People who use Swanton services across the north-east got together last month for an afternoon of craft activities and chat about mental health.

The ‘Crafternoon’ event was attended by 17 people from across seven support services and almost 50 Swanton staff.

Everyone took turns at various craft activities, including keychain making, designing cards, colouring eye masks and creating toppings for cupcakes, while discussing varied mental health topics including their own experiences of depression and anxiety.

The event was also a fundraising opportunity and with fantastic gifts in the raffle and tombola, a total of £120.50 was raised to donate to the local MIND charity.

Swanton Dhiraj Rijhwani, Service Manager for Supported Living & Domiciliary Eastholme, said the event had been a huge success.

He said: “I think such events are really good to showcase that we are a mindful employer and acknowledge and want to support mental health conditions for our staff as well as people we support.

“It is an innovative and creative idea to make the topics entertaining to everyone and it brought everyone together and spend time with each other’s services – adding to the idea of One Swanton”

People who use services and staff from Eastholme, Supported Living Services, All Saints Vicarage, Seaham View, Murton Grange, Cedars and Eastcliffe all attended the Crafternoon event.

Brian said that he had a great time and had learnt a lot.

He said: “The craft activities were lots of fun and they helped everyone to relax. We were then able to talk openly about mental health issues and share how they feel to us.

“It was very good to hear what other people think about their mental health because then you know you are not on your own, and that’s good.”