Also present was VIVID Plus, the charitable arm of VIVID, who has supported YouTrust into the space owned and managed by VIVID, to enhance and support community involvement.
YouTrust is an independent charity that empowers people to thrive in their community. The organisation provides care and support for individuals living with a learning disability or enduring ill mental health; they help those experiencing domestic abuse, sexual violence or stalking offering a range of individual and group sessions including workshops and retreats. YouTrust also work with young people on matters challenging their lives and provide advice, prevention services, social prescribing, and counselling to empower them to thrive to all ages.
The opening of this beautiful space following its full refurbishment is a celebration of the first in a series of community buildings that VIVID Plus is supporting to return to a hub for community initiatives. Identifying areas that could benefit from increased community services, VIVID Plus is working with several community organisations to ensure the ideal services to address local challenges can be best supported to help those who would need and benefit the most.
Karen Hobbs, Community Services and Business Development Manager for YouTrust at the new centre commented, “Access to this new space at St Mary’s has been life changing for our team. It gives us the space to see more clients, to have a wider team working together able to collaborate on complex cases and ensure an even stronger service. Our services are growing, and this environment creates a more welcoming environment for our clients, including providing a discreet room for one-to-one meetings.
“That’s important for a service such as our health and wellbeing coach whose role includes weighing clients, measuring them, and demonstrating exercises that need privacy to be completed. Enabling us to see more clients on a regular basis will help reduce waiting list times and over time will help reduce the impact on doctor’s time. Thanks to the space provided at St Marys the Cycling without Age Co-ordinator can be based with the rest of the team rather than at home for a joined-up approach and more rides can be delivered reducing isolation and loneliness.”
Derek Streek, Head of Communities, Standards and Partnerships of VIVID Plus added, “It is hugely rewarding and exciting to see the outcome of this refurbishment and partnership work to reach those in greatest need. Inspired by the great success YouTrust is already bringing to St Mary’s, we will continue to work hard to create spaces that communities can build around, providing services that address local challenges at the heart of them.”
The St Mary’s community room has a fascinating heritage, initially part of the Portsea Island Union workhouse, which has now been developed into many flats owned and managed by VIVID. The historic detailing has been maintained in the community room with a beautiful coloured stained-glass window on the ceiling letting additional light in from the centre of the room.
To find out more about the services available from YouTrust please go to their website https://theyoutrust.org.uk/