How S2R have moved to online support during the pandemic

This week I spoke to Scarlette, S2R’s Operations Manager, and asked about the background of the organisation and how they’ve been able to pivot their support to a mainly online presence in these challenging times.

Support to Recovery – S2R – is a mental health and well-being charity aiming to support people’s physical and mental health via a range of activities and workshops, delivered inside and outside. These usually take place either at their venue in Huddersfield town centre or at one of the various community sites across Kirklees.

Since the first lockdown in March 2020, the way S2R delivers support has changed enormously, and the change to digital support was not easy. Some clients are unable to access activities online due to a lack of resources, some prefer not to, so paper copies of S2R’s well-being packs were delivered – at least 600 copies of each of the 12 editions so far!

Packs were also sent via email and are still available online. Translations into several community languages have also been made available, and telephone and text support was (and still is) there for clients who need it, and for signposting to other forms of help and support.

Prior to lockdown, physical workshops comprised small groups of people, around a dozen, but when these workshops were launched digitally, the reach was substantially higher. S2R’s activities timetable now reaches 4-5 thousand in the first 48 hours on Facebook, and some from much further afield than Huddersfield!

In addition to the public-facing platform on Facebook, Zoom sessions with targeted groups have been able to fill some of the limitations created during lockdown. These include sessions for teaching staff from special education schools and aromatherapy activities delivered in conjunction with Kirklees Visual Impairment Network (KVIN).

Facebook Live workshops are recorded, so you can watch later if you miss it or want to watch again. Zoom activities aren’t all recorded, mainly due to the possibility of compromising people’s privacy and confidentiality. However, S2R records and edits as much as they’re able to, so that they can offer a little extra on top of the Facebook sessions.

I attended photography sessions at S2R’s centre on Brook Street before lockdown happened, and look forward to it resuming once restrictions allow us to physically attend and be with other people again. I’ve also taken part in some of the S2R online craft workshops run by the very talented Kim Searle. There are plenty to choose from, delivered by Kim and other creative folk, including yoga, drawing, zumba, aromatherapy, growing and gardening, mindfulness and more! 

Have a look at the February schedule for current workshops – why not sign up for something different or that you’ve always fancied doing?  Don’t be shy, you don’t need to be on camera or even post any comments, just get together the few bits you need and get creative!

S2R main website:  http://www.s2r.org.uk/

Current schedule:  https://www.s2r.org.uk/whats-on

View or download well-being packs:  https://www.s2r.org.uk/wellbeing-packs

Application form to self-refer:  https://www.s2r.org.uk/onlineapplicationform 

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