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Dear Subscribers and Members,
We are in unprecedented times, and it’s not just physical health that’s in the spotlight. The changes we are having to make to our everyday lives are also having a huge impact on our mental health.

We wanted to send out an interim newsletter to capture some of the activity that’s happening in our communities, set up a virtual meeting, and hear how your group is adjusting at this challenging time. If there is anything you want us to feedback to commissioners, or communicate to our members please let us know. You can email or take part in our virtual meeting (details below).

Spark Somerset are also conducting a survey of the VCSE sector in Somerset, to indentify the key challenges organisations are facing and what support is needed. You can take part here.

Take care,

Andy Pritchard
Lead for the Somerset Mental Health Hub

Virtual Meeting for Mental Health Organisations
We've had a few people contact us to ask if there's a way to informally touch base during lockdown. We've set up an online meeting which will be held at midday on Monday 18th May, at the start of Mental Health Awareness Week. You can register to attend here. We'll send some suggested agenda items nearer the time, but if there's anything you would like to discuss, please email

Mental Health Awareness Week
Mental Health Awareness week runs from 18th to 24th May, and this year's theme has been changed to ‘kindness’ in response to the Coronavirus pandemic. Time to Change Somerset will be hosting lots of virtual activities during the week, so keep an eye on their Facebook page for regular updates. If you have anything planned for the week, please email Hazel at Mind in Somerset. A reminder that you can still apply for a Time to Change Champions Fund grant of up to £500 to run an event, even if you're doing it virtually. Find out more here.

Volunteers' Week
Another upcoming date for your diary is Volunteers’ Week, which takes place on 1st to 7th June every year. It’s a chance to celebrate and say thank you for the contribution millions of volunteers make across the UK. At the moment, it's more important than ever for us to say thanks to the amazing volunteers supporting our communities, and also to keep in touch with those who are currently needing to self-isolate.

Be a Corona Helper
Would you like to support vulnerable people in your community during the pandemic? Corona Helpers is a free online platform that matches people with voluntary activities in their communities. If you would like to volunteer, visit and click 'I want to help'. It’s also a great way to recruit volunteers, so if your group is in need of help with COVID-19 specific activities, you can register here

Funding Opportunities
The Somerset Coronavirus Fund, managed by Somerset Community Foundation, is now open for applications. Click here for more information. Spark Somerset has recently launched a new online funding portal. Visit to browse a range of funding categories, including mental health and COVID-19.

24/7 Mental Health Support from Mindline Somerset
The Somerset Mental Health Alliance, in partnership with Somerset NHS Foundation Trust, Somerset NHS CAMHS and Young Somerset, has launched the first 24-hour mental health support line in Somerset. Mindline Somerset (01823 276892) is now available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to help people who are experiencing mental distress. Other members of the alliance have stepped up additional support that Mindline can refer people to, if needed. Find out more here.

Free Courses for Mental Wellbeing
The Somerset Wellbeing and Learning Community are now running their courses online. Visit their Facebook page to register and catch up on previous sessions.

Free Webinars for Somerset Groups
Spark Somerset are running a series of free webinars for community groups and volunteers. Join them live every Tuesday and Thursday morning to explore a range of topics including funding support, staying safe and well at home, and mental health. Take a look at the full programme here.

New Health and Wellbeing Radio Programme
A weekly health and wellbeing slot starts this month on BBC Radio Somerset. Join Charlie Taylor and guests, 7pm - 8pm, every Wednesday, for interesting, unusual and innovative ideas to raise our spirits and keep us entertained during lockdown. Find out more here.
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