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New Esh Winning therapy centre hosts open day
A NEW creative therapy centre for people with mental health issues and learning disabilities is opening its doors to the public this weekend (Saturday, October 26).
Lion Mouth Rural Centre has opened at the former Broadgate Farm Co-op site, near Esh Winning, west of Durham City, offering gardening, arts and crafts and more.
Currently, its users are people referred by social workers or those who choose to spend their personal care budgets at the facility.
But next year project leaders hope to welcome the public, selling plants and running a cafe, known as Cafe Reuben.
A Halloween-themed open day will be held on Saturday (October 26), with crafts, children’s activities and refreshments. The event will run from 10am to 4pm and entry is free.
The Wear Rivers Trust, which has been working on the site, will officially open a new fish pass.
Lion Mouth has received funding from the Tudor Trust, Brandon and Byshottles Parish Council, the County Durham Community Foundation and Mid-Durham Area Action Partnership.
It has also enjoyed support from Durham University, the Department for Work and Pensions, the Princes Trust and the Cyrenians charity.
The seven-acre site includes gardens, an art studio, a pottery studio, quiet room greenhouses and a recently refurbished kitchen.
The project started accepting referrals in August.
Project co-ordinator Paula Somersall, who was appointed in January, said: “We feel we have a unique and interesting place that’s full of potential.
“We hope that vulnerable people feel positive benefits, including increased health and wellbeing by attending a peaceful, non-pressurised environment, where they can take part in a range of outdoor and indoor creative activities.”
Broadgate Farm offered day care for adults who had left mental hospitals, offering activities such as art, pottery, woodwork and gardening, for more than a decade before it closed during 2011. Police arrested a man on suspicion of theft but no charges followed.
Lion Mouth is an entirely separate organisation. For more information, visit lionmouth.org.uk or call 0191-373-5531.
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