by Pam Jenkinson – Night Light Café Project Worker
Mel, has been volunteering at one of our Night Light cafes since 2021. She shares with us the passion and vision of what Night Light stands for and we so appreciate the commitment and enthusiasm she gives to the café she volunteers at. I asked Mel about why she has chosen to volunteer with us at Night Light and why she feel there is a necessity for this project.
I contacted the Volunteer Centre Services as I was looking for volunteering with an organisation on the mental health field and they told me about this project and how brilliant it was.
By Pam Jenkinson – Night Light Café Project Worker
Have you ever lay awake at night unable to sleep? What keeps you awake? What goes through your mind? How does lack of sleep impact your following day?
We all need to sleep! According to the Sleep foundation, ‘sleep is an essential function that allows your body and mind to recharge, leaving you refreshed and alert when you wake up. Healthy sleep also helps the body remain healthy and stave off diseases. Without enough sleep, the brain cannot function properly’.
So, it is no surprise then that lack of sleep can be detrimental to our mental health. If you have a mental health problem it can affect how well you sleep, but likewise poor sleep can have a negative impact on your mental health. It’s a vicious cycle, one of which can be difficult to break
Stacey Marriot, our Night Light Cafes Coordinator, has received a High Sheriff’s Award in recognition for her outstanding work setting up Night Light Crisis Cafes in Lincolnshire.
by Stacey Marriott – Night Light Café Coordinator
We value all our guests who come to our Night Light cafes, whether this is for a one off visit or to come to find a weekly safe haven. I recently met up with one of our guests, Anastasia for a chat and this is what she had to tell me:
Q What’s your favourite animal and why?
I love cows, I really love a big ginger cow! I also love sloths because they are sleepy and slow like me.
Q I notice you have blue hair, tell us about that?
I thought that everyone was staring at me, so I thought I would make them stare! I dyed my hair blue and got lots of piercings.
Over the Christmas period, we put out a social media appeal to recruit some temporary volunteers to work in our Night Light Cafes, so that we would be able to remain open every day, including Christmas day. We were overwhelmed with the response we had from a range of people including teachers on their Christmas breaks, mental health social workers and therapists. Even more special for us, was that over 50% of these temporary volunteers have now asked to continue to volunteer with us throughout the year.
Rebecca, a teacher from Lincoln, is one of these incredible volunteers, who stepped up and supported us all through Christmas and has now joined one of our cafés permanently. I asked Rebecca to tell me more about her experiences volunteering with our team.
As part of urgent work to improve the mental health crisis care offered in Lincolnshire, and in our local communities, Gainsborough and Grantham have today joined the Night Light Café family and will be closely followed by Spalding, set to open next week.
By Pam Jenkinson (NLC Project worker)
COVID-19 has had a major impact on the physical health of millions of people around the world, but also significantly on people’s mental health. Anxiety is one of the root problems many people are dealing with and within our Night Light Cafes this is one of the primary reasons we have found, as to why some of our guests don’t feel able to attend in person just yet.
Speaking within my own friendship groups, there has definitely been a divide between those who have felt they have been able to get back out there (safely as possible) and those who still remain extremely cautious and have real anxiety about mixing with people and leaving the security of their own houses.
by Pam Jenkinson – Night Light Café Project Worker
We have been really fortunate this year to have eighteen volunteers at our Night Light Cafes who are currently psychology students and attend either Bishop Grosseteste University or Lincoln University as part of their work experience placements. We have been overwhelmed with the quality and commitment they have shown to our project and many have continued to volunteer, even though they no longer need to put the placement hours in!
Two of our outstanding student volunteers are Lauren and Ellie-Mae and I spoke with them about how they had heard about us.
by Stacey Marriott – Night Light Crisis Café Coordinator
This week I caught up with two of the Night Light volunteers, Martin and Kathryn. Martin has previously been a guest at the Night Light Cafes and has recently applied and trained to become a ‘Peer Volunteer’. This role is for individuals who are no longer in crisis and want to become part of the Night Light community on a longer term basis, in a supporting capacity. Kathryn first applied to volunteer last summer and is now based with the Alive café at Newland on a Sunday evening having previously helped at the Bridge Central Café during lockdown 3.
By Pam Jenkinson – Night Light Crisis Café Project Worker
I would want to start this blog with – of course – what a silly question! However, is it one? If someone has been set free because of the blood of Jesus, knows very clearly where they are heading, then surely there is no place for depression? Surely, Christians should be dancing and celebrating every day? What have they got to be depressed about or worry about anything? Don’t they believe the Bible when it says in John 8:36 – so if the Son sets you free you will be free indeed – there is no room for depression, anxiety or fear? Do they lack faith?
By Stacey Marriott – Night Light Crisis Cafe Coordinator
I was recently offered a course of therapy sessions, and as a firm believer that such activity is beneficial to all, whether they are feeling the need for it or not, I jumped at the chance. Over the course of seven sessions, with the assistance of the therapist I identified areas of my life which were troublesome and in need of some work. I learnt strategies for managing these situations better and discovered so much about the inner workings of my mind.