logo-landscapeA PILOT project to help people with mental health issues is proving to be a resounding success in Stockton-on-Tees.

At Good Mood Food Café, located in Billingham Community Centre on The Causeway, visitors have enjoyed a regular weekly get together each Tuesday supported by Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council’s Learning and Skills service.

It has proved to be so successful that the café will now open an extra day on Wednesdays starting from 13 January, offering afternoon tea along with a series of activity workshops such as arts and crafts, photography, relaxation and yoga, healthy cooking and eating, mindfulness, and stress management.

The food is cooked by staff from Little Sprouts charity who are passionate about healthy food and wellbeing.

Councillor Jim Beall, Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Adult Services and Health said: “The Good Mood Food café is extremely popular and is a great informal way for people with mental health issues to get together in a warm and welcoming atmosphere.

“As well as the healthy food on offer they can take advantage of a range of wellbeing workshops too. They can address issues of social isolation and loneliness and help improve people’s emotional health.”

The café also hosted a special Christmas Day lunch with volunteers from Little Sprouts and the Council.

Adrian Marchant, a learner with the Council’s Learning and Skills service, attended the Christmas lunch. He said: “We all had a fabulous time.  We were given a very warm welcome and there was a great family atmosphere.  This was a wonderful way to bring together people who may have otherwise spent Christmas alone. It just goes to show people don’t have to be by themselves.”

The café is open to anyone who feels they may need some support with mental health issues such as personal or work-related stress, self-neglect, anxiety and depression.

To find out more about the Good Mood Food café and workshops and courses call Christine Vipond on 01642 527910 or email christine.vipond@stockton.gov.uk