Mental health cafe boosted by University of Portsmouth students

STUDENTS have been recognised for their work in developing a community cafe to help people with mental health problems.

Friday, 19th April 2019, 12:20 pm
Updated Friday, 19th April 2019, 12:22 pm
Team Diversity receiving their Best Impact Award for their work with Mayfield Nurseries Cafe.

The University of Portsmouth students put in place a development business plan to help revolutionise the mental health support provision at the Mayfield Nurseries Cafe in Titchfield.

Part of Solent Mind, the cafe and plant nursery provides a meeting point and support network to people suffering a range of mental health conditions.

Named Team Diversity, the students first looked to enhance the cafe’s environment.

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James Grout (left), 20, and his fellow team members at the Mayfield Nurseries Cafe as they formulated their development plan.

Team leader, James Grout, 20, said: ‘We wanted to give the cafe a more welcoming environment and are looking to replace the current plastic chairs with settees.

‘We also plan to change the colour scheme to more warm colours which are known to be more welcoming.’

The students have decided to donate their £500 prize money to help the cafe implement further developments.

James said: ‘It was great to donate the money to help support the cafe. As a team we relished the challenge we were assigned. The project allowed us to use our initiative and express our capabilities.’

The team wants better structure at the cafe, with targeted support for people – and help to get them back into work.

Mayfield Nurseries is already reaping the benefits of measures put in place – with more yet to be implemented.

The cafe has set up an Instagram account on Diversity’s advice and is starting to see younger customers using the nursery to buy houseplants.

Rachel Hampton, head of Mayfield Nurseries, who nominated the team for the award, said: ‘Team Diversity’s work reaches further than a financial impact on our social enterprise as part of our mission is that no one should face a mental health problem alone.

‘The more people we reach the more people we can support through our mental health services.

‘The more opportunities we can offer means the more our community is building up the skills and confidence necessary to live well with mental health issues.

‘Through Team Diversity’s work, we will be offering more opportunities to more vulnerable people.’

In recognition of their work, Team Diversity won the Best Impact Award at the University of Portsmouth’s Business Consultancy Project Awards night.

Course coordinator, Peter Wainwright, added: ‘The module gives the students vital employability skills as each team designs and carries out a project that will have real impact on their client organisations and their customers.’