A pop up cafe and a happy cafe launch in Ely in the summer to promote mental health awareness

Talking FreEly launches with a pop up cafe in Ely Cathedral Conference Centre in July PHOTO: FreEly

Talking FreEly launches with a pop up cafe in Ely Cathedral Conference Centre in July PHOTO: FreEly - Credit: Archant

Mental health awareness is being put on the map in Ely with two major initiatives launching at the beginning of July.

The first is called Talking FreELY, which launches with a pop up cafe, to promote open discussion on the issue.

The second is a happy cafe, a first in Cambridgeshire

“Mental illness will affect at least one in four people during their lifetime, but in spite of this, many will resist seeking help because of the stigma and discrimination that surrounds it.

“There’s a growing body of international evidence that talking is one of the most powerful ways of breaking down stigma and increasingly people are finding support and relief in opening up about their experiences,” a spokesman for the event said.

Talking FreELY is a local project to encourage and promote open discussion about mental health.

The first event is on Saturday July 1 at Ely Cathedral Centre, where volunteers with lived experience of mental health will be on hand to facilitate conversations.

Most Read

For more information visit their Facebook page.

The happy cafe is at Julia’s Tearooms which has teamed up with Action for Happiness - an international movement for positive social change - to become the first of its kind in the county.

The idea to set up a Happy Cafe comes from local woman Kathryn Pearcey, a passionate supporter of Action for Happiness, based on her own positive experience of using their resources.

She believes there is huge potential for local people to benefit and has an enthusiastic team of volunteers to help launch it.

On Wednesday July 12 the first fortnightly coffee morning is at Julia’s where local volunteers from Action for Happiness will be available to chat about the resources available.

Volunteers will be there from 10.30am until noon on the first and third Wednesdays of the month with more meetings planned if there is the need.

Everyone is welcome at any time to visit and look at the materials there.

To celebrate there will be a launch week starting on Monday July 10 with a visit to the Cathedral Conference Centre by author and journalist Rachel Kelly, an internationally known mental health campaigner, public speaker and writer.

Entrance is by donation and all proceeds will be used to replenish and supplement the resources available for everyone.

On Saturday July 15 there will be an afternoon tea and picnic at Julia’s Tearooms, outside the venue overlooking the Cathedral from 3 to 5pm.

Action for Happiness volunteers will be on hand.