With funding of £2,480 from the Ian & Caroline McAlpine Fund, the Schizophrenic Support Group was able to take 14 members and two carers on a four night holiday to Butlin’s Skegness. The funding covered accommodation, half board and many activities including archery, swimming, pool, snooker and entertainment shows which they would not otherwise have been able to experience.
Individual members selected what they wished to do, with many of them choosing to explore the wider location by going for walks. They all enjoyed the trip, and found it of huge benefit to mix with the wider world, not just other schizophrenia sufferers.
Many of the group live alone, and without this funding, they would not have been able to enjoy a protracted amount of time among other people, bringing respite from their everyday situations. Group members are often excluded from society and unable to participate in shared activities due to the cost and their financial situations, with all of them being on benefits. The opportunity to go away together as a group, socialise and eat meals together has a big impact on the wellbeing of members, their overall mental health and can also prevent deterioration of their condition, thereby reducing the number of hospital admissions.
The Schizophrenic Support Group is a small group which meets once a month for a social gathering, and to discuss any problems the members may have.
The group have formed friendships over the time that they have attended the monthly group sessions, and now members aims to support each other as much as possible, and will always arrange visits if one of them is in hospital.
For information on how to set up your own charitable giving fund, please contact Katy Green at Leicestershire & Rutland Community Foundation on 0116 262 4804.