Safebase Scotland, also known as Falkirk Safebase, has been operating a Safehaven cafe in the Bainsford area and they will be hosting another drop-in cafe in Bainsford Parish Church Hall, in Hendry Street, on Tuesday, December 28, from 10am to noon.
Richard McLennan, Safebase Scotland chairman, said: “There has been a lot of people struggling with their mental health with the pandemic this year and the cafe provides a break away from that where they can talk about the things that are bothering them.
"People have come in and through chatting with them as they enjoy a coffee or tea and a biscuit we have been able to find out what is causing them worry and stress. We’ve had some people come in who were worried about how they were going to afford their Christmas dinner this year.
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"We have been able to refer them to other services and line up Christmas meals for them. We also have volunteers trained in mental health who can assist people and also refer them to services who can help them.”
In the New Year Richard and the volunteers at Safebase Scotland are looking to expand the Safehaven Cafe initiative from the pilot cafe in Bainsford to other areas of Falkirk where they can help those most in need, including Camelon and Stenhousemuir.
"The plan is to start the cafes with our volunteers who will then train people from the community to run them and then you will have local people supporting those in their own communities.”
Safebase Scotland’s aim is to support those that need help when they are in times of crisis, providing drop in safe spaces across the country and working in partnership with Police Scotland, Scottish Ambulance Service, Royal Voluntary Service, NHS and local councils in order to do this.
Volunteers for the charity are trained in basic first aid, enhanced first aid, mental health first aid and COVID-19 risk assessments.
As well as expanding to other areas, the Safebase Scotland volunteers hope to be able to operate their cafes at night to help even more people.
Visit the Safebase Scotland website for more information.