New Beccles group aims to address issues around mental health and wellbeing

Sam Kenward, Helen McAteer, Josi Horne, Elfrede Brambley-Crawshaw, and Andrea Downes from the new In

Sam Kenward, Helen McAteer, Josi Horne, Elfrede Brambley-Crawshaw, and Andrea Downes from the new Inside Out Beccles group which is launching at Beccles Library. Picture: Nick Butcher. - Credit: Nick Butcher

A new group to help people struggling with personal or social issues is being launched in Beccles.

Inside Out Beccles. Picture: Nick Butcher.

Inside Out Beccles. Picture: Nick Butcher. - Credit: Nick Butcher

Inside Out Beccles is the brainchild of Andrea Downes who wants to remove the stigma attached to mental health and wellbeing issues and connect people with local groups which may be able to help.

Ms Downes was inspired to set up the scheme after attending some health and wellbeing workshops last year.

She said: 'Throughout the time I've lived here and been involved with different things I've seen how fantastic Beccles is. There are so many great groups and organisations, but they don't speak to each other.

'I'm on lots of different committees and people don't realise these things are happening and I want to change that.

'We're not experts but we are going to signpost people to the groups that are already running which can help them or set up new groups if needed.

'We don't want anyone to feel alone or left out, anxious or worried about what they are going through. Most of the time you find when you share things that people are going through the same.'

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The official launch of Inside Out Beccles will take place on Friday, February 24 at Beccles Library at 7pm.

There will be guest speakers, activities for children and the opportunity to have your say on how you think the group can work to benefit the local community.

Ms Downes said: 'The group will work as a communication tool but we also want to run some courses and set up a Frazzled Cafe, which was Ruby Wax's idea from the Time to Change campaign.

'We aim to link existing groups and individuals together to help people access practical help, plan community events and reduce the stigma surrounding metal health.

'The waiting list for therapy and counselling is so long so the group is a place to let off some steam.'

Anyone unable to attend the event but who would like to find out more or who would like to join the committee can call 07773063083 or visit the Inside Out Beccles Facebook page.

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