10 October marks World Mental Health Day – and we want to spotlight one of our incredible community partners that uses Time Credits to help people affected by mental ill-health.
A COMMUNITY CENTRE FOR LIFE-LONG LEARNING
Clarendon Recovery College offers an educational route to recovery for people experiencing mental health issues. Individuals accessing mental health services can attend free courses and training, as can their friends and family.
Since signing up to Haringey Time Credits in 2016, Clarendon College offers ways to both earn and spend Time Credits. Volunteers earn for a range of activities, such as:
- Assisting in the community café
- Co-delivering activities for peers.
Clarendon Recovery College also offers Time Credit spend opportunities through a selection of workshops and courses around well-being, stress management, assertiveness, and understanding mental health.
Simon, 38, began volunteering at the College’s cafe, after encouragement from his supported living provider Angel Support UK.
Volunteering has had a big impact on Simon’s life. His father, Erle, explains:
“Simon has Asperger’s Syndrome and due to this, he has communication and understanding difficulties. This means that sometimes he feels isolated, depressed and in need of motivation, company and interaction with people and in a great need of friends and companionship.”
“Although Simon enjoys helping and being with others for the sheer company, he felt much happier and valued that he was specially rewarded for his efforts [using Time Credits] and help he gave at the Clarendon College.”
It was while serving in The Café as a volunteer that Simon met John from the ‘Outsider Gallery’ – a creative workshop for people with lived experiences of mental ill-health. He was invited to the project because of his musical skills, and recorded a piece of music inspired by his experiences.
“This is just a tiny example of how someone, who at times feels extremely isolated and in a very dark place, can express themself and fight back against the odds,” says Erle.
Simon has spent Time Credits at the cinema, as well as on visits to the Tower of London, St Pauls Cathedral, and the Thames Clipper. He has been able to treat his family to trips too.
Simon values the opportunities Time Credits has offered him, and volunteering in the café has enabled him to meet new people that have helped unlock and enhance his musical skills, and discover new passions.
Listen to Simon’s rendition of Serious Tone: