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Warrington day centre features in prime time TV show


A WARRINGTON day centre featured on a prime time ITV show about older people and mental health.
Warrington Day Service appeared on the Tonight programme special – called Growing Old: Britain’s Mental Health Crisis.
Reg, 70, featured on the programme, saying that attending the centre helped him get on top of his money worries, learn IT skills and meet new people.
He said: “I was depressed. I felt terrible. I didn’t know what to do. There was nobody to talk to.”
Tammi Achaoui, a support worker at the Allen Street centre, which is operated by Warrington based national adult health and social care charity Making Space, said: “Reg had a very sad face; it was heartbreaking.
“But it was easy to get to root cause and deal with his issues and then we saw a big change in Reg – he was smiling, happy, loud, cracking jokes.”
It is estimated that half of over 55s have experienced a mental health problem, such as depression or anxiety. In the programme, Tonight reporter Fiona Foster explored how older people may be affected, and what we can do to help cope with, alleviate, or treat mental health conditions.
The volunteer-run day centre is open to adults of all ages who attend the Warrington mental health service.
Earlier this year, the nine strong  squad of volunteers that run the Warrington Day Service, was shortlisted for volunteer team of the year.
The volunteers, all aged between 26 and 70, were recognised by judges from the Third Sector magazine awards for providing a safe space for people living with mental health conditions to socialise and eat a meal each week day.
The day centre volunteers deliver a Monday-Friday catering service from 10am to 4pm, with a freshly prepared hot lunch, tea bar and refreshments.
The majority of the volunteers also use the mental health service and have to balance their own mental health needs with their time at the day centre.
Every volunteer is given training in health and safety, hygiene and everything else they need in order to run a busy catering operation. They gain transferable skills they can use when looking for paid employment, as well as references for potential employers.
The programme, titled Growing Old: Britain’s Mental Health Crisis, is available on ITV Hub until Friday 8 November
Anyone interested in volunteering with Making Space, at the Warrington Day Service and other projects, can contact volunteering@makingspace.co.uk or speak to Antonia Pike, Liz Butler or Mark Thornton on 01925 581747.


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