Mind Matters in Tibenham

Tibenham has become South Norfolk’s first Mindful Village after twenty local people undertook training held by South Norfolk Council.  

The free training session provided mental health awareness and education and gave participants the skills and resources they need to support people suffering with mental health issues. 

On 11 January, Cabinet Member, Cllr Kim Carsok, and Council Chairman, Cllr James Easter, visited to congratulate the village’s new certified Wellbeing Champions. Cllr Carsok said: “Many of our rural villages have close knit caring communities, where people can spot if something is not quite right. Providing people with the knowledge and skills on how to help those suffering from poor mental health and familiarising them with the resources available, means the right support is on hand immediately.”

The scheme, which is already up and running in the district’s market towns, also challenges the associated stigma around the illness, with Wellbeing Champions encouraged to have open conversations about mental health in the community.

Resident Lorna Pyke, who has been helping to promote wellbeing in Tibenham since 2017, said: “The Wellbeing Champion Training was very welcome in Tibenham. There was keen interest in learning more about the services available in this area, designed to enable us to direct our contacts towards the best sources of advice as well as supporting each other as volunteers. Our Mindful Towns and Villages Wellbeing Champion Packs will become a reliable source of ideas and information for everyone who attended.”

Pic (L-R): Cllr James Easter, Lorna Pyke, Cllr Kim Carsok

The Council works with the Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust’s Wellbeing Service and workplace health provider Thriving Workplaces to train Wellbeing Champions, with funding from the South Norfolk and Broadland Health and Wellbeing Partnership. The Council’s Help Hub is supporting all Wellbeing Champions and has 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.

Community groups, businesses or organisations can find out more about becoming Wellbeing Champions by visiting 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.