Boiling Wellness came into being as a concept at the end of 2013 when the mental health charity Changes Bristol had a craft stall at the St Werburghs City Farm Winter Fair. One of the Changes volunteers chatted to a staff member from the farm about the possibility of some kind of activity day for Changes members. The Boiling Wells site was thought to be ideal for this and after some publicising in the Changes Bristol newsletter, Facebook group and meetings, a taster day was held on 24th March 2014.
This day was a great success; staff from St Werburghs City Farm then attended Changes Bristol facilitator training to broaden their knowledge of mental health and how the organisation worked. Changes Bristol supplied volunteers to help facilitate the activity day. Throughout 2014, regular sessions were happening every two weeks of what we rather clumsily called the Mental Health Activity Day.
After the first year, further funding was obtained by St Werburghs City Farm and the future of the sessions looked secure. Towards the end of 2015 St Werburghs City Farm and Changes Bristol staff met to discuss the future direction of the activity days. It was felt that a rebrand and relaunch of the very popular day was needed before taking the plunge to becoming weekly sessions. Everyone wanted a better name and a more focussed way to explain what the sessions entailed.
Two Changes volunteers attended this meeting and one of them came up with the name ‘Boiling Wellness’ which everyone liked because it reflected the unusual name of the site and the intention of the sessions. The other volunteer identified the six facets of the sessions which included encouraging outside activities, health and well being, creativity, being proactive, social interaction and relaxation.
Boiling Wellness is now part of the Enclude project, a 3 year Big Lottery funded project which seeks to increase the wellbeing and community engagement of local adults, experiencing disadvantage. The outcomes of the project include:
- Disadvantaged people gain confidence and skills that increase their ability to take up new vocational, learning or employment opportunities
- Disadvantaged people report feeling less isolated as a result of accessing a range of social activities
- Disadvantaged people have improved health and wellbeing as a result of outdoor, physical and therapeutic activities
- Local agencies ( statutory and voluntary and community sector) have improved knowledge of the impact of food & nature in wellbeing and opportunities to collaborate in service delivery
The Project started in January 2016 and is due to complete in December 2019.
From the relaunch in February 2016 till the present day, Boiling Wellness has gone from strength to strength. The sessions have expanded to include not just Changes members, but anyone from the area experiencing mental health difficulties. It is now possible to self-refer or be referred by a professional. If you are interested in coming along to a Boiling Wellness session for the first time, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or pop into St Werburghs City Farm to pick up a registration form. Once the Farm has received this form they will invite you to meet one of their Volunteer Officers to find out more about getting started.