What is the Stoke-on-Trent Project?

Starfish Services Ltd is a partner in the Connecting Choices, Building Better Opportunities (BBO) Project which operates across Stoke-on-Trent and North Staffordshire. We are contracted to provide Social Hubs in strategic locations across Stoke-on-Trent and North Staffordshire based on the needs of participants. (During Covid-19 Lockdown we are operating virtual social hubs and utilising a website with resources for partners and participants)

 

Who is eligible and how can someone be referred?

Referrals to our social hubs, which pre-covid ran in Burslem, Hanley, Fenton, Newcastle-under-Lyme, come direct from our partners in the BBO project, but individuals can also self refer and, if eligible, will be allocated to a partner for support.  All sessions currently run on Zoom and we offer between 12 and 15 sessions per week.  We describe people who are referred to us as having suffered a loss of some kind. It can be loss through bereavement, loss of a job, loss of a loved one, loss of liberty, loss of self control (addiction), loss of health or loss of themselves through other reasons. These people lose their self confidence, self esteem, self belief and as a result of all these things they lose the ability to engage with other people and begin to suffer panic attacks, extreme anxiety, stress related ill health when they try to engage. In turn they shut themselves away and the whole cycle repeats and becomes more extreme each time they try to break out of it. 

They are referred to the Social Hub by their personal coach from one of our partner organisations.  They usually attend on Zoom  the first time with their coach, and almost without exception explain to us that they are not like the other people in the social hub who they can see laughing, interacting and generally enjoying their safe time at the hub. We introduce them to everyone who explains that they were in the same place the day they arrived. Their relief is palpable when they understand that there is a way out of their "prison" and with the support of everyone they begin to involve themselves in the social hub and as we are told every week it becomes "the highlight of their week", "what they live for", "the only place they can go where they are not judged" and so on.

How does the social hub help?

Starfish Services Ltd endorse a PA-CT Community Hubs model, and although we call them Social Hubs in the Stoke BBO project the principles are the same.  We offer a welcoming and friendly space for you to learn more about yourself and create positive change after experiencing difficulties with mental or emotional wellbeing.  Space to explore the things that hold you back and what might transform your life going forward.

There are a range of informal activities such as visits and talks, access to short workshops and courses designed around your own needs and interests, covering topics like Self Care, Creative Writing, Claymaking, Mindfulness, Mindful Drawing, Reading Groups, Informal Chat in our daily Evening Hubs, as well as more formal training that could see you becoming a more formal Volunteer.  All of the opportunities are explored with our participants and in collaboration with their Personal Coach from the referring organisation so that there is transparency and we avoid duplication.

Particpants grow in confidence, start to take part in activities, and then, we start to see them offering support to new members quietly and in their own way when they recognise something in that person that they experienced themselves. At that moment they begin to realise that their experience, which they had previously seen as wholly negative, may, as a "lived experience”, give them something that they can use positively to help others. Its a eureka moment for them and for us as its the beginning of their journey back to a social life and a sense of belonging to a community that understands them.

Gradually we introduce the concept of training to be a volunteer with us and that OCN course gives them a further boost towards using their experience to support others in a meaningful way.

The Social Hubs always provide social non-judgemental space, art, music, discussion, quizzes and chat.

 

For more information contact Project Co-ordinator Val Nash by email or on her mobile 07951 095430

 

Stoke-on-Trent

PA-CT Community Hubs 

PA-CT Community Hubs are a welcoming and friendly space for you to learn more about yourself and creating positive change after experiencing difficulties with mental wellbeing.  Space to explore the things that hold you back and what might transform your life going forward.

They offer an opportunity for some great conversations with one-to-one guidance and advice combined with community based groups and activities. A chance to learn and practice what works for you, while also working, sharing and learning alongside others.

There are a range of informal groups arranging visits and talks, access to short workshops and courses designed around your own needs and interests, covering topics like Self Care, Creative Writing, Gardening, Preparing for Work and Yoga for Wellbeing as well as more formal training that could see you becoming a Peer Supporter or more formal Volunteer.

You are in the driving seat, we want to work with you to help figure out your best route forward, identifying your skills and assets, the different things on offer and who else can give support along the way..... developing skills to help you well into the future!

All our work is based on  PA-CT (our Practice Based Approach to Community Transformation) Click Here

Sadly we are not open to referrals from the public at the moment, but if you would like to know more about our work generally please contact us

Some restrictions apply with certain Hubs more directed to young people, those seeking employment or with particular postcodes.  See additional information or contact us to discuss eligibility.

01543 506116

Get in contact

Evolve BBO, 101 High Green Court, Newhall Street, Cannock, WS11 1GR