Dynamic charity wins mental wellbeing award nomination
Giving invaluable support to around 250 Medway residents, the Hoo Peninsula community interest company wHoo Cares is a deserving recipient of its nomination for the 2023 Kent Mental Wellbeing Awards.
The 60-strong network of volunteers has transformed life for many members of the community in the eight years it has been running, and now provides a vital support network for many of the elderly residents in the area.
The work of the charity has been so well received that local businesses have stepped in to offer their backing. For example, during the covid lockdowns, businesses worked with the charity to adapt its offerings, developing a ‘survival pack’ which included activities to support mental wellbeing. Since then, wHoo Cares has continued to help repair the damage wrought by the pandemic by expanding its network and introducing additional office locations in order to reach a larger proportion of the community.
wHoo Cares offers Isle of Grain residents invaluable tools to assist with the challenges of everyday life. Help on offer includes life planning coordination which enables people to lead more independent lives. A transportation service for appointments and events laid on by wHoo Cares is in place and growing, as well as a befriending service which gives residents social interaction where it may be lacking. Mondays and Wednesdays are ‘Walk and Talk’ days, which are sociable days out with like-minded people, and Friday is ‘Activity Day’ where locals can come together to take part in events such as coffee mornings, lunch clubs, quizzes and board games. The sense of community at these events is palpable.
Michelle Trumper, Community Development Officer at wHoo Cares, is proud of the trust and the confidence that people have in her organisation: “By taking time to understand our audience’s requirements and providing them with tailored assistance, our volunteers are able to support and contribute to their overall health and wellbeing. In addition to supporting around 150 individuals each month on a one-to-one basis, wHoo Cares also reaches a larger audience through group activities. On a weekly basis, we support an average of 80 people through group engagements.”
Stuart Clack of Grain LNG, a supporter of the charity, said: “wHoo Cares fills a crucial gap in the health care services here. With poor transport links and amenities, the most vulnerable members of our society may become socially isolated, which impacts greatly on their mental health. Though the hard work and commitment of the fantastic team of volunteers, wHoo Cares has made itself indispensable.”
Kent Mental Wellbeing Awards Lead Simon Dolby of East Kent Mind said: “wHoo Cares is a fantastic charity whose ever-growing network of volunteers is making a huge difference locally. It is a very deserving nominee for the Mental Wellbeing Awards.”
The Kent Mental Wellbeing Awards is an annual event to showcase the people, organisations and initiatives that help us cope with life.
The awards are organised by the mental health charity Mind in Bexley and East Kent and are supported by a range of organisations in the sector. To submit a nomination visit www.kentmentalwellbeingawards.org.uk