Warrington Day Services Revamp
We were pleased to open the doors of our Warrington day centre and day services for people with mental health needs on June 23rd 2009 to show our stakeholders and the local community our newly modernised services. The open day consisted of a display of arts and crafts, information on volunteering opportunities for our service users, details on the new activities timetable and the launch of our service users’ first social enterprise, Creative Crusts, who provided the refreshments!
In partnership with Warrington Borough Council, the Day Centre has been refurbished to a high standard, offering our service users a comfortable lounge area in which to relax and maybe play a game of pool, read or watch TV; a computer suite providing access to the internet; an information area with details and flyers on local activities, groups, courses, etc.; a small meeting room; two activity rooms, an office, a snack bar and café and a professional kitchen for Creative Crusts!
The new activity schedule includes a lunch time drop-in Monday to Friday and a range of morning and afternoon sessions including a craft group, young people’s group, health and wellbeing, social group, book club, cookery group, community group, walking group and relaxation sessions. Additional groups and activities are being developed and service users are kept aware of any new additions to the service through the activity boards in the day centre and the local newsletter.
We are excited by the launch of the service users’ new social enterprise, Creative Crusts, which will offer a range of sandwiches, drinks and snacks to businesses in Warrington. We hope to offer catering services in the future depending on the success of the business. Creative Crusts aims to help people in Warrington who have mental health needs to build a brighter future by running a successful sandwich business that provides opportunities for training, employment and skills development, and which promotes the inclusion and well-being of its volunteers. The voluntary positions being filled by our service users include Catering Assistant, Sales Assistant, Marketing Officer, Buyer, Delivery Driver, Receptionist and Book Keeper. The main beneficiaries for this enterprise are the service users as it offers:
• The opportunity to gain work experience which may lead to paid work
• The opportunity to gain skills and training which may lead to paid work
• The opportunity to gain paid employment if the social enterprise is successful
• Enhanced feelings of mental health and well-being through engagement in positive and meaningful activities
• Enhanced feelings of social inclusion through interaction with the local community and local businesses
Over time if the social enterprise is successful we aim to utilise any surplus revenue to re-invest into the business and provide opportunities for larger numbers of mental health service users in Warrington to benefit by getting involved in the project.