At this year’s Greenbelt we’re again delighted to be working with Sheffield’s Space to Breathe
As well as leading Saturday and Sunday afternoon Shhh… meditations in the Shelter venue and curating and hosting The Chapel space for reflection and wellbeing once again, Space to Breathe will be leading our brand new festival Wellbeing Team in a first for Greenbelt. Team Leader Andy Freeman explains more.
As we begin to prepare to gather again at Boughton House I think many of us will be reflecting on the tough few years it’s been and how wonderful it’ll be to be back together. We’ve all lived through unprecedented times and the prospect of gathering together again feels like a big milestone in our journey through COVID.
For many people the pandemic created acute stress and pressure. The Mental Health Foundation estimates that instances of depression and anxiety increased by 25% during and after the three lockdowns we experienced. Through our work in Sheffield, we have noticed many more people wanting and needing support – not just post-lockdown but also as they deal with the cost of living, global events and the day-to-day realities of life. There’s been a lot going on.
As we gather at Greenbelt we want you to feel safe and free to bring your realities with you – and to know and feel that there’s support for you at the festival.
As with past Greenbelts, we’ll have teams to provide different levels of support and connection. But for the first time this year we will also have a dedicated Wellbeing Team – with myself and 20 skilled volunteers – people to talk to and connect with to support your wellbeing.
We won’t be counsellors, doctors or coaches. We won’t be able to solve everything that life is throwing at you. But we will be able to provide a listening ear, signposting to services that might support you when you’re back home, and spaces onsite to help your wellbeing.
The Wellbeing Team will be providing:
- Wellbeing ideas and resources and a place to be still at The Chapel. You will often find members of our team to talk to there during daylight hours.
- There will be a Mental Health First Aid tent, just near to the First Aid tent. Look at the site map on arrival to check the location, but the tent will be very visible.
- Specific mindfulness sessions through ‘Shhh… meditations’ at The Shelter. If you’re struggling, these sessions will provide space to process and reflect as we ‘wake up’ to ideas about the present and the future.
- We will also have roaming teams wandering the site who are available to chat and connect with. You’ll be able to identify them around site by their ID badges, but also through their light blue High Vis jackets saying: ‘Wellbeing Team.’ Come and say ‘hello’.
As well as our mobile and Chapel-based Wellbeing Team, we will be providing a Mental Health First Aid service. Just like medical first aid, mental health first aid is about making someone feel safe, caring for them, and then signposting a pathway to longer-term support. So, throughout the weekend, we will be there to listen, to help you feel safe and settled, and to share ideas of where you can get help when you’re back home again. We will sometimes suggest we meet again for a chat over the weekend itself. We will sometimes share techniques and tools that will help you. But most of all, we’ll be there to listen and support you.
If you want to contact the team onsite, visit The Chapel, come and find our Mental Health First Aid Tent, come to a ‘Shhh… meditation’, or look out for our light blue High Vis jackets.
Together with you, we’re looking forward to a wonderful festival where we can all flourish and grow.We can’t wait to see you there.