Bring tea and comfort where it’s needed

Catherine Gray making plans to get her Cup O T van on the road. Picture contributed.

Catherine Gray making plans to get her Cup O T van on the road. Picture contributed. - Credit: Archant

If you can't get to the help you need, we'll bring it to you - that's the aim of a Norfolk health worker.

Catherine Gray making plans to get her Cup O T van on the road. Picture contributed.

Catherine Gray making plans to get her Cup O T van on the road. Picture contributed. - Credit: Archant

A cup of tea and a chat can make all the difference to someone in need and now a Norfolk occupational therapist is planning to take tea and talk around the county,

Catherine Gray is converting a van into a mobile therapy room for her not-for-profit company: Cup-O-T: Wellness and Therapy Services.

The aim is to take mental health services out to people to help those struggling to find the help they need,

Catherine has worked in mental health in Norfolk and Suffolk for the last nine years and is aware of the difficulty in accessing mental health services at an early stage.

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She says many people, particularly those relying on public transport in rural areas, cannot get to the services they need.

'The van as a mobile therapy room will ensure that I can take the mental health service direct to people needing support.'

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Cup O T was started in December 2017 as a response to frustrations her friends and family had expressed regarding accessing services as well as her own experience working in the NHS.

Some friends, family and clients had been placed on long waiting lists, others turned away for not meeting criteria that statutory services have in place, and some were unable to access services easily due to their locations

'These conversations were often over a cup of tea.

'A good cup of tea is a British tradition and a great medium to help people relax and open up. Occupational Therapy is all about meaningful activity and this is meaningful for many people,' she explained.

All of Cup-O-T's surplus profit is used to provide free community groups and therapy sessions to those whose needs have not been met by statutory services and are unable to afford private therapy.

'Currently I'm covering a 30 mile radius from the Wymondham and Long Stratton area but this will expand to all of Norfolk once the mobile therapy room is completed,' said Catherine.

She is raising the £4000 needed to convert a van into a suitable therapy room, helped by husband Joe, a carpenter who will be doing the conversion work for free and is expecting it to be ready mid March.

Catherine is seeking supplies to complete the work such as a kitchen work surface, small kitchen sink, floor lino, foam for seating, as well as nuts, bolts, screws and electrical supplies.

'The planning of this project has been a community effort. We have had input and feedback from the very beginning of the idea. Current clients and members of the community are helping with the design and we will be holding a working day to help decorate kitchen tiles and stain the pallets we are using to make the furniture,' says Catherine.'

Meet Catherine and find out about Cup-O-T and support a fundraising raffle at the Buy Local Norfolk Christmas Expo event, The Forum, Norwich, December 19.

If you can donate building supplies for the conversion please get in touch with Catherine Gray: or donate at

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