Welcome

We at A Safe Space to be Me would first like to welcome you to our website. Hello... And secondly say a huge well done for taking the first step on your journey to improving yours, a friend, a colleague or a family members emotional well-being.

Our vision is be able to provide a holistic and systemic approach to family and community support, building positive relationships. Future proofed.

"What Matters",

I Matter

You Matter

We All Matter

Within our communities, we have begun the process of promoting togetherness and building bridges by the facilitation of workshops by local people for local people. With community development being at the heart of our plans for the future of the towns we work in.

We at A Safe Space believe that everyone should be able to access the very best of mental health care, free in community settings. Because of this we have established our free counselling & life coaching service in both Antrim & Crumlin and moving in to Glenavy in the very near future

Our Story

A SAFE SPACE TO BE ME - EMOTIONAL WELL-BEING HUB·THURSDAY, 22 AUGUST 2019·

A Safe Space to be Me was born in March 2016 and very quickly grew from a very small grass roots community group based in Antrim to one that now has 2 main bases and 5 satellite offices across the Northern Trust locality.Safe Space came about when our Coordinator moved to Crumlin with her family and very quickly realised that Crumlin was lacking in service provision within the community across the board.

After a lot of hard work behind the scenes, sleepless night and very long hours the vision has become reality and in August 2019 we acquired the premises for our Crumlin Community Hub. Our vision is one of inclusivity and togetherness to break down barriers that keep different sections of the community apart, lonely and isolated. We want to promote emotional well-being, engagement of services and family support through a variety of means within the community of Crumlin in a space that is neutral and accessible to all.

A Safe Space to be Me has identified a lack of service provision available to the younger people in the town and felt we could help bridge that gap. With our new project “The hideout” (which regularly attracts 20 children a night and at the time of writing has only been going 3 weeks) younger people can come and avail of our space where we have pool tables, air hockey, games consoles etc (all under supervision) as well as a great space to introduce them to new activities. In addressing this need within Crumlin, we hope to introduce preventative measures as well as bring different generations of the community together, break down barriers of prejudice and isolation, as well as tackling the ongoing issue of anti-social behaviour and connecting with disengaged young people and addressing any further identified needs. We are fortunate to be able to offer out high risk youth intervention programmes with our partner agencies to intervene.

As a grass roots community organisation whose main focus is around mental health and emotional wellbeing , we believe that the work we do with young people will not only be preventative but provide early intervention with a view to developing life skills and resilience and also encourage the individuals to connect and become part of the larger community. A community in which everyone matters.

A big part of the work we do in the community is providing counselling. To date, we have provided nearly 8000 counselling sessions to over 800 clients which is a pnemononal amount having a huge positive impact on the mental health of people in our communities. To allow us to do this we not only provide trainee placements for students in Ulster University but deliver our own counsellor training, ensuring the quality of future counsellors.

We have recently been approved by Ulster University to provide trainee placements for the Bsc. Hons in Youth Work which allow us to continue to run our Hideout programme.

Our hope is to continue to grow in our community and introduce some potentially life changing projects within Crumlin, which will see us tackle mental health issues head on and putting in the preventative work to ensure the next generation has the resilience to cope with anything in life.

Feel free to drop in, have a chat, have a cup of tea, talk about the weather, talk about how your feeling... you matter, i matter, we all matter.

Our Work During Covid-19

As Covid-19 started to become a reality for the people of N. Ireland and the questions around lockdown changed from if it happens to when it will start, the team at Crumlin Community Hub sat down and looked at what lockdown would mean for their local community.

They created a service that fulfilled both the practical needs of those who were vulnerable and shielding as well as one that support families and individuals affected by the loss of income and struggled to managing with the rising costs of essentials as lockdown took hold and the panic buying meant that basic essentials were unavailable.

Volunteers were kept busy collection and delivering medication, shopping, collecting urgent supplies, delivering items from the food bank, delivering fresh meals cooked on site and also offered a telephone befriending service.

As the service continued to support more and more individuals in many different ways, one thing became very apparent. As a town that way always thought be affluent with very little issues, lockdown revealed a very different story.

There are people who have always struggled but never mentioned it before. Lockdown itself made it easier to ask for help as a whole community were confined to their homes. Individuals and families who had always found a way through their struggles, suddenly had no other option than to ask for help.

We discovered the most wonderful people struggling for many different reasons – loneliness, isolation, financial difficulties, issues that can affect an individual’s over emotional health and wellbeing.

In engaging with our service, they had the opportunity to talk on the doorsteps with out volunteers. Some of their situations were heart breaking through no fault of their own and our volunteers did their utmost to provide emotional support and be their connection to the outside world. For many our volunteer was the only person they spoke to all day.

As lockdown started to ease, we realised that the emotional and practical support that we had given to each and every service user would end. For some this would be beneficial, they were ready to get back out into the community, for others the end of service meant that they were losing the connections made with volunteers, . For the most vulnerable in our society it could have a very detrimental effect on their mental health. We had supported these individuals since lockdown began and there was no way we were abandoning them now. As a charity whose main provision is mental health it just wasn’t an option.

We looked at various ideas and came up with the Nurture Café, our version of an honesty café. Individuals can come and get a warm meal, cuppa and pay what they can afford. There are suggested donations to help cover the costs; it is up to an individual and their conscience how much they decide to pay. While here they can engage with our volunteers, form new connections, have somewhere they can go to and get them out of the house without it costing a fortune. For many cost is a big factor that prevents them from engaging with others in the community.

Our reasoning behind this type of café is due to what we have learnt about the need within the Crumlin community during lockdown. There are many who are isolated, lonely, who don’t like to go out alone, others who simply cannot afford anything other than basic food and household bills. This is a day to day occurrence for them and was going on long before the lockdown. The community as a whole may not have known about them but thanks to lockdown we became very aware of them.

This is our way of looking after them.

The Nurture Café is based at The Crumlin Hub on Mill Road and is open from 7.30 – 2.30 Monday to Friday and will hopefully be opening weekends soon. Call in for some coffee and company.

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