A recently appointed trustee at Bangor’s mental health support centre at Abbey Road has been delighted by the support shown to individual’s seeking advice and support during the festive period.
Councillor Catrin Wager, who represents Menai Ward residents was keen to support individuals at the Centre, following her appointment to the Board at the end of 2017. She initiated a novel campaign to create ‘reverse advent calenders’, where items are placed in a box every day in the run up to Christmas, and then passed on to a person in need.
“I’ve been stunned at the support shown to the centre, not only to the individuals who are seeking advice and support regarding mental health issues, but by the support shown by the local community to the staff here aswell.
“People have been truly inspirational, in collecting goods every day throughout December, and bringing the boxes into the centre at the end of December, which are currently being distributed to individuals who are in need of assistance.
“Some of the people being helped may be homeless, others may be struggling with mental health issues, whilst others may be recovering from substance misuse. Offering a variety of goods, such as playing cards, stationery, reading glasses, food, warm clothes, plasters, antiseptic wipes and so on has been a real eye opener for me and my family.
“It made us really think what could be useful to the people who attend Abbey Road Centre on a regular basis. We initiatlly thought of things like nice toiletries sets, but if someone is homeless, the last thing they want is to carry lots of heavy bottles in a rucksack day and night, especially if they don’t have access to showers.
“We have been given a tiny glimpse into the world of a homeless person, someone who is in need of basic daily items. It makes you try and comprehend the challenges facing individuals across Bangor and other parts of Gwynedd who are living with the daily struggle of caring for themselves without the home comforts we take for granted.
Meinir Evans, Abbey Road Centre manager said: "We are extremely glad that Councillor Catrin Wager has recently joined our Board of Trustees and is already proving invaluable with her fresh ideas, contributions and excellent connections. The Reverse Advent Calendar was an inspirational project and many of our service users have benefited from receiving a wide array of useful and thoughtful items.
“On behalf of all our Trustees, staff, volunteers and especially service users I'd like to thank every one who took the time and effort to support Catrin and the Abbey Road Centre, all the items were gratefully received and we look forward to working with the local community on future projects such as this again,” said Abbey Road centre manager.
Councillor Catrin Wager continued; “I would also like to thank everyone who has supported this initative, you’ve made a small difference to some of the people who are looking for support and advice and offered a caring hand to these individuals during a troublesome period in their lives.
“I am honoured to be playing a small part in supporting this wonderful Centre, and look forward to working on many more initatives and projects with the team during the coming months.”
Abbey Road Centre in Bangor offers information and advice on mental health concerns, has counselling services, drop in sessions and local group meetings giving people the opportunity to talk to someone. The Centre is supported by Cyngor Gwynedd and Betsi Cadwaladr Health Board
Abbey Road Centre works with many organisations on site, such as Cais, Parabl, Cruse Bereavment, Relate, Tŷ Gobaith, Advocacy and many others. For all the support services available, visit: www.abbeyroadcentre.co.uk