such was attending Growing Together 2 days a week (an increase to her usual 1 session). When the gardens closed the gates, she was very worried that she would relapse further and would require hospital admission. She has thanked Growing Together for all the support with the wellbeing calls and she says that it is “reassuring to know that there is always someone to talk to”.
She views the Facebook posts and watches the Trust Links Live livestreams daily, often leaving comments.
Her husband works from home and this provides respite for him while she is engaging in these activities.
In her own words:
“It provides a structure to my day and something to look forward to. I now have a new routine. I have learnt new skills and find the craft session very relaxing. I like the Zoom meeting, it is lovely to see faces and stops me feeling so isolated. The posts and activities are very positive, it has helped my mental health and has been a life saver.”
Is the solution sustainable post Covid-19?
Southend hopes to to continue Trust Links Live post COVID, but at a reduced rate. Southend Links Trust are also developing a Moodle online learning platform for digital learning and engagement, to combine with face to face sessions in the future.
More information about Trust Links
Trust Links and follow ‘Trust Links Live’ on Facebook or YouTube.