The Tiger Moth pub in Irlam is to open its doors on Monday 14 December as the venue for new weekly support sessions which are looking to tackle loneliness and help those facing challenges in the current climate.

Onwards and Upwards Peer Support Group, the Tiger Moth pub and Green Teach Community Farm have all joined together to be able to offer this support to the local community and are optimistic about raising spirits in the local area.

The centre welcomes everyone and is there to help anybody who may be feeling lonely; in need of a talk or advice; or who may be facing any type of mental, physical or emotional challenge.

There will be free tea and coffee available and the sessions will be limited to 15 people – due to Coronavirus restrictions. The policies and procedures regarding face masks and social distancing will also still need to be adhered to, in order to ensure that the community remains safe and secure.

The Tiger Moth pub will be open from 9am to 12pm on Monday, Wednesday and Friday each week, starting from Monday 14 December.

The sessions will take place for the duration of Coronavirus and beyond and will therefore be organised in line with government guidelines.

They will provide a confidential and safe space for support and are also able to provide details of more appropriate services and agencies should they be needed.

Andy Green, chairman of Onwards and Upwards Peer Support Group said: “We know the demands [in Irlam and Cadishead], we know the needs here, and we’re supporting people right now just to stay above water.

“Every single person we’ve had a conversation with, they want this tomorrow, so I think we’re on a really nice journey of exploring some stuff that we didn’t think we’d get a chance to do so quickly.

“We [really just want to] grow that voice of people that don’t very often get heard.

“We hope that we can come out of COVID a stronger part of the city – there’s a real beauty to what’s unravelling in front of me right now.

“Despite the horrible times that we’re in, I’m seeing a real uprising in my community, where we’re acknowledging that we’re not as proactive as we could be.”

The groups are also willing to provide telephone support and phone calls to the elderly if required as this is a service they already provide.

The venue will not be open as a pub until the area enters Tier One – it is solely being used for the purpose of the support sessions.

Green also said: “I’m fortunate enough to be witnessing people improving through COVID, and I think that we [should] keep that on show to the rest of our community and keep growing that positivity and those positive ideas.

“It’s beautiful for me to see people within my community right now smiling – we’re laughing, and we’re making each other laugh.

“I’m pretty certain that it’s going to turn into something quite spectacular.

“It’s a lovely little story in bad times really.”

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