Norfolk’s first Mindful Town announced

Thetford has become Norfolk’s first ‘Mindful Town’ in recognition of the mental health support that is accessible there. More than 50 people from 23 different Thetford based organisations have received a wide variety of Mental Health training funded by the Breckland Council ‘Mindful Towns’ program, and delivered by Norfolk and Waveney Mind and Wellbeing Norfolk and Waveney, significantly boosting the mental health support available within the community.

The new Mental Health Champions, based in various organisations across Thetford, will now be able to support colleagues, members, and service users alike with the new mental health skills and knowledge they have acquired, and signpost any in-need safely towards appropriate support for further help. Breckland Council has invested £15,000 in training the mental health champions, including representatives from the Charles Burrell Centre, Thetford Rugby Club, Abbey Community Centre and Halifax Bank.

The Breckland Mental Health Community Partnership (BMHCP), led by Breckland Council’s Inspiring Communities programme, has been offering free training across the district to make Breckland a more ‘Mindful District’ and enable a community-led approach to mental health.   

Cllr Paul Claussen, Deputy Leader at Breckland Council commented: “These newly trained Mental Health Champions, not just in Thetford, but across Breckland, are making real life changing differences within their communities and local workplaces everyday. I would like to sincerely thank everyone who has gone through the mental health awareness training in Thetford and congratulate local organisations for being so progressive in recognising the need for mental health support in the workplace.”

Nik Chapman CBE, Chief Executive Officer at the Charles Burrell Centre commented: “The Charles Burrell Centre is very proud of being at the heart of the community for the community and powered by the community.  And thus, it is very proud of being part of the Mindful Towns project.  This is such an important initiative that will grow and grow by encouraging everyone to be involved.  This will change lives.”

Pete Boczko, CEO, Norfolk and Waveney Mind said: “We are delighted to learn that Thetford has become the first Mindful Town to be announced through our partnership programme with Breckland Council to bring mental health awareness and training to the communities of Breckland,

“Through our education and awareness training we aim to empower local businesses and community volunteers to better understand mental health, how it can affect overall wellbeing, the potential triggers and signs of mental health issues, and how best to signpost residents to the range of support available.

“Since launching the Mindful Towns scheme last year, we have introduced our new REST Community Wellbeing hub to Thetford, providing a safe, welcoming, non-clinical space in which people experiencing mental distress or crisis can receive the support and information they need close to their communities and homes.  It also provides the newly trained, Thetford based Community Mental Health Champions a local provision to signpost people to.”