SINCE it began just over a year ago the Monmouthshire Self Help and Friendship Group (MSHFG) has continued to grow and the progress of the group and its members was signified by being awarded a Monmouth Housing Association Making a Difference award.

Last week the group received the best new project or group award at the presentation evening in the Cwrt Bleddyn Hotel.

MSHFG came together as an alternate way for people to help tackle mental health issues. Secretary and one of the founding members of MSHFG Jennie Morgan said:

“A group of people with mental health issues felt that the present system for those with mental health needs was far from adequate and seemed to be based on a quick fix revolving door system.

“Whilst we were mindful that this was due in the main to the monetary constraints, we felt that by just getting together and having a chat, it would have to be of some benefit and it was.”

What started as a coffee and a chat has soon moved to a more formal setting at Bridges Community Centre. Mrs Morgan said:

“We now meet weekly on a Tuesday alternating between a day and evening session, thus accommodating those with work or family commitments.

“To date, three of our group are now able to partake in voluntary work and one is back in employment.

“The consensus of opinion is, that each and every member has seen an improvement in their general wellbeing and quite frankly that is all we want.”

MSHFG will be holding a Christmas fair on 10th December at Bridges Community Centre from 2pm to 5pm.

For more information email [email protected] or phone 0787758199.