Hartlepool mum launches wellbeing club to support women with a safe place to talk
A new club dedicated to supporting women with weekly peer sessions is getting ready to open its doors in 2020.
Inspired by her own experiences with mental health, mum-of-two Dawn Smith is just weeks away from lauching the Hartlepool branch of the Women’s Wellbeing Club, run by women and for women.
It is hoped that the weekly sessions will help support women with whatever struggles they are facing, and help them enjoy a chat and a cuppa with some company.
Dawn, 39, said she wanted to give something more back to her local community after previously hosting help sessions of her own in the town.
She then came across the Women’s Wellbeing Club organisation and contacted them about creating a Hartlepool base.
“Talking over and over again with a professional didn’t work for me, but I found people going through the same things easier – everyone is different,” Dawn said.
“You don’t feel as patronised if you are speaking to someone who has gone through it themselves.”
After suffering with depression and anxiety in her early twenties, Dawn’s turning point came when she fell pregnant with her son, who is now 12.
This encouraged her to “shape up” and change her attitude – and though she still suffers with anxiety and panic attacks, she admits she is now better equipped to deal with it.
Dawn added: “I want people to know that there’s somewhere to go.”
Hartlepool’s Women’s Wellbeing Club will be held every Tuesday at the town’s Burbank Community Centre between 6pm and 8pm from Tuesday, January 7.
If you do not want to walk in alone, Dawn will be there at the door and she is also willing to meet guests at Starbucks on Green Street beforehand.
Each club is free to attend and there is no need to be referred.
Originally established by volunteers working for Andy’s Man Club, which provides groups for men to talk about mental health, there are also Women’s Wellbeing branches in Devon, Exeter and Perth.