Charity focuses on mental health at bigger centre

Damian Chappell, peer support worker.''Picture: Sarah Standing (131689-8640)
Damian Chappell, peer support worker.''Picture: Sarah Standing (131689-8640)
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A CHARITY has celebrated the official opening of its new bigger and better centre.

Mental health charity Fareham and Gosport Mind opened its new centre in West Street, Fareham, yesterday.

There were balloons and a buffet banquet at the opening as workers from Fareham and Gosport Mind, as well as Solent Mind, gathered alongside dignitaries to celebrate.

The Wellbeing Centre has moved further along West Street to a premises closer to the town centre.

The centre deals with all mental health problems and now has a walk-in shop front allowing people to drop in without an appointment for support and advice.

The centre offers tailored recovery support for anyone suffering from any kind of mental health issue.

Centre manager Caroline Payne said: ‘We do a lot of very small focus groups and we do a lot of one-to-one work... we now work with around 200 people across the area.

‘We have a staff of 13 and out of the 13 there are nine of them who have had mental health issues themselves.’

Damian Chappell, a peer support worker, from Whiteley, has been working for the charity since January.

Damian, 35, said: ‘I suffer from mental health problems myself. I did not have access to anything other than the NHS, which is very obviously limited to being on waiting lists.

‘Here you can literally come in and get help straight away.’

Other activities on offer at the Wellbeing Centre include a relaxation group and a creative writing session.

Caroline said: ‘We work with people initially for around three months, but after that they are not on their own. It’s all tailored to the individual’s needs.’

The centre was opened by the Mayor of Fareham, Cllr Susan Bayford.

She applauded the centre and its continuing work.

Cllr Bayford said: ‘I am delighted that this Wellbeing Centre is in the centre of Fareham.’

The Mayor cut the ribbon and said: ‘I wish them every success’.

Cllr Bayford said how important it was to have a walk-in shop front so that services are accessible.

She also praised Hampshire County Council for supporting Fareham and Gosport Mind, and its continued investment in support for people with mental health issues.

For more information on Fareham and Gosport Mind go to or call (01329) 281445.