Each year on 10th October, the world marks Mental Health Day, with events across the globe highlighting the importance of embracing mental health and wellbeing, to build strong resilient relationships and communities.

This year is an opportunity for people and communities to unite behind the theme ‘Mental Health is a universal human right’, to help support improved knowledge and drive actions that promote and protect everyone’s mental health.

Marking the occasion in Lowestoft, Suffolk’s High Sheriff Mark Pendlington welcomed members of the local community and a number of local charities and organisations that work tirelessly to assist those that are struggling. The event at the town’s Over 60’s Centre on Clapham Road was hosted by local charity Access Community Trust, who recently took over the management of the social club, which was originally founded in 1956.

King Charles III’s representative for Suffolk met and spoke over lunch with over 70 customers and volunteers, actively discussing and sharing how he and the audience focus on their mental health and what the over-60’s centre means to them. Alongside this, representatives from 10+ vital local organisations including Turning Point, Men’s Shed, Women Like Me, SOLD, Waveney VASP, and LEAF joined the occasion to highlight the array of local wellbeing support that is available to those in need.

Addressing the room, High Sheriff Mark Pendlington said,

“Encouraging open and honest conversation on mental health is of vital importance, to build strong, respectful and resilient relationships in the toughest of times. Places like this friendly centre are a beacon for older people, to meet in a warm and friendly environment and I encourage anyone that may feel isolated to pop in and enjoy a drink or lunch and some of the venue’s daily activities.

“I would also like to convey a heartfelt thank you to the many local organisations and charities across Lowestoft and beyond, that provide guidance and support with essential needs, mental health and wellbeing 365 days a year.

Emma Ratzer MBE, Chief Executive of Access Community Trust, who organised the event commented,

“We are delighted to welcome the High Sheriff. As a charity that actively provides services to the most vulnerable in the community; we understand the importance of talking about mental health each and every day. Providing safe spaces like this centre and by expanding our growing network of STEAM mental health cafes across the county are helping to break the stigma surrounding mental health for good”. 

The Lowestoft centre opens every Monday to Friday from 10am with a daily lunch, regular entertainment and social groups. It also holds a growing number of wider community events including the forthcoming children’s Halloween Party and regular evening Curry and Quiz Nights.

For more information about the club or the partnership organisation services call 01502 561438 or email emma.punter@accessct.org