Mental health support and social activities now on the menu five days a week at the Hartlepool cafe

Gemma Robinson (left), staff member of LilyAnne’s cafe bar, and owner Angela Arnold prepare to welcome guests to their walk-in support days and new knitting and cross-stitch group.

It includes rest stops, arts and crafts for adults and a new knitting and cross-stitch group to allow visitors to take up or learn a new hobby, while meeting new people around of a friendly cup of tea.

LilyAnne co-owner Trevor Sherwood said: “We have decided to run support every day between 10am and 1pm which means we have added two new ones on Thursday and Friday.

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Trevor Sherwood, Gemma Robinson and owner Angela Arnold prepare to welcome guests for their walk-in support days.

“It means that between these times, support is available for anyone who is really struggling.”

The cafe works with mental health organization Let’s Connect – formerly Hartlepool Mind.

During the hotlines on Mondays and Tuesdays, Let’s Connect will be present for all those who are looking for a little support but do not know where to turn.

Anyone experiencing loneliness can also take advantage of the sessions to make new friends.

Trevor added: “What we’ve found in people who come with us is that they can’t access mental health support services.

“Thanks to our partnership with Let’s Connect, we are able to provide support to them a little faster.”

On Wednesdays, LilyAnne hosts a Forget Me Not Coffee Morning, a group for people to meet and make new friendships, and access peer support from the cafe.

Trevor said it was a great opportunity to get out of the house to meet new people and there were new faces every week.

The new knitting and cross stitch social group is Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. for enthusiasts looking for a space to meet up with others who enjoy the hobby or want to learn.

Friday mornings are full of arts and crafts for adults. Bring your tracks and meet new people.

Then from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. the coffee shop welcomes [email protected] providing the gaming community with the ability to play a variety of board and card games.

Trevor added: “What we do is really work with our connection through Let’s Connect.

“For us, these groups are really essential.”

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Joel C. Hicks