Lifestyle

Incredible café welcomes anyone struggling – with ALL staff trained as mental health first aiders

The founders hope to normalise conversations around mental health

When we’re feeling down, it can be hard to get out of bed, let alone trying to articulate to a counsellor or doctor about how we’re feeling.  

But one wellbeing café has swept in to offer a non-judgemental ear for any of us who might be struggling.

The Feel Good Club, based in Manchester, opened their doors this summer to provide takeaway coffee, food, and support in what is an immensely hard time for everyone.

Co-founded by wives Kiera and Aimie Lawlor-Skillen, the couple hope to normalise the conversation around mental health and to spread a little joy in their community.

[Credit: Instagram / WeAreFeelGoodClub]

Not only will they sell teas and coffees, as well as provide a safe space to chat, the venue will also host events including yoga, wellbeing talks, cinema nights, plus offer workshops.

In addition to this, the dog-friendly café that promises a homely touch will have an army of mental health first aid trained staff to help customers who feel they need more support.

There will also be a daily ‘Small Talk’ hour, with special offers on food and drink to encourage guests to take the time out of their day to chat to a friend or even a stranger.

Meanwhile, each week they will host Freelance Fridays, where self-employed people are invited to join the team to use the space for free and to network with other freelancers.

[Credit: Instagram / WeAreFeelGoodClub]

For those who simply want to swing by for a bite to eat, the menu promises vegetarian options from local suppliers guaranteed to tickle your taste-buds.

Chatting about their venture, Kiera said their dream had always been to bring the online community they have amassed on social media into a real-life space.

Aimie explained: “It was clear to us when we started Feel Good Club online, that there was a huge demand for people to connect, and that our community was shouting out for a place they could call their own.”

Speaking to local publication, About Manchester, she added: “We can’t wait to bring it to life for them… We want to create a space where our guests feel like they are at home. It will be our house, your house and a coffee house.”

[Credit: Instagram / WeAreFeelGoodClub]

However, despite their incredible work, the couple have been told they are ineligible for government funding as their doors remain closed despite how much they help people.

Kiera and Aimie are now campaigning to Rishi Sunak to be included in the furlough scheme – especially given their area is soon to dive into Tier 3 after national lockdown – and encouraging locals to use strength in numbers by contacting their local MP, Lucy Powell.

Chatting about how much the café has helped, one customer said: “I live alone, work from home and use my apartment for all aspects of life, it can get really isolating and tough, so to be able to have some human interaction, grab a coffee in friendly space – it really helps my mental health.

“It’s been a tough year, and without the club and their support I don’t think I would have mentally made it this far without having some sort of breakdown.”

We wish there was one of these near where we live!

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