5th Mar, 2021

Stratford organisations team up to deliver a dose of positivity to residents

A WELLBEING programme has been launched to keep spirits up in Stratford.

The ‘Stratford Wellbeing Month’ is being run by podcast Stratford Calling and Stratford Time Bank, throughout January, in response to the increasing evidence of the mental health impact of the pandemic.

Together, the organisations have developed a programme of weekly podcasts, virtual events and newsletters to help residents maintain their mental health and wellbeing during this challenging time.

The programme will include topics such as mindfulness, stress management, physical fitness and anxiety management, and involves contributions from mindfulness practitioner Jane Grafton, wellness coach Tracey West from Purple Hat Coaching, Zumba coach Miranda from PixieFit, the Recovery and Wellbeing Academy, and Stratford Samaritans.

Stratford Calling launched at the end of the first lockdown to help residents support and celebrate local businesses. This year Emma Gurdag, who hosts the podcast, wants to expand its offering to further help the people of Stratford.

She said: “January can be a difficult time of year in normal circumstances but with everything that has happened in 2020, I thought it would be a perfect time to focus on mental health. Stratford has so many wonderful people and organisations who can help, and I wanted to be able to provide an opportunity for local people to find out about them and to help as many people as possible improve their mental wellbeing.”

Emma has teamed up with Stratford Time Bank, a voluntary organisation covering the district, whose members exchange favours and neighbourly help.

Time bank manager Sarah Coxall said: “During lockdown we have been running weekly online sessions for members to allow them to socialise and have fun together, and we know that many have found these sessions beneficial at such a difficult time. With members offering skills and expertise in areas like mindfulness, it is a great time to team up with Stratford Calling and offer this help more widely.”

Events are free of charge but voluntary contributions can be made via Stratford Calling’s Go Fund Me page.

For full details of the programme, listen to the Stratford Calling podcast on most podcast providers every Monday. To find out more about Stratford Time Bank contact Sarah on welcome@stratfordtimebank.org.uk.

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