PPM Support Community Project Hug a Mug
Hug a Mug is a community project aimed at boosting the wellbeing of thousands of people in and around Maryport and freeing up GP resources by providing a friendly listening ear and signposting patients to relevant support services.
PPM jumped at the chance to help get the project off the ground and also provided essential trade operatives to complete renovation works through our company volunteering scheme.
An old consultation room and bathroom at the Maryport Health Services clinic were transformed to provide a comfortable space and accessible facilities for anybody using the Hug a Mug services.
The scheme is being led by Ewanrigg Local Trust and project managed by Ann-Marie Steel, who will be volunteers co-ordinator. The service relies completely on volunteers who have been trained to help people, popping in for a cuppa and a confidential chat, with any issues they may have and signposting them to suitable support services. The volunteers can help with everything from applying for benefits and tackling housing issues to accessing support for unpaid carers and bereavement services.
In a recent news article for the News & Star, Ann-Marie said: “There’s a huge need. We know that mental health is one of the biggest concerns in the area.”
“We know from talking to the GPs that patients are attending and taking up medical appointments for non-medical queries. The GPs haven’t got the skills or the time to be able to offer the listening service and signpost them”
“The feedback for the project has been unbelievable. Everybody is so looking forward to it getting going. Businesses have been so supportive. It’s very exciting.”
“It will be a friendly environment where people can come and have a hot drink, chat to volunteers and get the signposting tools they need to help them address any problems they are experiencing.”
As part of our PPM volunteering scheme one of our Supervisors used his volunteering day to visit the surgery and scope out what was needed to create the accessible space that Ann-Marie and the Maryport Health Services needed for the project. He provided ideas and listed the jobs required so that the Hug a Mug team could go and find the support and donations needed. Many local businesses have been incredibly generous and raised approximately £5,500 needed for the project. PPM also provided free labour for one of our Workington based plumbers and our joiners to complete some essential works on site, they both used their volunteering days and PPM covered any extra time required.
PPM give all staff a day each year to use their skills, expertise or just their helpful and willing pair of hands to assist with community projects or charity work in the local areas in which we work. We thought that the Hug a Mug project was a fantastic idea and our staff were very keen to get involved, especially as we work with the Maryport community and in the surrounding areas served by the Maryport Health Services.
The Hug a Mug service opened its doors on Tuesday 10th October to mark World Mental Health Day and PPM’s Communications and Development Officer, Beth Nicholls was there to congratulate the team and donate some of our fabulous PPM Mugs!
The Hug a Mug service will be open Monday to Friday 9:30 am – 11:30 am at the address below:
Alneburgh House, Ewanrigg Road, Maryport, Cumbria, CA15 8EL - http://www.maryporthealthservices.co.uk/
To read the full article from the News & Star please click here.