I first came across this project when I met Roz Davies who used to work with them. She shared a inspiring story about Sheffield Flourish at an event I attended; a story which also provided us with our ‘Idea of Month’ recently. Roz now works for the Good Things Foundation. We plan to showcase them later in the year.
Sheffield Flourish is a space where we can discover all that we areBrendan Stone
Sheffield Flourish was launched in 2016 after a radical re-think of mental health provision. It helps people living with mental health conditions to grow their skills, confidence and connections through a digital well-being community hub. People with lived experience are involved in the organisation at every level and in everything they do. This collaboration has created an amazing energy and led them to grow in size and shape.
Two years on, they support several community enterprises, work with over 70 volunteers and have thousands of beneficiaries. They have developed a peer support movement defined by ‘solidarity, friendship and hope’. From creative story-telling and arts on the site to community gardening and football, they have something for everyone.
Their website is a treasure trove of stories and useful information. It provides a gateway for people to connect to each other. They can learn what’s going on, read about other’s experiences and chat online, sharing stories and opinions. In 2017 they became the UK Digital Charity Leader of the Year.
This from one of their volunteers: “Once people have fallen off the grid – like with my situation, I couldn’t work, I couldn’t contribute to society – it’s very easy to say well let’s just get rid of this person. But they’re not doing that. They’re saying all these people have got value, let’s bring them back and nurture them and help them contribute to society once more. It’s like being a plant in the desert, and you’re just withering away, and then someone comes and puts a drop of water on you.”
Watch this great film to learn more about their work and hear some of the other inspirational stories from the people who are part of the project. Long may it flourish!
Photo by Irina Iriser