Bridging the Gap Together Project
Started to help ‘bridge the gap’ for those on the Wirral living with long-term health conditions such as Long Covid or Fibromyalgia – supporting individuals by developing a personalised plan that combines activities and community peer support. It was previously funded by NHS Charities Together, and one of only five projects funded in Cheshire and Merseyside, with the goal to improve people’s health and wellbeing, helping people live the best life they can, and to feel more comfortable.
How we did it
Our team worked with seven other community and charity partners to provide a number of wellbeing activities, including access to community gyms, forest bathing, community support groups and individual acts of kindness. We supported patients with what is important to them, working with community groups to find or start initiatives that then helped support social inclusion and social connections.
We, along with our delivery partners held a variety of monthly and weekly activities and groups:
- Fibromyalgia support group
- Long Covid support group
- Knit & Natter social group
- Clay modelling
- Sketch art group
- Swimming sessions
- Forest bathing
There were a mix of indoor and outdoor activities (should weather allowed us) as we understand that continued use of outdoor space is important. The ‘Improving access to greenspace’ report from Public Health England in 2020 explained: ‘People who have greater exposure to green space have a range of more favourable outcomes. Greener environments are also associated with better mental health and wellbeing outcomes, including reduced levels of depression, anxiety, and fatigue, and enhanced quality of life for both children and adults.’
Nice to connect with service users outside a clinical setting
Being a part of the group has helped me realise that I am not on my own. As a non-Covid person I have learnt a lot about how Long-Covid has made people feel’
I have met some wonderful people, wonderful clients whom I am getting excellent feedback from at the sketching classes. I cannot praise the project enough and the staff are so supportive, warm and understanding.