Harleston and Newton Flotman champion mental health

Harleston has been officially declared a ‘Mindful Town’ and Newton Flotman a ‘Mindful Village’ as part of South Norfolk Council’s project to support people suffering with mental health issues in the district.

The Council has worked with partner organisations to provide free training sessions as part of the Mindful Towns and Villages (MTV) project, enabling people in Harleston and Newton Flotman to become certified Wellbeing Champions.

The project ensures that immediate support is available in the community and in the workplace while raising awareness of mental health issues and challenging the associated stigma.

South Norfolk Council’s Cabinet Member for Healthy & Active Lifestyles, Cllr Kim Carsok said: “During the week we came together to mark World Mental Health Day, I am delighted to announce that our district is taking a further step in uniting to understand, empathise and support each other. Our amazing and fully trained Wellbeing Champions are doing important work; helping us to prioritise the health of our residents, destigmatise mental health challenges, and offering practical support to those who need it.”

The Council worked with the Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust’s Wellbeing Service and workplace health provider Thriving Workplaces to train Harleston and Newton Flotman’s new Wellbeing Champions, with funding from South Norfolk and Broadland Health and Wellbeing Partnerships .

It will continue to partner with these organisations to offer more training as it rolls out MTV across Broadland and South Norfolk with the aim of creating hundreds of Wellbeing Champions. So far, Aylsham, Wymondham, Diss and Brundall have been declared ‘Mindful’, and plans are place to roll the scheme out to Hethersett, Bawburgh, Poringland soon.

Spaces are still available at the following sessions: 

– Thursday 9 November, 6.30-8.30pm, at Poringland Community Centre: Overtons Way, Poringland, Norfolk, NR14 7WB. Booking deadline 6 November – book via https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/JC66B0/

– Thursday 7 December, 9.00-4.30pm, at Thorpe St Andrew: Starston Room, South Norfolk and Broadland Councils, Horizon Business Centre, Peachman Way, Norwich, NR7 0WF. Booking deadline 26 November – book via https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/JC66B0/  

– Wednesday 31 January, 2024, 9.00-4.30pm, Hethersett: Hethersett Memorial Playing Field Pavillion, Park Drive, Hethersett, Norfolk, NR9 3EN. Booking deadline 21 January – bookvia https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/JC66B0/

Any community groups, businesses or organisations in either district are encouraged to request free MTV mental health training. To find out more and sign up, go to: www.southnorfolkandbroadland.gov.uk/communities/mindful-towns-villages

All groups will receive branding that shows they have Wellbeing Champions in recognition of their commitment and training. 

Anyone who has already completed mental health training elsewhere and would like to become a part of this exciting new Wellbeing Network simply needs to send the Council their certificate with consent to become a Wellbeing Champion. Please email communities@southnorfolkandbroadland.gov.uk to do this and in return you will be sent an information pack and be invited to the South Norfolk and Broadland (SNAB) Community Links meetings.

The Council’s Help Hub is supporting all Wellbeing Champions and the Help Hub has recruited a Mental Health Support Worker to talk through residents’ concerns and provide advice on next steps, and the different services available. 

Professional support will also be provided by Evolve for any referrals by Wellbeing Champions for more complex cases.