Community-based mental wellbeing hub opens in Braintree

Gemma Griffin is stood against a green wall. She is looking towards the left of the picture.

It was while working as a mental health worker that Eastlight resident Gemma Griffin noticed people in Braintree only got the support they desperately needed when they reached crisis point.

In June 2022, Gemma successfully applied to join All In, Eastlight’s community programme where teams get a year to create a solution to a big issue impacting their community.

Gemma and a team of Braintree residents spent a year creating a programme offering community-based activities which help people manage their mental wellbeing.

Now, with further support and funding from Eastlight, Gemma has opened A Place To Be You, a community wellbeing hub in Braintree town centre. Gemma said: “The people of Braintree deserve to feel supported when they’re not quite feeling like their best selves. We shouldn’t have to get to a crisis point before getting the help we need.

“A Place To Be You has already become important to so many. It’s a lifeline for those struggling who want to support their mental well-being in a way that best suits them.”

Partnering with Essex-based mental health charity, Heads2Minds, Gemma hopes A Place To Be You will be there for people when they need a little support.

“We’ll be open from 10am–4pm every day for people to drop-in whenever they want to,” says Gemma. “Our weekly arts & crafts, meditation and chill & chat sessions will still be taking place on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and we’ll be hosting one big activity each month too.”

“I want people to know that they’re not alone and they can come to us whenever they need to. We can offer support and guidance through various ways and can signpost people to other support networks if we don’t have the answers ourselves.”

For Gemma, joining All In was a turning point, helping make her dream of creating a space to support Braintree residents into a reality.

“It’s been such a big journey for me, personally,” she added: “There’s been many learning curves and teething problems, but I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to create something this important without joining All In. It’s the best thing I’ve ever done..”

A Place To Be You is located at 2a Corner House, Fairfield Road, Braintree, CM7 3HQ.

To find out more, visit: A Place To Be You (Kinder Minds) on Facebook here.