10 April 2019

A trailblazing new ‘safe space’ for anyone with mental health concerns is being launched by the Trust in Leighton Buzzard.

The Lighthouse, a service inspired by carers and service users and led by trained volunteers, will launch on a three-month trial from Whichello’s Wharf in The Elms, Stoke Road, on Tuesday April 23.

The group chose The Lighthouse as their logo as:

Lighthouses symbolise the way forward and help in navigating our way through rough waters whether the waters be financial, personal, business or spiritual in nature. Nothing speaks of safety and security in the face of adversity and challenges quite like the lighthouse does

It will run every Tuesday and Friday from 5.30pm to 8.30pm.

The Lighthouse will be free and open to anyone who wants to attend.

The team of trained volunteers and qualified health professionals will provide support, advice and - if needed - signposting to a range of services in Bedfordshire.

The team can help everyone from those feeling lonely or isolated, people with worries about practical issues like applying for benefits, those who want support as part of their recovery, or anyone who feels they are close to or experiencing a mental health crisis.

The service will be reviewed at the end of three months to understand what people have been using the service for, so it can be further focused and developed.

“This is a tremendously exciting project,” said Jane Kelly, Trust’s Clinical Lead for Recovery.

“The project started when carers and service users in Leighton Buzzard highlighted a lack of provision in the area - and provided some fantastic ideas on how to fill the gap.”

She added: “This is the first time a service has been designed from scratch from a starting point of carers and service users approaching us and saying ‘this is what we think is needed, can you help us make it a reality?’

“They have been involved from the get-go and are the real inspiration behind this.”

The project has also been supported by Andrew Selous, MP for South West Bedfordshire.