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World Mental Health Day 2023: Barbara's story

AFC Fylde Community Foundation and AFC Fylde supports World Mental Health Day, with this year’s theme being ‘Mental Health is a universal human right.’

To mark World Mental Health Day on Tuesday 10th October, we will share the story of Barbara, a participant who attends the Foundation’s Walk and Talk Extra-Time group.

In February 2022, the Foundation set up a Walk and Talk session to increase physical activity levels and reduce social isolation amongst over 50s living in Fylde.

Thanks to the backing from Fylde Council, the Foundation have been able to deliver a weekly session that includes walks along the seafront followed by refreshments and social activities at Hope Church, Lytham.

Barbara is a local resident who has benefitted from the programme, having been referred to the project in August 2022 from an NHS led bereavement group.

After previously experiencing a life threatening health condition, and then the loss of her husband, Barbara did not have many support mechanisms in place and found herself isolated which led to her physical and mental health being affected.

She said: “Walk and Talk has allowed me to get out of the house, socialise with people of the same age and take part in walks as my health doesn’t allow me to do much.

“It’s great that I’ve been able to come down and meet new people. Everyone has been so friendly to me.”

By attending the weekly session, Barbara has been able to increase her physical activity levels, meet other people in a similar situation and create a friendship network.

Following a successful transition, Foundation staff worked closely with Barbara to plan walks that suited her health needs and activities that promoted inclusion.

She added: “As a result of coming to Walk and Talk, I have met new friends, where we meet up outside of the group too.”

AFC Fylde Community Foundation staff have planned mental health training. This is ongoing.

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