A team of volunteers is helping to tackle the inequalities facing people living in Eastmoor
According to GP data the number of people in the community claiming Employment and Support Allowance has increased due to mental health and behavioural conditions.
The Eastmoor Community Project, based at St Swithens Community Centre, is supporting the community to help those who need support who are facing long waiting lists to access services.
Christine Bann, Centre Manager said: “ We know that 5.8% of Eastmoor’s working age population are claiming ESA for a mental health/ behavioural condition; GP data tells us that depression is significantly higher in Eastmoor than nationally.
Eastmoor Community Project is a charity and the only local venue providing holistic support, activities and events for all. The charity follows five steps; keep learning, connect, take notice, give and be active.
Emma Wray, Community Development Worker said: “ we are solely focused on the community, it may seem small what we do but it means everything to us and all the people that are already involved, the community come and we listen.
Emma continues: “ It has become clear that a specific focus on health and wellbeing, including mental wellbeing is needed, we know community members who are vulnerable in this was have very limited opportunities for support and it is this need which we will address.
Health and wellbeing are not confined to any particular demographic group and St Swithens know that there is reluctance to acknowledge problems, particularly around mental wellbeing.
A survey shows, of 147 respondents, only 28 felt they had family or friends who they could talk to. In the same survey, 58 people who suffer with mental health, 21% of these would not consult family or parents, and only 4% would talk to a GP; four felt they had no one to talk to.
A Public Health Report showed that one in ten adults in Wakefield are diagnosed with depression and approximately 10.2 million people in England have a mental health condition.
Coun Olivia Rowley, who is also the chair of the project, has been organising adult education classes but with the funding from the government being decreased causing a struggle to do the preferred amount to give the community the opportunities they need to receive higher paid jobs. With training and classes being offered to the community this will give people more opportunities to progress and develop a career.
A Self Care Summer Fair was held last month at St Swithens community centre to promote the services the offer and invite more members of the community to take part.
Coun Rowley said: “It was a lovely day and we are very grateful to the community for supporting us and coming to join us, it was a huge success