It’s okay to not be okay is the message from a group which has launched a new well-being centre in Sheffield.
The Walkley-based drop-in facility is called ‘renew6’ and is aimed at supporting people with mental health issues, and connect those who may be isolated in the community.
Every Wednesday afternoon from 3.30pm to 5.30pm, Cafe Pie on South Road opens its doors to welcome people in to enjoy a drink, a piece of cake and to take part in fun, creative activities which encourage healthy reflection and a sense of peace, and well-being.
Recently tasks have included mindfulness exercises, colouring, board games, box making and art and crafts led by a local artist.
Co-founder of renew6 Lydia Wormsley from St Thomas Church Philadelphia says the well-being centre is proving to be an ‘incredibly positive’ resource for those who are coming along each week.
She said: “In today’s busy society, one in four people have a diagnosed mental illness, and it is difficult to find a quiet space to rest and reflect.
“renew6 focuses on the present and provides a space where people can come to find peace, stillness and focus on their own thoughts, behaviours and well-being.”
All activities are inspired by the 5-ways to well-being - a therapeutic model recommended by mental health professionals.
Said Lydia: “The centre has been well-received by the community, the local mental health team and the attendees.
“Anyone can suggest an activity, share a hobby, learn a new skill, make connections and be signposted to any help they need.
“At the end of each session, in a separate space, there is opt-in prayer and meditation to reflect and centre ourselves.”
An attendee said: “The best thing I get from renew6 is community and talking to one another and knowing that you can talk about your mental health issues. No-one’s going to judge you and no-one’s going to criticise you. You can relax and you can take it easy.”
The renew6 well-being centre was founded in May 2017 and relaunched in September after long-time friends Lydia Wormsley, 23 - a business graduate, and Jill Straughan, 23 - a psychology graduate, heard about a similar initiative in Nottingham - and wondered if a centre could be set up here in Sheffield.
The renew6 venue - Cafe Pie - costs the girls £160 to rent out each month.
Funding for the project has largely come from the generosity of sponsors at St Thomas Church Philadelphia.
The centre now runs weekly as one of the many projects under ‘Restore ministries’ at St. Thomas Philadelphia, all of which work with vulnerable and disadvantaged people in the city. Other projects include the S6 Food Bank and CAP debt counselling.
Future plans for renew6 include extending the opening hours, and running a well-being centre on both Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
The girls eventually want to expand the space to operate four days a week with a full timetable of activities.
Lydia said: “This means renew6 would be available to a larger group of people and that there would be a permanent space where people knew they could find rest or a listening ear.
“The dream is to have a social enterprise cafe next door which would offer employment and development opportunities to users.”
New attendees to renew6 are always welcome.
Individuals, businesses or charities wishing to help run activities in the centre or donate to the renew6 charity can phone Lydia or Jill on 01142419560 or email: email@example.com.