PCC-funded well-being cafes launch in West Kent
Two mental health well-being cafes have launched in Kent thanks to funding from Matthew Scott, Kent’s Police and Crime Commissioner, and the NHS West Kent Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).
Run by local branches of the mental health charity MIND, the Solace Café in Tonbridge, and the Hope Café in Maidstone, offer out-of-hours support for people who wish to chat or seek support with any element of their mental health.
Each café has received £10,000 from Mr Scott's new Mental Health and Policing Fund, with a substantial investment being made in addition by the CCG.
Mr Scott said:
'It was an honour to have been invited to launch the new Tonbridge Solace Café. It is a fantastic, welcoming facility that will provide much needed respite, help and advice for anyone who wishes to seek it, whilst being able to have a friendly chat and drink at the same time.'
The Solace Café in St Mary's Road, Tonbridge, is open 5pm to 9pm every Thursday and Saturday.
The Hope Café in College Road, Maidstone, is open every Friday from 5pm to 9pm and Sunday from 1pm to 5pm.
Mr Scott added:
'My Mental Health and Policing fund was established to support schemes exactly like this – those that provide alternative places of safety, prevention and guidance that will help reduce demand on policing. This is all the more important now as we seek to reduce the number of people being taken to police cells in crisis because other facilities are not available, or people are not receiving the help they need elsewhere in the system.
'There is a substantial amount of money left to bid for, so if your community group or council wishes to start or expand a project, you might be eligible for up to £10,000.'