A new Countryside Hub has been created to provide significant post-covid support for the most vulnerable in East and North Cornwall

As rural areas East and North Cornwall suffer from a lack of services for the most vulnerable, such as youth clubs for those with learning difficulties and disabilities (LDD); dementia activities outside of memory cafes; and befriending groups for those widowed with disabilities.

Through an innovative collaboration between public sector, voluntary and charitable organisations, the Countryside Hub will provide a safe, community space and support for those with life limiting illness, learning difficulties and disabilities and older people, including those with dementia.

Spearheaded by Transferable Skills Training CIC (TST) the Countryside Hub project brings together multi-award-winning community groups, charities and trusts (social prescribers, The Veterans’ Mental Health Transition, Intervention and Liaison Service - TILS, Work Skills South West - WSSW, SAFFA, Age UK Cornwall, The Tamara Landscape Project, Battling On, and memory cafes) to provide a joined-up service for at least 500 participants and their families.

The project is based at the TST centre on the Southeast and North Cornwall border and is geographically at the centre of this rural area. The project will see a workshop at the TST centre refurbished into a community activity space with two sensory/quiet rooms and a life skills area that can be used to address independent life skills slippage.

The Hub will offer workshops and activities, targeting different groups with personalised approaches, to best meet the needs of those adversely affected by the pandemic and help participants successfully adapt to post-pandemic life. The project will also address the physical and mental toll the lockdowns have had on participants and their family and carers.

The project will also tackle rural and social isolation by building support networks for participants and their carers, whilst improving community cohesion by introducing beneficiaries to opportunities, activities and volunteering within their local area.

Nikki Markham MBE, founding director of Transferable Skills Training, says

“At present Cornwall does not have specialists that can provide non-verbal individuals with mental health support. Furthermore, there is very limited support for those with Down’s Syndrome, severe autism, and physical and cognitive degenerative disabilities and illnesses. Families express their frustration that often poor mental health is blamed on the primary condition. This project will tackle this scarcity by providing specialist intervention support, including counselling, sensory stimulation and nature-based activities.”

The Countryside Hub has been funded by Cornwall Council with money received from the Government’s Contain Outbreak Management Fund (COMF). The fund was set up to support Covid-19 outbreak management to suppress the virus, increase engagement with control measures and support the recovery phase from the pandemic, including mitigating the impacts of lockdown on our businesses and communities.

To find out more about the work of Transferable Skills Training visit www.transferableskillstraining.com

Click here for further information about all the projects funded by Cornwall Council with money received from the Government’s Contain Outbreak Management Fund (COMF).


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