A healthy living centre is offering free activity packs and wellbeing outdoor sessions to help keep spirits up during lockdown.
The Angel Centre, based in Salford, says its mission is to bring people together by “giving communities the opportunity to access Healthier and Happier Lives”.
Yet, during the pandemic, this has proven difficult and the community centre has had to think on its feet to reach Salford’s residents.
Kate Simpson, Service Director at The Angel Centre, said: “In normal times, we are effectively classified as a healthy living centre.
“We are a centre for the whole community and we do a variety of activities around health and wellbeing.
“So, that could be anything from helping people to get fit to quit smoking, we also offer things like learning courses, employability classes.
“Also, things like social activities to help with mental health and social isolation, so our usual job is just bringing people together.
“[But] it’s been the complete opposite through the pandemic, so we had to think quite quickly on our feet on how we could reach everybody that needs us.
“Zoom really wasn’t for a lot of our service users. [While] we used it for things like employability, a lot of our service users [found that] it wasn’t something they wanted to use.
“We decided to do activity packs through the post, accompanied by professional videos that people could follow along online”.
While self-isolating may protect individuals from catching or spreading the virus, it is undoubtedly going to cause some loneliness.
According to a survey done by the Mental Health Foundation 24% of adults in the UK have said they had feelings of loneliness in the previous two weeks.
A great way to combat feelings of loneliness and maintain social connections is by taking part in an activity you enjoy.
The Angel centre offers a variety of activity packs, from fitness to art and crafts for local residents via FaceBook or through email – @hellosocialadventures.org.uk
The art packs are focused around different themes and our put together by an art teacher, who works for the centre and a number of different schools.
Kate said, “There is a variety of different things to do, there will be some sort of drawing activity, a collage activity to do and sometimes a basic sort of crafty sewing activity.
“People just say it sort of helps them get them out of their heads a little bit, if they are anxious or feeling a bit down, it just gives you a different focus”.
Following government guidance, from April 12, community centres, village halls and other multi-use community facilities will be allowed to re-open, subject to safety restrictions.
Simpson said, “So, community centres are one of the first sort of things that can start to reopen, we are going to start if all is well and nothing changes doing activities again from after Easter.
“But we will do it very gradually and we will continue to offer some activity packs for people who feel nervous about coming into the centre.
“Our other centre which is an outdoor activity centre is still open at the moment it can still run because its outdoors and it’s focused around mental health.
“So that’s open for anybody who is struggling right at the minute with depression, anxiety or anything more serious mental health-wise”.
The centre has a wide range of activities available for Salford Residents, which can be found on their website.