Jean’s Bothy provides mental health support to the Helensburgh and Lomond community. It is a newly co-produced hub model between Argyll and Bute Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP) and ENABLE Scotland, reaching more people than the previously commissioned service.
The bothy creates a warm and welcoming space to support people who are lonely, isolated and have poor mental health, helping them gain a sense of well-being whilst increasing their confidence and achieving social, educational and vocational outcomes – something that members have ownership of in both design and implementation.
The hub is the result of the work of a whole community of stakeholders, including users of mental health services, Naval Welfare Services, Argyll and Bute HSCP, the local third sector interface, the local community council, ENABLE Scotland and other voluntary sector groups (a recovery café and a women’s group), and the fire brigade. These stakeholders co-designed the vision for the hub, making sure to carry out consultations and focus groups with the wider community; this allowed the group to properly identify the needs and gaps in local provision for those wanting to improve their mental health.
Now Jean’s Bothy is up and running, it links into statutory provision through referrals from community practice nurses, social work practitioners, and GPs – allowing the HSCP to reduce reliance on statutory provision where appropriate. Friends and family referrals and self-referral are also accepted. A steering group continues to oversee the direction of the hub, with development manager Katrina Sayer employed by ENABLE through BIG Lottery funding for two years.
Katrina’s role is to plan a sustainable future for the bothy, so she’s currently exploring different legal structures the hub could take to ensure that it’s fit for purpose in the longer term. Additional funding has also been granted from local sources such as the Health and Wellbeing Network, the Supporting Communities Fund, and the bank Santander. Argyll and Bute HSCP have also allocated additional funding in its grant contract with Enable for activities taking place within the bothy. These allow for a variety of activities that members want such as woodwork, art, allotment, music therapy, mindfulness and many more.
Finally, wider partnership working is key to the bothy’s sustainability: local businesses have been involved through initiatives such as fitness sessions from a local gym, local builder’s merchants supporting tool donation for an upcycling group, and a number of organisations providing advice sessions and drop-ins. All this has helped to supplement the work of the bothy, bringing far more to service users than an in-house or traditionally contracted service could provide.
As Katrina explains, everyone has mental health, and when support is needed to improve someone’s mental health, Jean’s Bothy is there as a welcoming place.