30 July 2021

Wellbeing Forum in West Cumbria Goes Face to Face for the First Time in Over a Year

The Wellbeing Forum’s commitment lies in continuing to raise awareness of mental health and wellbeing, highlighting its equal importance to physical health.


By Jessica Leary, Westlakes Recruit

The Wellbeing Forum, which was started by Sellafield Ltd's SMF project, will host its first face to face meeting in August for the first time in over a year. 


The forum is supported by 30 companies and community groups across Cumbria and has held three mental health conferences which have been collectively attended by over 1,200 people. 


Since being founded in May 2015, the group has also organised monthly meetings to raise awareness on wellbeing, offering support for colleagues, friends, families and communities. 


Co-chair to the Wellbeing Forum, Catherine Melvin, said: "What started with four passionate people in a small conference room has grown and blossomed into something which has had such a significant impact, not just on the Sellafield site, but in the community and nationally. 


"For me personally, being part of the team has given me strength to deal with some of the toughest times I've had over the last few years and I know that it has literally saved lives. I'm proud to be part of the team and the response to our first face to face meeting in over a year has been phenomenal, it shows how glad everyone is to be back."


The group has also placed emphasis on the impact of COVID on mental wellbeing. 


According to the Public Health England Surveillance report 2020/21, the proportion of adults who reported a level of psychological distress above a set threshold increased from 24.3% between 2017 and 2019 to 37.8% in April 2020. 


This year, it has held virtual meetings focusing on a number of topics, such as anxiety, female cancer and the impact of COVID on mental health. 


The first face to face meeting will offer support and guidance on domestic violence and will be followed by meetings on topics such as coping with grief and male cancer awareness later in the year. 


Co-chair, David McCaul added: "I have been involved with the Wellbeing Forum from the very start, back in 2015. Over the past six years I have been honoured to work with some fantastic and passionate people. The sucess to the forum is that mental health and wellbeing has and will touch every one of us during our lifetimes. 


"People have forgotten over the years their abilty to care for each other. The forum members have shown what we as humans have in regards to caring, supporting and listening". 


The project, which has received a number of awards including the NDA Outstanding project of the year award, hopes to recruit more members in the local community and beyond, and plans to hold its annual Wellbeing Conference in October. 


"As we are coming out of lockdown the WBF will be needed more than ever," says David. 


"I am looking foward to supporting the WBF for the foreseeable and introducing our successors". 


To find out more about the Wellbeing Forum, visit their Facebook page:

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