The Dutch Barn: beating the winter blues

A Liverpool City Council-backed project is opening the door to emotional health and wellbeing support for the whole community.

The Dutch Barn in Garston helps anyone who is struggling with issues such as anxiety and depression through a range of activities. It helps people address their issues at an early stage, preventing the need for medical referrals and taking pressure off the NHS.

Nicky McGovern is the service manager for PSS’s Wellbeing Centres and looks after the Dutch Barn.

She says: “Spending time in nature can improve your mood, reduce feelings of stress and anxiety and help you feel more relaxed. The barn is a place for people to meet and develop friendships, feel less lonely and have a bit of fun.”

Activities on offer include arts and crafts, mindfulness, gardening, bird watching, beekeeping and music. Or you could just come along and enjoy the silence with some like-minded people.

The project was funded through a grant from Liverpool City Council’s and is now being run with the help of a group of volunteers who use the service, called The Cabin Crew.

Cabin Crew member Michelle Donovan said: “This space serves to bring people together, as well as encouraging their creativity and to know that they are part of a community.”

The Cabin Crew have ambitious plans to expand the range of activities in the barn for the year ahead.

Watch our video all about the Dutch Barn:

Liverpool City Council’s cabinet member for Adult Social Care, Cllr Paul Brant, said: “Poor mental health is a growing area of concern for Liverpool and for the country. It is estimated that one in four people will experience a mental health problem each year.

The Dutch Barn is built around the age-old idea of bringing people together, it offers a place for people to talk, share their experiences and try out some new activities. It’s a great form of early intervention that is helping people to manage their mental health issues with help from their friends.”

Anyone can use the Dutch Barn through a simple process of self-referral. All you have to do is call the PSS Wellbeing Centres on 0151 708 0415 and answer a few questions.

Visit: psspeople.com for more information.