A GROUP which helps to raise the profile of mental health awareness in Rotherham has been awarded vital funds to support its work.
S62 Community Together Rotherham, who host drop-in sessions on Harding Avenue in Rawmarsh, have been granted £4,850 by the National Lottery Community Fund.
The group was initially set up last year to help people combat loneliness and isolation and has now grown into holding regular sessions focused on inclusion, support, togetherness and raising the profile of mental health.
Group treasurer Sarah Lacey, from Rawmarsh, said: “Coming out of Covid and the pandemic, people were suffering in silence with their mental health.
“In some cases, this led to people taking their own lives.
“Covid definitely made people’s mental health worse because of feeling alienated and there was an increased demand for services.
“That’s when we came together and started the volunteer group.
“People are still frightened to go out after the easing of lockdown restrictions and that’s why we want to continue to help them.”
The group offers sessions for men to discuss mental health on Mondays and a women’s support group on Thursdays along with much more.
Sarah said she and the other volunteers at the group supported people through their mental health struggles.
“We aim to offer a supportive network which raises the profile of mental health and community togetherness in Rotherham,” she added.
“There are five of us, all volunteers, who want to give something back to the community.
“We’ve had a lot of people come to our sessions — from young children with their parents through to people in their 80s and 90s.
“It’s important to help others who aren’t always in the best position to help themselves.
“We want to provide that environment that makes people’s lives better.”
Sarah said the lottery windfall would make a big difference, adding: “Funds are limited, and every penny is precious to keep this group going — that’s why we really appreciate the grant we received.
“We’ve received great feedback from users over the past year to make a real difference to their lives.
“It’s allowed people to understand themselves better and to realise that it’s ok to ask for help.
“Hopefully, we can continue to help people in a positive way.”