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Herm sets up hub for mental health

Herm sets up hub for mental health

Wednesday 15 January 2020

Herm sets up hub for mental health


A mum-of-three who has been living in Herm for the past ten years is seeking help in transforming the island's neglected community hall into a social hub, to improve residents' mental health and wellbeing.

Since becoming a mental health first aider, Fiona Creed has been keen to create a welcoming space where people in Herm can meet.

"We're a bit isolated here and a lot of single people especially can get quite lonely," she explained. "It's getting into that rut of not having the get-up-and-go to socialise. You can get used to your own company, which some people thrive in but others don't.

Herm community hall

Pictured: The island hall needs renovation before it can be used by residents.

"We don't have a Costa or garden centre or anything where you can have a chat and let the kids play. It's just having the option to go and socialise."

Throughout January and February, the Herm Travel Trident runs a limited daily service meaning it can be difficult for residents to get off the island.

While some enjoy the peace and tranquility of the island, others can find it isolating. An example of this came before Guernsey's Magistrate's Court just last year, when a visiting worker claimed he turned to cannabis because he thought living in Herm was "depressing".

"A lot of people over here don't have huge accommodation so they can say 'let's use the hall' and, rather than sitting and watching a film on your own, you can invite people to come," Ms Creed added.

Herm community hall

Pictured: The Herm community hall.

"There's lots of uses that we could use the hall for as a community, even if it is just to socialise and get you out of the house. The plan is to facilitate any needs people ask for, whether it's a badminton night outside or a game of cards!"

Ms Creed is also hoping to offer a safe space for mental health first aid and weekly counselling sessions with the help of Guernsey Mind.

Before any of the plans can go ahead though, a team of volunteers are being sought to help give the run down building a facelift.

"The plan is to give it a complete refit internally to make the space more welcoming," Ms Creed continued. "At the moment it's just walls, some doors and a floor. it hasn't been touched for about 20 years."

Herm community hall

Pictured: Teams of volunteers will renovate the toilet and create a new kitchen area.

In addition to time, individuals and businesses are being encouraged to donate items from the community hall Wishlist, which includes:

  • Eight folding tables
  • 60 folding chairs
  • Large television with wall mounted bracket
  • Wall/ceiling mounted speakers
  • Ceiling lights
  • Paint
  • New sanitary ware and bathroom accessories such as toilets, sinks, a shower, a bin and a mirror
  • Comfortable seating
  • Kitchen appliances eg fridge
  • Practical flooring
  • Two storage areas
  • Large notice boards

The hall will be free for residents to use.

Anyone willing to donate either their time or items for the community hall are asked to contact Ms Creed on fiona_creed@hotmail.com.

Pictured top: The Herm community hall.

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Posted by Robert Williams on
I don't wish to appear cynical, but could this be a case of making a job out of nothing for somebody, (no names mentioned)?
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