Attending the WBG breakfast networking this week was Paul Nolan from the Canterbury Umbrella Centre. The centre provides a social environment and refuge for people in and around Canterbury who are struggling with their mental health and have no other support available to them. This may be due to a delay in accessing ‘official’ mental health care services, or just a need for some day-to-day contact in a non-judgemental environment.
Canterbury Umbrella is staffed by a mix of employees and volunteers, and was set up about 40 years ago after the closure of the Chartham mental hospital. For much of that time they were funded by Kent County Council, but in recent years that funding stream has stopped. As Paul recounted, now fundraising is one of their major issues, and it is a constant battle to ensure the centre remain open and providing their essential service.
You can find out more, and donate, on their website – https://www.canterburyumbrella.org/