Today it is #YorkshireDay! The one day a year where Yorkshire folk celebrate all the amazingness that Yorkshire has to offer. (I swear someone just walked past my window as I wrote that wearing a tweed flat cap – brilliant!)
I may not be originally from Yorkshire, but I’ve lived here for the last three years, and prior to that I spent many a childhood summer on a family farm up in this county. I love this place, and it’s definitely my home now and will continue to be after I graduate university.
Of course when we discuss all things great in Yorkshire, some things automatically come to mind – The Yorkshire pudding, great tea and the best ales. Undoubtedly now, I will also think of the gentleman that just walked past my window who couldn’t have been anymore Yorkshire if he tried; he could have quite easily been a cast member in Emmerdale.
But today, I am going to put aside the celebrations of these things for just a moment, and celebrate what I’ve come to respect in Yorkshire recently – some fantastic people and organisations trying to make the mental health services better in this beautiful county.
Now I can’t name them all; I practically come across a new organisation every week, and my list may be slightly Leeds biased (being that’s where I live and know), but here are four organisations that deserve to be celebrated this #YorkshireDay, whilst I drink my Yorkshire tea of course.
1. Together We Can, Leeds
Firstly, we have Together We Can. This is a fantastic organisation of people who are currently campaigning to redesign some of the mental health services in Leeds that aren’t as good as they could be! The people who make up this fantastic group all have experience with seeking mental health support in the city, and therefore collectively are able to put forward new plans, which hopefully will make a big difference really soon.
Right now is big and exciting time for Together We Can as there are currently people with power listening and willing to put some of their ideas in place. I for one am excited to be apart of this movement and eager to see the services change for the better.
You can follow Together We Can on twitter, and if you have any ideas please do tweet them as they welcome any new suggestions.
2. Feardom Fighters, Leeds
Feardom Fighters is another great movement which I am somewhat involved with (exciting!). Founded by a lovely woman named Kathryn who has suffered with anxiety in the past, the Feardom Fighters are currently in the planning stage of the #FeardomFestival which will take place this World Mental Health Day (October 10th).
The purpose of the #FeardomFestival is fantastic, and if you’re an anxiety sufferer and are in the area I would highly encourage you to check it out. There will be workshops and guest speakers, all aimed at helping people manage their anxiety and also giving anxiety sufferers new ways to express themselves. The event is also fantastic as a way to meet other people who know what you’re going through; I can’t wait to check it out myself!
3. Free Hand, Sheffield
And we’re out of Leeds!!!! Are you proud of me?
Yep, my third celebration of all great things in Yorkshire is Free Hand in Sheffield.
Again, I have already done a full post on this organisation, and you can find that by clicking here.
Free Hand is set up by the fantastic Charly, and they offer great workshops where they just allow people with depression and anxiety to come in and be creative in any way they like so that they can blow off some steam; which is completely up my street as I’m constantly using art as a means of recovery.
Last, but definitely not least, we have Wild Goose in Otley.
Now I do have to admit, whilst very close to me in location, I haven’t yet checked out Wild Goose, but it was recently recommended to me by Kathryn from Feardom Fighters and it looks amazing; so I just had to include them on my list!
Founded by an ecotherapist named Hayley, Wild Goose offers the environment and nature as a way to de-stress and promote better mental health. They offer campfire cookouts, meditation, Bear Grylls-style basic survival techniques, and specialist sessions including yoga and pottery making.
I will definitely be making a special effort to go down and check them out soon because I want to be Bear Grylls for the day quite frankly, and nature sounds like a perfect way to de-stress.
Whilst I am partial to a cuppa and a Yorkshire pudding, these are the things that make Yorkshire truly great. People that are doing things to make the mental health services more accessible, better, and finding new ways to help people.
Happy #YorkshireDay everyone!
And now a bunch of Leeds United fans are walking past my window chanting, how very Yorkshire.