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A ‘lifeline’ service which helps people with mental health issues get back to work and achieve their potential has received a £225,000 funding boost. Islington-based Hillside Clubhouse helps its members boost their employability, skills and confidence and offers practical and emotional support. Members take a hands-on role working...

A ‘lifeline’ service which helps people with mental health issues get back to work and achieve their potential has received a £225,000 funding boost.

Islington-based Hillside Clubhouse helps its members boost their employability, skills and confidence and offers practical and emotional support.

Members take a hands-on role working with staff in the running of the centre, from setting its goals to day-to-day tasks such as working in its shop, administration duties, cleaning and maintenance.

The work, which supports people in Islington and neighbouring boroughs, is being funded with a five-year grant from City Bridge Trust – the City of London Corporation’s charity funder.

Chairman of the City Bridge Trust Committee, Dhruv Patel, said: “The great thing about Hillside Clubhouse is they take a holistic approach which addresses not just employment issues but the other factors which may be preventing people from living the kind of life they want to live.

“Involving members in the running of the organisation is what makes the Clubhouse really unique, offering people invaluable work experience, life skills and social connections in a safe, supportive environment.”

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Hillside Clubhouse can trace its roots back to 1990 and a decade ago moved to a new, state-of-the-art building just off the Caledonian Road, including a shop which, when Covid rules allow, serves drinks and snacks to the public and provides employment for members.

Face to face work continued during much of lockdown but even when that has not been possible the charity is ensuring members stay connected remotely, including via a WhatsApp group, Zoom sessions and phone calls.

Hillside Clubhouse Executive Director Graeme Jones said: “Our members tell us coming to the Clubhouse is an absolute lifeline for them. Sometimes the biggest challenge for us is helping people to believe in themselves and working with us boosts their confidence and enables them to achieve things they never thought they would achieve.

“At the Clubhouse we’re all colleagues together and everybody brings something – that’s what makes people flourish. We see members having a lot happier and more active lives and feeling more connected with their local communities as a result.”

More information about Hillside Clubhouse is at www.hillsideclubhouse.org.uk

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