FOUNDERS of a new project which offers a safe space for people in mental distress say they have been overwhelmed by the support they have received from the community.

The Living Rooms, based on Garthway Arcade, Northallerton, aims to provide a welcoming environment and support for people to find the help they need to improve their wellbeing.

It offers a wide range of assistance for people with life issues ranging from stress and anxiety to depression and loneliness. The project, complete with sofas and a quiet room, allows visitors to chat over a hot drink, sit quietly or join in various craft or other activities.

The Living Rooms is a new registered charity, the founding trustees of which are from the churches in Northallerton. It is supported by ONE Northallerton, (Churches Together) and is working in collaboration with a number of local statutory and voluntary organisations.

It is also partnering with several organisations including Hambleton FoodShare who will be operating from there soon, Renew Wellbeing, Jubilee Debt Advice and NHS mental health teams.

The project has received significant financial support from the churches of the town, The Jack Brunton Trust, Hambleton District Council, North Yorkshire County Council and the Police and Crime Commissioner, in addition to many individuals.

It has been open for about a month, and has already seen more than 185 people come through the doors.

An official opening was carried out last week by Councillor Kevin Hardisty, chairman of Hambleton District Council, who thanked all those involved and welcomed the initiative as a valuable contribution to the wellbeing of the town.

Steve Cowie, chair of trustees of The Living Rooms, said: “We have been overwhelmed by the support received from so many sources and individuals across the town and the way in which this project has been embraced.

“We have a team of over 40 dedicated volunteers who will create a space where it’s okay not to be okay and where many in our community will be helped.”

He added: “People are finding it to be very helpful, one guy said to us ‘you are like family to me’.

“Another man came in and handed us £60. He said ‘I just feel this is so needed’.”

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