Friday, 21 December 2012

Christmas comes but once a year

One of the things that came out loud and clear in the Participation Report that my colleagues worked on in the Autumn was the value of the voluntary sector resource centres across the county. Particularly at Christmas, when so much else is closed, they play a vital role in supporting people through what can be a difficult time.

I'm based at an office in Ponthafren Association's centre in Newtown, which covers much of North Powys. Even now as I type I can hear staff and volunteers welcoming new members into the Centre, just a handful of days before Christmas Day itself. In the Pine Room they will find a roaring log fire, an open box of chocolates on the table, tea and coffee by the gallonful, but above all, friendly faces and a chance to chat about whatever they want. 

So... as Christmas looms around the corner... I just wanted to add some website links here to those centres around Powys which plug such a big gap in so many people's lives. All year, yes. And Christmas too!

From North to South:
If the opening times are not listed in detail here they are on the organisations' websites - links above.

You can also find links to other organisations that provide help and support on our website here.

Finally, I was looking back through an old Christmas issue of the Powys Mental Health Alliance magazine.... where there is a section called "Tips to stay well at Christmas."  There are loads listed, (and you can find more if you link to this page and look at December newsletters) but here are three of my favourites:
  • Use the time to do something practical. You may get a sense of achievement for having accomplished something.
  • If you are feeling low, try and explain how you feel to those close to you. Unless you explain how you feel, people will not understand what is wrong. Those close to you will want to help, and a sympathetic listening ear is an important treatment for depression.
  • Look after yourself. Put yourself first and treat yourself to something that you will enjoy.
So, a big bag of vegetable crisps - carrot, beetroot and parsnip lightly fried and salted -  for me then!

Take care, and see you in the New Year!

Photos taken at the Ponthafren Centre, 20 December 2012

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