Support group’s cash boost

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Spalding’s Blue Skies peer support group is expanding its activities after winning a £3,600 grant from the Government’s Mental Illness Prevention Fund.

The cash, expected at the end of the month, will be split between funding existing weekly Thursday art and craft sessions at the Ivo Day Centre, and buying computers, IT training and digital photography equipment.

Group spokesman Matt Webb said: “There are 15 of us in the group, and it’s growing as we’re getting more referrals through doctors and social workers.

“We want to raise awareness that we’re here for everyone who has mental health issues, many of whom, particularly men, never tell anyone their problems and become isolated.

“Once you get like that, it may seem impossible to open up to anyone, even your GP, about how you feel, and that way you can become seriously ill. For many people the only way out is to find people you can talk about it with.”

The group renamed itself Blue Skies a year ago when it launched the Thursday craft workshop on top of weekly talking meetings on Tuesdays at the Johnson Hospital.

Matt, whose background is in IT training, aims not only to enable people to use the Internet more productively in leisure time, but also to enable people, including those who have recently been released back into the community, to go online to access and apply for anything from accommodation and training to jobs and benefits.

More than 30 visitors came along to a Blue Skies Mental Health Awareness evening and art exhibition (pictured) at the Ivo Day Centre earlier in the month.

nGet in touch by ringing 01775 652300 and leaving a message for Blue Skies, emailing or