Latest COVID-19 Health and Guidance Information - Read here ›
J&B Recycling is making a donation to support a Hartlepool peer support group that helps women who are struggling with anxiety, depression and other mental health issues.
After suffering with boughts of anxiety over the last couple of years, J&B Recycling’s Accounts Assistant, Linda Lines, accessed the support group.
Linda says, “I have suffered with anxiety for a couple of years now, but it became particularly bad during lockdown. I was worrying unnecessarily about everything, every day. It came to a point where it was really starting to impact on my life.
“During lockdown there was nowhere I could go to let off steam and it just got gradually worse. I’d tried counselling but it didn’t feel right for me, then I saw the Women’s wellbeing group on a Facebook post.
“I’ve never done anything like it before. It took me ages to pluck up the courage to even make an enquiry through the Facebook page and then three attempts before I got to my first group.
“Dawn, who runs the group, was brilliant. She was so patient and kept encouraging me to come along. My partner was the one who finally gave me the push to go - he could see I really needed the support.
“I was so nervous at the first group – I don’t think I said a word. The sessions are quite structured and at one point everyone passes a teddy around. When you have the teddy (called Hope), it is your turn to speak, and no one can interrupt you. At the first session when I got Hope, I just burst into tears. I couldn’t really say anything.
“I wasn’t sure if I would go the following week, but I did. There was something about the other women. I’d listened to them all talk, and it felt like they all had bigger challenges than me, but they could all talk about it – and if they couldn’t there was no pressure, no judgement.
“I haven’t looked back since. It has had such a huge impact on my life and my overall wellbeing... they can’t shut me up now.”
Linda isn’t the only one to see how much she has benefitted from the group. Company CEO Vikki Jackson-Smith, who spends a lot of time getting to know her team, found out about the support that Linda has had from the group and wanted to help in some way. So she has made a donation to help cover the running costs of the group.
Vikki says, “The health and happiness of the team here at J&B Recycling is so important to me, so when I found out about the help Linda has been getting through the group, I really wanted to show my support.”
Dawn Smith, who runs the support group is delighted to receive the donation. She says, “Myself and the team behind women's wellbeing club are very humbled to be receiving a donation from J&B recycling.
“It's wonderful to hear such great feedback from Linda and it’s a pleasure to get to know her. I remember chatting with Linda for few weeks to help build some trust and to make her more at ease about coming to group on a Tuesday night. She took that massive step and came, and wow we have seen a massive positive change in her, which has all come from Linda with our full support behind her always.
“Women’s wellbeing club welcomes any woman over 18 to come for support, no matter how big or small, you matter. There is power in talking with other like-minded women. You don't have to do it alone #togetherstronger.”
Linda has said that despite feeling much better in herself, she will keep going to the group:
“When you suffer with anxiety it can come and go. I feel ok now, but I know it can come back at any time. That said, I think the support I get from the group will help keep it at bay – if there’s something on my mind, I can get it off my chest there and then.
“I’ve also been introduced to reiki through the group. All of the group members get it at a discounted rate, and I have found it really helps me. It’s so relaxing and when I come out, I feel recharged.
“We also go out and do things as a group. There is a “Walk and Talk” every 2-3 weeks, where we go out for walks together to places like the Headland or Osmotherly.
“A few of us meet outside of the group now. We have a bucket list of things we want to do and we all support and encourage each other to do them.”
Linda would encourage anyone to come along to the group and get the support they need: “It’s not clicky and there are no expectations and no judgement. The youngest member of the group is in their late 20s and oldest member is in their 70s. Everyone’s problems are different, but we all come together and support each other.”
Dawn says, “Some people it can take months, even up to a year, to come along to the group. I often chat to people on messenger to support them through the process.”
The Woman’s Wellbeing Club is a national organisation with 12 groups throughout the UK. The Hartlepool group meet every Tuesday at 6pm in the Energy Hub (18 Stranton, Vicarage Gardens, Hartlepool, TS24 7QT).
For more information visit www.facebook.com/womenswellbeingclubhartlepool.