The Cellar Trust wins national recognition at Locality Awards
The Shipley-based charity, the Cellar Trust, has won the Transforming Lives Award, celebrated at the prestigious Annual Locality Awards in Birmingham as part of Locality Convention ‘21. The charity was awarded by an independent panel of judges for the significant impact they have had on changing local people’s lives through their work to overcome mental health challenges in the Bradford District. The event brought together the most inspiring and pioneering leaders, policy-makers, thinkers and doers, whose ambitious work is transforming our communities.
The award recognises the charity’s work during the pandemic to support people at a time when it was needed most. By making major changes to the way they delivered support they ensured the community continued to have access to essential mental health services.
The Cellar Trust support people struggling with their mental health get back into employment, education or volunteering or helping them stay in employment. In 2020-21 they delivered over 3700 sessions of employment support and 83% of people reported feeling an increase in their wellbeing as a result of their session at the Cellar Trust.
Reflecting on her employment journey with the charity, one client said: “Referring to the service completely changed my life and I will be forever grateful for what they have done for me.”
The Cellar Trust has been fundamental in delivering crisis support across the District, through Haven, to over 5600 sessions in 2020-21, 26% more than the previous year. 85% of people said they experienced a reduction in their distress as a result of this support. The charity’s MAST service, working with Project 6 and Carer’s resource, offers mental health, alcohol and frailty support in Bradford Royal Infirmary and Airedale General Hospital. In 2020-21 the team provided support to over 2700 patients and 555 people when they were discharged.
Looking back at her experience with the Cellar Trust, one client explained what made the charity different. She said: “What the Cellar Trust did well the most for me, was they really did play a vital part within my steps towards recovery throughout those first few months after being discharged. I needed that helping hand the most to keep me on the right road at that point in my life and the Cellar Trust was there for me. You just never forget the people who have helped you when you were at rock bottom like that. I will never forget that!”
Alongside delivering vital mental health support in the community, the Cellar Trust has launched two new services this year. Partnering with Brathay and Andy’s Man Club, the Cellar Trust launched PARENTS online – a free chat service for parents struggling with the demands of looking after children. The team of peer support volunteers, with parenting experience themselves, are available at www.parentsonline.co.uk from 6pm-9pm Monday to Friday to offer a listening ear and advice to parents and carers.
The service has been well received by parents with one chat user commenting: “Just knowing this service is here is reassuring.”
In addition, the Cellar Trust developed and launched a new mental health and wellbeing training platform, in collaboration with Bradford Council’s Living Well and voluntary, community and public sector organisations from across the district. The platform provides training resources to HSC, VCS and public sector organisations, businesses and individuals offering free e-learning modules, webinars and face to face courses. The platform can support people who are worried about their mental health or have concerns about someone they know. The courses can help with areas such as low mood, stress, improving sleep and suicide awareness. And, because the majority of these courses are hosted online at www.livingwell.training, the charity can ensure that mental health and wellbeing resources are always available when people need them.
One user had this to say about the platform: “My family even commented that after each course I sounded so much more upbeat! I feel really privileged to have the Cellar Trust local to myself I think it’s amazing we have such support on offer.”
Kim Shutler, CEO at the Cellar Trust, said: “It’s wonderful to have our work in the community recognised in this way. What we do at the Cellar Trust touches the lives of people when they need it most – when they are struggling. Our focus is to support them in their journey to towards recovery and seeing them achieve their goals and aspirations gives the team here the greatest reward. Having our peers recognise this too is amazing.”