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St George’s Day Centre

St George’s Day Centre

Did you know that as many as one in four people with mental health issues live on their own and can experience social isolation? The St George’s Centre, which has been running since 1977, addresses this by providing friendship, support and stability in a therapeutic and caring environment.

Following referral by health professionals, nearly half of the centre’s 180 members come with a form of depression or anxiety, while others are affected by schizophrenia, personality disorders or other issues.

St George’s prides itself on providing a quality service, based on people’s aspirations and choices, and promotes recovery, independence and social inclusion for all. As well as counselling, it offers positive activities including arts, crafts, drama, music, woodwork, bike rides, film shows, jumble sales, aerobics, Tai Chi, chair-based exercise, pool, darts, dominoes, health and beauty treatments, day trips and an annual holiday. The centre also has close links with colleges, return to work schemes, health services, Lancashire Wildlife Trust and ourselves.

The centre is located in a convenient town-centre spot, and features a lounge, dining area, exercise hall, crafts and computer room, kitchen and a workshop.

We met Philomena Hall and Steve Hartley (two of the team of four who run the centre) to find out more.

Philomena told us: “We provide our members with structure, purpose and routine – which can be so important for people who feel isolated. The social aspect of spending time with people and doing positive activities can be so important for members’ wellbeing.

“Unfortunately the media tends to highlight the negatives of mental health. Everyone at St George’s understands and respects each other, there’s no stigma here.

“It’s lovely to see people grow and believe in themselves. I just want to do my bit to help brighten people’s lives.”

Steve added: “Being labelled with a mental health issue shouldn’t define you and we want our members to have normal lives.

“We want people to feel safe with us, and then we can build on this by equipping them with confidence and life skills. The members help to run the centre and some form part of our committee. A number have gone on to jobs or college.”

Breakfast and a two-course meal are provided at a small charge every day with snacks and drinks available all day. Members can fully participate in running the centre and are encouraged to find new interests and develop their skills by engaging with others, volunteering or participating in various activities.

If you feel you could benefit from the services on offer at St George’s, you can talk to your GP or therapist about going for a visit – it’s open to people over 18 who have been referred by a health professional.

The centre is also always on the lookout for anyone who would be interested in contributing to its running by volunteering in any way.

You can find them at St. Andrew’s & St. George’s United Reform Church, St. George’s Road, Bolton BL1 2BS. Phone 01204 397889. Email Visit and look under Move Forward Partners.