By Carolyn Johnston, Funeralcare Services Manager

Christmas is in the air at Growing Chrysalis in Dundee. The mental wellbeing service brought together the local community, including me, to take part in a wreath making class.

Last week I joined food colleagues, Emma Duncan and Michael Tomson, as well as Member Pioneers Cindy Morris and Sylvia Dobbie to find out more about how Growing Chrysalis are supporting their community’s mental wellbeing through our partnership with Mind, SAMH (Scottish Association for Mental Health) and Inspire.

The group offer a variety of activities and events focusing on gardening and growing, including physical activity, relaxation techniques and environmental art.

By using the five ways to wellbeing, participants are be able to explore how they can improve and manage their mental wellbeing, empowering them to make positive everyday choices to build their resilience.

From my visit, it was really clear to see how impactful Growing Chrysalis has been for the community. Those involved in the wreath making activity were able to openly discuss their mental wellbeing in a safe and non-judgmental environment. It was attended by a variety of different people, all bringing their own unique life experiences, problems and advice to share with others. I felt empowered to get involved and shared my own mental wellbeing journey with the participants.

I left the activity feeling better than before I went and will be looking at other activities to get involved in, in the near future.

It was really great to see first-hand the impact that a wellbeing service funded by myself and other colleagues is having on the local community.

A massive thank you

Services like, Growing Chrysalis, and their activities are only possible because of the amazing amount of money raised by customers, members, and colleagues during our regular fundraising weeks.

Thanks to you all, we’ve raised over £6 million for Mind, SAMH and Inspire.

Supporting mental wellbeing is an integral part of our vision of Co-operating for a Fairer World and we’re aiming to raise £8m for our charity partners by June 2022 to bring communities together to improve mental wellbeing.

The amounts raised are enabling the charities to deliver innovative new services in communities across the UK to ensure people receive the support they need – with over 50 services are already up and running, supporting over 4,000 people so far.

Our next fundraising week is coming up from 31 January – 6 February, make sure to get involved and help us hit our target – to find out more, download your fundraising pack here.

Support for colleagues

This time of year can be challenging, particularly in the current situation we all find ourselves in, but there is lots of support available for colleagues; from counselling with our provider Lifeworks available 24/7, to GP services via our partner Smart Health for you and your family, to Gympass our physical health and wellbeing platform. To find out more about the resources available to you, click here.

Even a small improvement to your wellbeing can help you better manage your mental health. Download our ‘Be kind to your mind’ guide for ways to support your own and others mental wellbeing at coop.co.uk/charitypartnership.

Our recent research, Together Through Tough Times, has shown that helping and supporting others can have a positive impact on your own wellbeing. You can also find things to do and groups in your area to support your wellbeing at coop.co.uk/co-operate.