Posted on: 19 February 2024

CNWL is delighted to announce the launch of Hope in the Community Westminster – a new space for people living or working in Westminster, offering non-clinical mental health support services.

From February 2024, third sector organisations can use this space to offer free services, activities and groups that centre around three key pillars: learning, social prescribing and community support.

What is Hope in the Community Westminster?

The space is owned by CNWL but branded in partnership with national charity Chasing the Stigma (CTS), making Hope in the Community an offer with collaboration at its heart. CNWL partnered with CTS in 2021 and has embedded their Hub of Hope App into its website and mental health services.

The space is located on the ground floor of the Gordon Hospital but functions independently from The Gordon Hospital’s clinical spaces and is not subject to the recent public consultation into the building’s future.

The space has been designed through collaborative working with Chasing the Stigma, Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) organisations, patients, carers and local residents from Westminster. There has been consistent and unanimous support for a space that can engage new and under-served individuals in a non-clinical setting.

Aysegul Cinar, Service User and Patient and Public Involvement Volunteer for CNWL, was one of many invited to help contribute to Hope in the Community. She says: “Spaces in Westminster are very expensive and I am so proud of our Hope in the Community as it will facilitate a community hub space for our very valued charitable organisations and all of our residents, patients and service users to live well in our community.”

Why is it launching now?

For several years, the Gordon Hospital had a vacant and underused space on its ground floor. CNWL approached national mental health charity Chasing the Stigma to see if the space could be repurposed into a valuable community resource.

Chasing the Stigma analysed usage data of their mental health support directory, the Hub of Hope, in CNWL’s areas of service. Their research revealed that the overwhelming majority (96%) of people using the Hub of Hope actively seek support from the VCSE community underscoring the value and trust that communities place in their services. 

Fuelled by discussions with residents and partners, both organisations decided to renovate the space and create a hub for Westminster’s wellspring of VCSE organisations. This has led to a collaborative, cross-sector approach that combines the strengths of both sectors. 

Jake Mills, Founder and CEO of Chasing the Stigma, says “Hope in the Community has been a dream of mine for a long time. Seeing it come to life in Westminster shows such dedication to the wellbeing of the community here. Together with CNWL, we want to reclaim this unused space as a positive, non-clinical, inclusive space for everyone in the community and I have no doubt the support available will make a real difference to people's lives.”

How you can get involved:

Based in the heart of Westminster, Hope in the Community is designed to welcome any local people who experience health inequalities and need additional mental health and wellbeing support.

The space also welcomes individuals with enduring mental health conditions who would benefit from ongoing day activities in a secure and non-judgmental setting, alongside their formal care plan.

The day-to-day operations will be carried out by VCSE partners who have proposed various services and activities for the hub. These could include:

  • Drop-in sessions for practical advice and support
  • Training and development sessions
  • Lived experience / peer support groups
  • Physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing activities

A timetable of activities, contact details for our VCSE partners, and further details on the space can be found on our information page.

The space will be open to host a series of activities and groups for an initial period from February to May 2024. There will then be a new programme of activities and groups from May onwards.

Kam Rai, Clinical Project Director for CNWL, says: “we have worked with patients, carers and partners to design a space which is welcoming, approachable and flexible in its use. Hope in the Community is a space where partners in the third sector, local people and CNWL can collaborate and build valuable, sustainable community connections.”

We look forward to welcoming all of you!

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