What’s New with the Night Light Cafes?
by Stacey Marriott – Night Light Cafe Manager
The Night Light Cafes continues to be part of the NHS Community Mental Health Transformation Programme, which is being rolled out throughout England and Acts Trust. The project has seen a lot of change over recent months, including the launch of new cafes and the welcoming of new team members, so here is a whistle stop update!
Earlier this year, Acts Trust agreed to take more of a leadership role of the ever growing network of Night Light cafes across the county. To facilitate this, we employed two new network leads, Kim supporting the cafes in the north of the county and Dean in the south. We have also employed a new project worker, Naomi, to support Kim and Dean administratively. All three new team members have settled in well to their roles and are busy travelling around the county, visiting the cafes and getting to know the coordinators in each location.
September was a very busy month with cafes launching on the campus of the Bishop Grosseteste University and at New Life Church in Market Rasen. Sue, the Market Rasen coordinator, told us:
As someone who has experienced poor mental health, I loved the concept of Night Light Cafes from their beginnings in Lincoln, as a safe non-clinical space in the evening for anyone who is finding life difficult. So I was excited to be given the chance to set one up in Market Rasen.
We opened our doors for the 1st time on 2nd October. We’ve already been able to support several guests, offering a listening ear, and signposting to professional services where needed. We’re committed to being open every Monday 6pm – 9pm, even on Christmas Day, and relishing the opportunity to try and make a positive impact in our community.”
Another exciting development in September was the launch of the Twilight cafe pilot which is being run in partnership with CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health service) and offers support to families of children and young people who are experiencing poor mental health. Young people are invited up to the youth loft at Bridge Central on Portland Street, where a team of youth workers engage them in conversation and activities whilst parents and siblings can receive support downstairs in the cafe hall. CAMHS workers are also present for part of each session and will be delivering some psycho education to parents as part of the programme.
All in all, it has been a busy and exciting time and we are looking forward to seeing the project develop further as we venture into our fifth year of operation in 2024.
For more information about any of our cafes please find us at https://www.lpft.nhs.uk/Night-Light-Cafes or https://www.actstrust.org.uk/night-light-cafes/