MIND - Clarie's Experience
I’ve had depression in the past, and I worry about it re-occurring, so I looked through all the courses on offer and the one that caught my eye was the Wellbeing Drop-In in Yate.

Booking on to the system from the website was quite straightforward. I clicked through to the ‘Eventbrite’ page and chose my session, and filled in the information. I immediately received two emails, greeting me and sending me the tickets so I knew straight away it had worked.

On the day of the event I felt a bit anxious – I printed out my ticket as I didn’t know if I would need that to get in. I noticed my heart beat faster and I walked more quickly than normal. I couldn’t get there for the start which I hoped would be ok. I didn’t know if I would fit in, or what anyone else who was going would be like.

The venue was pleasant – there was tea and coffee, and large wooden tables to sit round. People said hello and asked my name, which made me feel welcome. I really liked that we all talked about our mental health and no-one was judgemental, and it felt very real and honest. The lady from Southern Brookes was really open to how other people wanted to use the time, and she said she would facilitate whatever people wanted, rather than her having a set agenda, and I liked this.

Spending a couple of hours in a safe place, chatting and having coffee with other people who understand mental illness and therefore don’t have any expectations was really refreshing. I think the drop in would be especially useful if you have had a mental illness for a long time, or you’ve recently had a relapse and you would like somewhere to go for coffee as you start rebuilding your life back. I also think it could be a good place for people who are anxious and need somewhere to try out new things like having a conversation with strangers.
Clarie, 34, Yate
Joanne's Experience
I guess I’m like lots of other people in that I try to save but I never actually manage to do it and then when something goes wrong, I’m stuck. I’ve used pay day loan companies before but the money they wanted back was crazy. I just thought I needed to do something. I saw the money management course and it seemed like the sort of thing where nobody would have a go at me or make me feel stupid – even so, I was really scared when I went along. The people were nice though and there were about five other people there like me. The tips and techniques they suggested seemed so simple but they are really effective. I’m thinking about money is a whole different way. I’m in control of it. I’m never going to be a millionaire but now at least I won’t be stressed or panicking if the washing machine breaks.
Joanne, 36, Yate
BODY - Caroline's Experience
Yoga helps me stay flexible. It’s so easy – you don’t need to be young and thin to really feel the benefits. I’d never done it before but I’m glad I did. I felt a bit silly at first but the teacher was great and everybody else there was a beginner too. I didn’t need special clothes either. It gives me a real confidence boost as I see how I improve over the weeks….I might try rock climbing next!
Caroline, 57, Bradley Stoke
FAMILY - Joanne's Experience
The course on staying calm and counting to ten is great. I’ve told all my friends about it. It has changed the way I am with my kids. I didn’t know that I could get help on this. I thought people would think I was a failure or that I couldn’t cope with my kids, but I think every parent needs a helping hand sometimes. The staff at the Welleing College were great at reassuring me. I called them to ask more about the course. I’m glad I went on it – thank you wellbeing college.
Joanne, 27, Patchway
Carl's Experience
I finished school with good qualifications but no experience. Volunteering has given me that and means now that when I send off my CV I am in with a better chance of getting a job. It also means I get to meet lots of different people and give something back to my community.
Carl, 19, Patchway
SOUL - John's Experience
I really love singing. I sing along to the radio at home and in the shower – my kids think its hilarious! When I saw the community choir course, I thought I’d give it a go. I clicked the link and booked on and it’s the best thing I ever did! I’ve met loads of people who love singing like I do and I’ve made some real friends. Performing in front of people was a bit scary but when you are in a group of people its easier and the feeling afterwards is just amazing. I’d recommend it to everyone.
John, 59, Patchway
Maureen's Experience
My independence is important to me. This course has helped me feel more able to be in my home and not be scared.
Maureen, 71, Staple Hill
Clive's Experience
I didn’t feel like gyms were places for me but I wanted to do something to get fit. I love being outside so when someone suggested the walking for health course, I was really interested. I spoke to someone about it before I booked because I didn’t want to end up tromping across country for miles and miles and they reassured me it was pretty flat and went at a nice easy pace. The walk leader was great, pointing out lots of interesting stuff as we went along which was greta as on the first walk I was out of puff – I didn’t realise how unfit I was! Now though my health has improved and the fresh air has certainly benefited my brain as well as my body. I feel more alert and I’m sleeping better I’d recommend this group for everyone.
Clive, 31, Kingswood

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