THE WATCH Project CIC and ARK at Egwood CIC are excited to announce their recent grant award to improve access to mental health services in the area.

The grant was from The National Lottery Community Fund and will help WATCH and ARK in their joint three-year Reaching Communities project Pathways to Partnerships.

Julie Matthews (WATCH Project) and Nigel Bell (ARK at Egwood) will be working together using their extensive knowledge and experience to improve both access and engagement with mental health support in Somerset.

Working in partnership together with other organisations in Somerset, the WATCH Project CIC & ARK at Egwood aims to provide pathways for people that will provide meaningful, transferable life experiences.

The project will offer practical skills training with face-to-face support, and engagement with other relevant support organisations, providing holistic approaches and positive outcomes.

The Pathways to Partnership project will provide personal, targeted, cost-effective support, in a non-threatening sympathetic, and engaging environment, with an emphasis on the individual’s personal choice and pace.

These approaches will help develop a sense of social connection and lessen feelings of social isolation within local communities, by identifying and overcoming barriers that may stop people or groups from seeking support.

Through this project, Julie and Nigel will look to empower individuals to manage their anxiety, encourage social engagement and connection, improve confidence by identifying positive peer pathways, and, with the appropriate support, enable them to pursue their own chosen journey.

Through peer coaching, project members will feel empowered to realise their own potential and vision, and through personal learning and development recognise and believe they have choice and control over their lives.