Community kindness is key to better mental health for former homeless people
Date published: 18 May 2020
This year’s Mental Health Awareness Week theme focuses on the power and potential of ‘kindness’
A group of former homeless people from the charity Emmaus Mossley are celebrating the value of community kindness as part of this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week.
Hosted by the Mental Health Foundation, Mental Health Awareness Week (MHAW) takes place from today (Monday) to Sunday, May 24.
This year’s theme focuses on the power and potential of ‘kindness’.
Being part of both an Emmaus community and the local community gives beneficiaries of the charity an opportunity to make new friends, get involved in positive activities and contribute to wider society.
Gary Barton, one of the former homeless people supported by Emmaus Mossley, said: “Being part of Emmaus Mossley is very enjoyable – working and living with other people and talking to them about their lives.
"I also like meeting our customers and supporters, talking to them about things if they ask.
“Whilst I’ve been at Emmaus I’ve done a couple of mental health courses and these have helped me be more understanding and open when people want to talk.
"Emmaus was there for me when I was at my lowest, helping me to rebuild my confidence and my life.”
Emmaus Mossley supports 26 formerly homeless people by providing them with a home and work in a community setting.
The charity runs a social enterprise in Mossley, selling donated and upcycled furniture, household goods, clothes and vintage wares.
Unlike many other homelessness charities, Emmaus Mossley offers a home for as long as someone needs it.
Living in a community can offer the companionship and support that many people who have experienced homelessness have lost.
Alison Hill, Director of Emmaus Mossley, said: “Here at Emmaus Mossley we understand the value of community and the importance of kindness.
"We see first-hand the positive impact of improved mental health when people carry out acts of kindness within their community.
“Being part of a supportive community allows peer to peer support, new friendships to form, and is often the key to helping people regain a sense of control and stability in their lives.
"Mental Health Awareness Week is a great opportunity to celebrate acts of kindness and thank all those who show kindness within our community.”
To find out more or support Emmaus Mossley head to: https://emmaus.org.uk/mossley/.
As part of MHAW, the charity, Mental Health Foundation, is encouraging everyone to share stories of kindness on social media during the week, using the tags #KindnessMatters and #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek.
For more information, visit: https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/
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