MACCAS Blog – 6

Hello everyone! Welcome to the latest Maccas Project blog! Autumn is upon us but we are as busy as ever here at the project. During the summer months our focus moved from working in schools to our work in the community and we were also privileged to help support individuals and groups helping to fundraise for the Maccas Project and North Staffs Mind. Here is some of what we’ve been getting up to recently and what you can expect from us in the near future!

New Adventures and Old Favourites

Our workshops on suicide prevention and mental health awareness often take place in the classroom but in August we branched out into new territory! We took our workshop to the Housing Project in Fenton, a scheme designed to support young people who are leaving care to manage their own homes and work towards independence. We worked with a small group of young adults who helped contribute to a vibrant and interactive workshop which was as individual as the young people themselves. We are hoping to expand our range of workshops in the coming months so if you work for an organisation that would be interested in working with us and learning more about suicide prevention and mental please get in touch with our project manager Tracey Hewitt at traceyhewitt@nsmind.org.uk or via our website or Facebook page.Housing Mental Health

Whilst Team Maccas was doing some exciting new things over the summer we still had time to focus on our regular work. Our creative group at Pilgrims Pit in Stoke for example is still going strong every month. Below is an example of some of the work created at the August group where participants created their personal ‘tree of life’. The Pilgrims Pit Creative group is open to all and takes place on the first Thursday of every month from 4:00 to 5:30pm. Please come along, get creative and learn something about yourself!

New Beginnings

September also heralds a new for students across the country, whether that be in a new school, college, or university. This can be an exciting time for many, but it can also be a time of unease and uncertainty for others. With this in mind, The Maccas Project went along to the Freshers Fair event hosted at Stoke-on-Trent College’s Burslem campus on 7 September to talk with the new students there about the importance of looking after their mental health in the months ahead.

Our Fundraising- from the Pub to the Village Hall!

From its inception fundraising has been a vital aspect of what the Maccas Project does. We have been very fortunate recently to work alongside some inspiring partners who have helped raise vital funds to keep the project evolving. On 2nd September, the Furlong Pub in Tunstall staged a fundraising event for the Maccas Project in memory of one of their bar staff, Zac Leonard, who tragically took his own life on August 5th this year. Zac was a much loved member of staff at the pub and his friends and colleagues were keen to celebrate his memory and the fundraiser was about having fun as well as commemorating Zac’s life. It was a pleasure to help the Furlong Pub in their efforts and we are grateful that they were able to raise over £1200.

Over the summer we also collaborated with a National Citizenship Service (NCS) Social Action Project in Staffordshire who had chosen to raise funds for a mental health charity. The NCS is aimed at 15-17 year olds, and seeks to engage young people in social action in their communities to help them understand their civic responsibilities As part of their fundraising efforts, Team Maccas were invited along to the Great Haywood Village Hall to talk about what we do and at the same time partake in a bake sale run by the NCS project there. It’s fair to say the team enjoyed the cake as well as the work that day and the NCS raised a fantastic total of £736.39 for us!

World Suicide Prevention Day

September marked the annual world suicide prevention day, held annually on September 10. Around 800,000 people die by suicide each year, according to estimates from The World Health Organisation (WHO); that amounts to one person every 40 seconds. The theme of this year’s commemoration was to ‘Take a minute, change a life’ and to encourage the importance of speaking up, taking the time, and listening. If you would like to know more about tacking suicidal feelings or supporting someone who is struggling with suicidal thoughts please take a look at these advice pages on the Mind website. You could also contact the dedicated Papyrus UK telephone service, which is open to anyone under 35 who is struggling with how they feel or is concerned about someone else. The number to call to speak to them is 0800 068 41 41 and more information about them can be found here.

What you can look forward to from us     

On October 10, Team Maccas will be at Keele University to mark World Mental Health Day. This day is all about promoting the cause of mental health worldwide and what more can be done to make mental health care a reality for people worldwide. The theme of this year’s event is mental health in the workplace. We will be taking our information stand and some of the hard working Maccas team along on the day from 10am-4pm so do come and say hello if you are involved with the University in any way!

You can also talk to us at the Hope Community church in Hanley on Tuesday October the 3rd from 2pm -5pm as part of an event hosted by Changes Health and Wellbeing which aims to highlight the range of mental health services in the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire area. We would love to see you and find out about your experience of mental health!

An Important Anniversary

We wanted to end the blog by taking a moment to remember the 5th anniversary of the tragic death of ‘Macca’ himself, Tom McCauley, whose memory is at the heart of everything we do at the Maccas Project. We are very proud at Team Maccas to work alongside Tom’s family and friends to build a lasting legacy to the man himself and this anniversary has reminded us all of our responsibility to continue this work. Since the Project began in 2013 we have worked with around 7000 young people in various different ways and we will continue to do this to build on everything we do. If you would like to learn more about Macca and the main aims of our work then please take a look at this.

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more exciting news about The Maccas Project!!