A year ago we celebrated the launch of our South London Listens Be Well Hubs in Kingston. Our Trust Chair Ann Beasley, a Kingston local and co-Chair of the Programme said at the time ‘The launch of the Be Well Hubs is a really significant step forward in our South London Listens story, and I’m really looking forward to seeing how the hubs progress.’
Fast-forward one year and the progress has been phenomenal - we’ve gone from 6 hubs in Kingston, to over 20 Hubs across south west London – an achievement celebrated at Trinity United Reformed Church in Wimbledon - itself one of our Hubs.
The Hubs are a key initiative of the South London Listens programme, launched in community organisations where members have had mental health training to become Be Well Champions.
Through this training and ongoing supervision, the Champions are being equipped to listen to people in the community, provide information, resources and signposting to mental health support.
The hubs’ main purposes are to de-stigmatise mental health, to use community organising principles to build strong relationships with local health services, and to organise leaders to listen and take action on the barriers and systemic problems impacting mental health. They will report back on key themes and trends from their communities.
At its core South London Listens has been about partnership working between organisations and communities to build trust and relationships across south west London.
Citizens UK colleagues have been integral to the success of this project, particularly Community Organiser Rory Morgan who said: ‘It has been wonderful to work with communities and the NHS over the past 16 months to build and launch Be Well Hubs. Their success in bringing people together is a testament to the hard work done by community leaders in energising their communities and getting this work off the ground.’
Throughout this year we will continue to work hard on providing Hubs across south west London, as well as raising the profile of trained Hubs and with accredited materials and resources.