Next Steps is a small charity based in the market town on Norton on Derwent in North Yorkshire. We provide support for people experiencing mental health issues, based around a community café and resource centre. From here we provide information, advice and guidance, opportunities to socialise or just a safe, supportive, space to relax.
The people we work with may have a variety of issues including mild, moderate and severe mental health problems (for instance anxiety, depression, schizophrenia). We help to tackle problems with employment, debt, housing (or homelessness), family conflict, abuse, isolation, poor physical health, disability and addiction. Some of our beneficiaries have a history of offending and 40% are over 60 years of age.
The resource centre also offers some practical facilities to help:
• An IT suite – for training use, job applications, benefit claims etc
• A laundry facility
We offer therapeutic activities which include an art group, Men in Sheds, ‘Handbags and Hammers’, music, crafts, gardening, healthy eating and cookery skills, and a walking group.
We have become well known and respected in our community and this has helped to break down some of the stigma associated with poor mental health. With just a few paid staff and mainly volunteers, we have, in 2018, been awarded the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, something that we are immensely proud of.
In the last few years we have done sessional activities and support in 3 other market towns in the Ryedale District and more recently rural outreach into villages.