Mental health group plans new drop-in centre

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A MENTAL health charity is intending to open a new drop-in centre for people in the boroughs of Fareham and Gosport.

Fareham and Gosport Mind has submitted a planning application requesting permission to use the property at 126 West Street in Fareham town centre.

The group is currently based further up West Street in a terraced house, but it hopes that the new site will allow it to run extra services and give higher visibility as the move will bring it closer to the town centre.

The property, which lies between a sewing machine shop and a charity bookshop, was previously occupied by Spotlight as a drink and drug rehabilitation centre.

Concerns from neighbouring shops and residents about it bringing crime and anti-social behaviour to the area failed to materialise.

But it closed about 18 months ago when the service was moved and it has lain empty since then.

Mind plans to use it as a drop-in centre providing advice, guidance, information and assessment, as well as for IT training, small group activities, education and alternative therapies.

It will continue to operate from 219 West Street for the immediate future.

Branch manager Caroline Payne said they were looking forward to being able to move into the bigger premises and added: ‘Fareham and Gosport Mind are delighted to be in partnership with Solent Mind in delivering adult wellbeing services which have been commissioned by Hampshire County Council across the local area.

‘If good mental health is not something you or someone you care for has, we can help you achieve wellbeing by learning how to connect with those around you, take notice of environment, becoming more active or even give something back and volunteer with us.

‘We can provide wellbeing services tailed to your needs.’

Mind is a national charity with a network of 160 branches across the UK.

If you or someone you know is experiencing emotional distress you can contact the Fareham and Gosport Mind team on (01329) 281445 or 077751 36815.

Fareham Borough Council is expected to make a decision on the application by the end of November.