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Wrexham Glyndwr University helping support growth of North Wales mental health charity

8 June 2017


Social Work students from Wrexham Glyndwr University are playing a key role in supporting the growth of a North Wales charity which helps people with mental health problems.

More than 15 students have worked with KIM Inspire since 2008, with a quarter of paid staff at its Holywell head office graduates of the institution.

The charity runs two social enterprise cafes in Wrexham and Mold and was awarded a prestigious accolade from the Care Council of Wales in 2015.

Annie Donovan said: “For many of the people we work with confidence is so low that they might not want to go out, get on a bus and make the journey somewhere so the cafes are all about supporting them in their communities, making it easier for people struggling with mental health problems  to seek help.

“Mental health is an issue that can affect any of us at any stage of life and we support people to come to terms with for example unemployment, bereavement or historic abuse.

“We have a group called KIMBetweeners for young people and in 2015 we established KIM for Him which meets every Thursday. Until recently there was very little support for men with poor mental health.

“The support we offer is all about reducing isolation. people get out, meet others and build their social networks, it’s about motivating them to do new things and learn new skills. There’s less focus on problems and focus on what we can do to improve situations.

“As well as being beneficial to our work, students can bring their own ideas and experience to the table and we can respond quite quickly as a third sector organisation to make changes.

“The support from Wrexham Glyndwr University means we are able to keep up to date with social work legislation and policies. We get fresh ideas and new ways of doing things as a direct result of Glyndwr students’ input. We have extra support and help to keep things going.”

Among the charity’s current employees are the university’s graduates Amy Gray, Volunteer Development Manager, and former RAF senior instructor Andy Matthews, who founded the organisation’s first support group for men with mental health issues, known as KIM-4-Men.

And 53-year-old Mike Owens, a former peripatetic music teacher, is currently working at KIM on placement while studying for a social work degree.

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