Sun. May 22nd, 2022

Isle of Wight Observer News

The Island's Free Newspaper

Wellbeing Café is free and open to everybody

2 min read

The Anxiety Café, in Ventnor, has recently changed its name to The Wellbeing Café, in the hope of attracting more people.

Based in the Ventnor Enterprise Centre, the café was created as a safe space for people struggling with mental health issues, bringing them together to feel part of the wider community. The Covid pandemic has had an adverse impact on mental health and, with more people feeling isolated and alone, the Wellbeing Café provides the first step to getting people back into society and the community.

Terri Exposite, Wellbeing Café coordinator, said: “We were already called the Anxiety Café but we changed to the Wellbeing Café to be all-inclusive and encourage everybody and anybody to come in and chat. It’s comfortable and the whole group looks after each other; it gives them purpose. Friendships have blossomed and some people now meet each other outside of the café for coffee. We have tea, coffee, cakes and fruit for everyone, and we have a mental health first aider available at all times for suicide prevention.

“We recently increased our hours to open on a Friday and there’s now 43 people coming to the café throughout the week. We are hoping to raise enough money to go full time.”

The group also engages in fundraising activities to raise money for trips and outings such as pub lunches, quizzes or visits to venues such as Osbourne House or Quarr Abbey. The café will also help with important forms and paper work that people are unable to complete or find difficult to do alone.

Many speakers have visited the café to talk on important subjects, especially around mental health, including the IW Samaritans charity and the Issoropia Foundation, an organisation which empowers people to take responsibility to become the best version of themselves.

The café also has its own mascot, Winnie the pug, who provides comfort and support to many in the group.
Anyone who needs help and support can visit the café free of charge, or anyone who just wants to chat across all age groups. There is disabled access and dogs are welcomed. Opening hours are Monday and Wednesday, 10am-12pm, and Friday, 12pm-3pm.