As part of Cheshire West Voluntary Action’s (CWVA) Volunteer Awards, Sophie Maylor has been named Mental Health Champion of the Year.
Volunteer Awards is a way of celebrating all the fantastic work volunteers do in their communities and winners will be announced over the coming weeks ahead of Christmas.
Mental Health Champion of the Year is a new category for 2021 as, alongside climate and poverty, mental health has been one of the key themes of CWVA’s volunteering campaign.
At the start of the first COVID-19 lockdown, Sophie set up The Mind Journey, an online group on social media providing a safe space for people struggling with mental health issues to come together, share techniques on how to manage and improve their mental wellbeing and share positive stories.
At a time when loneliness and isolation was growing, she provided a beacon of hope and inspiration and the group has continued to grow, with Sophie using her lived experiences to share what works for her. She is currently studying in the mental health sector, with the aim of being able to support people professionally.
Sophie also volunteers to oversee a peer-led, face-to-face support group, which is also called The Mind Journey, at Neston Community Youth Centre (NCYC), where people from the local community can come together and share tips and techniques to manage stress, low mood and anxiety, with the aim of improving their health and wellbeing.
The group supports people to feel connected to others and the relaxed and warm atmosphere of the has helped reduce people’s anxieties of engaging in groups and getting out and about in the community.
The person who nominated Sophie said: “She deserves recognition as a mental health champion as she knows, due to her own experiences and from her studies, the barriers faced by people when accessing mental health services.
“Sophie is helping to try to overcome these barriers and meet the needs of the people in her community.”
Everyone at CWVA would like to congratulate Sophie on being named Mental Health Champion of the Year.