Frontline key workers whose mental health has been affected by the pressure of working through the Covid-19 battle are receiving fully-funded therapy sessions thanks to a new partnership.
Community interest company Hampers for Heroes has joined up with Take A Seat, an organisation giving people access to a network of therapists across the country.
Under the partnership, lockdown heroes can be nominated to receive up to 10 sessions of fully-funded therapy.
Hampers for Heroes founder Victoria Hanson said: “People have been through such a stressful and high-pressure time and their mental health has been adversely affected. Those issues need to be addressed now before they escalate into something much worse.
“By partnering with Take A Seat, we can give some of these key workers access to much-needed therapy. We have signed up five people for 10 fully-funded sessions and we are looking forward to hearing how they benefit.”
Hampers for Heroes was set up to show appreciation to frontline workers and to give them a boost. It has delivered tens of thousands of care hampers to NHS staff, teachers, care workers and other key staff.
It also offers advice on mental health and wellbeing under the guidance of director of wellbeing Ali Swift, a wellness coach and holistic therapist.
Ali said: “I am delighted with the partnership with Take A Seat, connecting our heroes with professional and verified talking therapists via a simple and hassle-free route. We will also be providing access to a community of professional holistic therapists, giving our heroes a choice of wellbeing services to suit their needs right now, just another way to say thank you.
“We have already invited five heroes to Take a Seat with us; each hero that was nominated via our social media platforms will receive up to 10 therapy sessions each with an experienced integrated therapist. To know we can make a positive difference for these five individuals is quite incredible and why I am so passionate about what we are doing.”
James Doyle, founder of Take A Seat, said he was delighted to be joining forces with Hampers for Heroes to offer the sessions.
“We loved their approach – a really positive and uplifting way to show love and recognition,” he said. “We shared their concern over the impending tidal wave of mental health challenges for people once they reflect on the last 14 months. There are a lot of shared values in how we intend to combat this. Making sure everyone has access to the right quality of support and therapy has been our fundamental goal from day one and it is also a goal for Hampers for Heroes.
“As a team we are much better equipped to deal with the problems that need solving and do it a lot quicker.”
Six weeks ago, Hampers for Heroes launched a pop-up shop at the Touchwood shopping centre in Solihull, and Victoria said that had now been extended for another four weeks.
“We’ve made £10,000 in those six weeks and it has done wonders for our visibility,” she said. “Touchwood have doubled the frontage of the shop for us and supplied vinyls for the windows, which was brilliant and really helped us stand out.”
From July, Hampers for Heroes will be offering pop-up events within John Lewis in Solihull. Hampers and branded goods are also available to buy online at the Hampers for Heroes Etsy store. Volunteers will also be at Solihull Summer Fest on July 24 and 25, selling goods and hampers and offering a wellbeing area.
Victoria said with everything going on, more volunteers were needed. Businesses are also invited to get involved as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility commitments.