Northampton’s Workbridge support centre for residents with complex mental needs reopens after months in lockdown

A Northampton volunteer centre that supports residents with complex mental needs has reopened after months in lockdown.

Workbridge, based at Northampton’s St Andrew’s Hospital off Bedford Road, supports people with mental illnesses, learning disabilities, autism or brain injuries to learn in woodwork, have fun and socialise.

Sessions have re-opened for patients and service users and will be gentle and gradual as the centre gets to grips with the limitations on social contact.

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The centre’s in-house coffee shop, where service users also work as staff, is open again for people to eat in – and is also part of the Government’s Eat Out to Help Out scheme.

Workbridge’s charity shop is also introducing “fill your bag for a fiver” on Fridays where items are on offer for £2 or less for as many as customers can fit in a provided bag.

Becky Phillips, service manager at Workbridge: “Lockdown has been hard on so many people, not least for people with learning disabilities, mental illnesses, autism and brain injuries who have been more isolated than many due to the closure of local services. Like many other providers in Northamptonshire, we are pleased to re-open once again and be able to offer a really important service to people in support of their wellbeing and welfare.

“It’s been a pleasure welcoming everyone back. Our planning has been a success and the feedback we have received has been really positive. We can’t wait to see more familiar faces developing their confidence and skills at Workbridge over the coming weeks.”

Northampton Chronicle and Echo