BID Members Join Forces to Combat Mental Health Struggles

31 May 2024

Local barber and Colne BID member Stuart Craig of S.Craig Barbering has been cutting the hair of the Colne community for over 13 years. Now he intends to help in another way. Using his standing in Colne, he has set up the WE EVOLVE project. This aims to help those with mental health issues and as someone who has struggled himself and seen family struggle, to be able to give back to the area that has served him and to whom he has served, is the reason for getting this project off the ground.

WE EVOLVE is a social inclusion project which utilises physical fitness to help build social connections, self-esteem and self-confidence, whilst also supporting mental health issues. The project is a 12-week course which incorporates physical workouts and mental health peer support. 

One day a week, 12 participants will take part in an activity session that will last around 1 hour and be followed by a 30 minute discussion based around topics which can help aid, empower and encourage individuals to chat about anything which may be affecting their mental health. 

The project has shone a light on the lack of availability and funding as Stuart would love to have been able to run more than one block. With help from Nick at Open Door; another Colne BID member, it has been a real success, especially the peer group discussions that has seen people share their stories and ways of dealing with what life has thrown at them. He is now fundraising to be able to continue the impressive work he has been doing. 

Research shows that at 12 weeks an activity becomes a habit, demonstrating the importance of being able to fund this initiative for a prolonged period of time. Not only is Stuart helping for the present but with an eye towards the future for these people. 

Guest speakers have included paramedics and a nutritionist, who is doing a tailored eating plan for free for all participants. Using all that is provided for them, the participants are able to settle into new routines and create lasting changes to their lives.WE EVOLVE says “By utilising peer support and group activity we will create friendships and social connections for people who may be isolated in their community. We will also improve physical fitness for participants, who will go on to lead healthier, happier lifestyles.”

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