A Misty Dawn

I know that many of you have been finding the current times challenging, futures uncertain, that we are concerned for our service users, the population as a whole, those that we know and care for and sometimes, ourselves. I wanted to share with you something that cheered me and left me feeling positive.

I have been involved with the voluntary sector for the past forty years based in Liverpool, London, Lancaster and now Kendal. One of my current roles is as chair of Stricklandgate House in Kendal. We are a charity that offers room rental to other charities and room hire to all the community; these have been our main sources of income. We and several of the organisations that use our facilities have been hard hit by Covid-19. In our case the business model that has seen us through the past twenty years has failed due to the impact of Covid-19 and all of the trustees are concerned that we need to change the way that we operate. We are now living off our reserves and can do so for a while but change is in the air. It was good to be reminded that change is possible though, it often just takes thought, commitment and some money.

The positive news that I received in the past few days was from one of our tenants at Stricklandgate House, The Lighthouse Hub, who offer mental health support. They offer several Drop-in sessions for their service users and have not been able to do so of late. They announced their intention to do so in the future though. Quoting from one of their documents:

Mental Health Peer Support Drop-Ins OUTS!
We are starting to reopen our peer support drop-in’s OUTSIDE! Affectionately now referred to as ‘Drop-outs’, these will take place in the little courtyard outside The Lighthouse Hub (at the back of Stricklandgate House). Currently these are only for previously registered members, but we will widen this when possible.

We are starting with the women’s group on Thursday 30th July 10 am – 12 noon. The following week will have Tuesday 10 am – 12 noon and the women’s group again. Depending on how these go we will look to opening further drop-outs and groups.

Brilliant! They have a 3 x 3m gazebo and will be setting this up outside to offer shelter. I hope that the sun shines on them (if that is what they want) for their Drop-outs.

Cumbria CVS offers experienced and relevant support in many areas and can share insight and good practice across the sector. Please contact us and ask how we can help you and share your good practice. It may be new sources of funding, policies, setting-up, good governance practice, legal structures as well as a host of other issues that would help you move forward. I believe that this is a time in which the voluntary sector can help the community and the wider society show how much it cares, how well it works together, and can have an important presence.

Robin Cope