Brighter Futures staff and customers will be welcoming Stoke-on-Trent South MP, Jack Brereton, to the Clubhouse Recovery Network on Thursday, 4 July in Meir.

Brereton, who has held his constituency since June 2017, is making his visit to learn how the Brighter Futures service works with, and supports, mental health and wellbeing across the city.

He will meet with customers from 12:00pm at the Meir Community Education Centre, one of four locations that the Clubhouse Recovery Network is delivered every week.

He will also be involved in different wellbeing activities throughout the afternoon, with model making, yoga and parenting support sessions all taking place.

An expansion of the Brighter Futures Clubhouse Network, the service provides support and activities for people who are either concerned about, or experiencing early signs of mental ill-health.

Working in Partnership with Stoke-on-Trent City Council, Local GP practices, parenting networks and the Oak Foundation, the ‘Social Prescribing Service’ works to transform and change how people use mental health services and reduce the demand on the NHS. Social Prescribing is the concept of managing your own health and wellbeing through

community-based services. It is estimated that around 20% of patients consult their GP for what is primarily a social problem, referrals to a social prescribing service can reduce this pressure.

“This place (the Clubhouse Network), to me, is a life-saver,” said one customer. “They gave me an opportunity to socialise, feel good about myself and feel like I used to.”

Another customer said: “Because of a personal loss, I felt a prisoner in my own home because there was nowhere to go out and meet people locally. Then, along came Brighter Futures, and I seized the opportunity to go and attend. It was like a godsend to me, and I’m sure the other regulars feel the same. This number is increasing, too, as time goes on.”

Jack Brereton MP says: “Mental health has been overshadowed for far too long. The fact that there is so much demand for the community services provided by organisations such as Brighter Futures demonstrates this, and as a society I am glad we are finally finding ways to help people through the challenges they face every day.

“I am really looking forward to meeting everyone at the centre on Thursday, and having a good chat about what we can do to help support communities like Meir and others across our city.”

The Clubhouse Recovery Network runs on a Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, with sessions taking place at the Meir Community Education Centre, Longton Fire Station, Longton Salvation Army and Sneyd Green Community Centre.

Anne Clewlow, Clubhouse Recovery Network manager, comments: “We’re really pleased Jack has agreed to pay us a visit. The work we put in throughout the Clubhouse Network is being noticed and we hope we make him feel welcome.

“Here at the Clubhouse Network, we are passionate about supporting people. Some may have experienced anxiety, depression, or have the early signs of distress. We provide a safe, welcoming environment that allows people to build their self-confidence, signpost to other services and an alternative to prescribed medicine.

“The diverse nature of our customers means we are able to provide a range of activities. Not only does this keep people busy, but it offers a good opportunity to socialise, too. So many people struggle with social isolation, and we strive to improve mental wellbeing and mental resilliance. This impacts physical health – as well as mental health.

“There are no waiting lists or referrals, so anybody is welcome to come down and take part If they feel we could help them.”

Brighter Futures offers a range of services to help people to live fulfilled lives – and provide support with Homelessness, Mental Health, Employment, Supported Housing and Accommodation.

For more information, visit https://www.brighter-futures.org.uk or call 01782 406000.