Mental health support and social activities now on menu five days a week at Hartlepool coffee shop

A community coffee shop is now offering support every week day to people struggling with mental health and loneliness.

LilyAnne's coffee bar staff member Gemma Robinson (left) and owner Angela Arnold prepare to welcome guests to their drop-in support days and the new knitting and cross stitch group.
LilyAnne's coffee bar staff member Gemma Robinson (left) and owner Angela Arnold prepare to welcome guests to their drop-in support days and the new knitting and cross stitch group.

LilyAnne’s in Victoria Road, Hartlepool, has launched a new schedule of daily events every Monday to Friday in January to help reach more people who need it.

It includes drop ins, arts and crafts for adults and a new knitting and cross stitch group to allow visitors to indulge in or learn a new hobby, all while meeting new people over a friendly cuppa.

LilyAnne’s co-owner, Trevor Sherwood, said: “We decided to run support every day between 10am and 1pm which means we have added two new on Thursday and Friday.

l-r Lilyannes coffee bar staff Trevor Sherwood, Gemma Robinson and owner Angela Arnold prepare to welcome guests to their drop-in support days.

"It means that between those times support is available for anyone who is really struggling.”

The coffee shop works with mental health organisation Let's Connect – formerly Hartlepool Mind.

During drop ins on Mondays and Tuesdays, Let’s Connect will be present for anyone looking for a little support but don't know where to turn.

Anyone experiencing loneliness can also take advantage of the sessions to make new friends.

Trevor added: "What we found from people who come along is they can’t access mental health support services.

"With our partnership work with Let’s Connect we are able to get them some support a little bit faster.”

On Wednesdays, LilyAnne’s has a Forget Me Not Coffee Morning, a group for people meet and make new friendships, and access the coffee shop’s self help peer to peer support.

Trevor said it is a great opportunity to get out the house to meet new people and there are new faces every week.

The new knitting and cross stitch social group is on Thursdays at 10am to 1pm for enthusiasts looking for a space to get together with others who enjoy the hobby or want to learn.

On Friday mornings, adult arts and crafts is on the cards. Bring your bits and meet some new people.

Then from 6pm till 9pm the coffee shop hosts [email protected] offering the gaming community an opportunity to play a variety of board and card games.

Trevor added: “What we’re doing is really working with our connection through Let’s Connect.

"For us these groups are really key.”

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