Bridgend Communities First working to improve wellbeing in Bridgend County Borough

Published on Monday, 8 January, 2018

Welsh Government funded Bridgend Communities First has been helping people in local communities to reduce stress and improve their wellbeing as part of their healthy communities work.

Healthy Living Officer, Cindy Lawrence organised sets of sessions across the county borough with Chantel Pearce, a local entrepreneur who specialises in creating relaxing and educational sessions centred around wellbeing.

Throughout the sessions participants were given the opportunity join in with activities which were designed to encourage relaxation whilst learning new skills. Many of the participants who have taken part have commented that the sessions have offered them an opportunity to meet new people; overcome social isolation, learn new skills, improve their confidence and have seen improvements in their own mental health.

The sessions have had a particular impact on two women who attended sessions in Lewistown.

Ellie*, a local community member who has struggled with her confidence in the past said she really enjoyed attending the sessions. Ellie’s confidence has grown from meeting new people, building relationships and becoming part of a group and has inspired her to attend more local events in the future. Ellie commented: “Don’t under-estimate the power of learning new things! I feel more confident for attending courses in the future thanks to this course.”

Jill* who struggles with anxiety has noticed a marked improvement in her outlook in her day to day life since starting the course. Jill says that her family have noticed a big difference in her and given her something “that’s my own.” She says the sessions have become a highlight of her week and have stopped her feeling so low. Jill has been so inspired by the use of essential oils in the course that she has been researching how she can further her learning and now hopes to maybe open a shop in the future to sell products and offer consultation to others.

Other participants of the course commented:

“I’ve enjoyed the management of stress course. It’s been fun and educational. It has helped me in my day to day life which is quite stressful. The tutor, Chantal is a lovely woman and has made the course fantastic. I’ve loved all the stuff we’ve made.”

“I have absolutely loved these sessions. Engaging in this activity has uplifted my spirits. My mental health has improved a lot over the last few weeks.”

“I enjoyed the group of people. It was a non-competitive type of learning and I met people who were local who I didn’t know before.”

 

* Names changed to protect the anonymity of participants.