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Breakfast club dishes up dose of wellness to socially isolated

Pictured: Dan Evans, Barbara Matthews and Rachel Matthews of Red Community Project

A new breakfast club is dishing up the opportunity for people in Swansea to connect with each other.

The well-being project is partly funded by the Bay Health Cluster, which is made up of eight GP practices spread across the Sketty, Uplands, Mumbles and Gower areas, as it aims to tackle social isolation among adults.

Based at Linden Church in West Cross, the weekly drop-ins are run by Red Community Project, an organisation which aims to bring people together and help build good relationships.

Each person is offered a cooked breakfast and is encouraged to get to know those around them.

Rachel Matthews, from Red Community Project, said: “We are hoping to make Linden Church a well-being hub in the area.

“Every Wednesday we have a free breakfast club with a cooked breakfast and our target group is people who are lonely.

“It is one of the target issues in West Cross as it’s an area with no Men’s Shed or anything for men, in particular, with mental health issues.

“We have had a mixture of people come so far. We’ve even had the police attend, as well as the local postman, so it’s definitely got a community feel to it.

“We are hoping to build up a safe place for people to come and we hope it is going to grow.”

Anyone living in the nearby area is welcome to attend the weekly drop-ins, whether they feel lonely or not.

One person who has enjoyed going along is Vance Horn.

He said: “I think it’s a great project because it gives me a break from my flat and gives me time to be with other people.

“I have been coming along since the start.

“The food here is really nice and the staff are brilliant. They are very generous in giving up their free time.”

While Jeremy Breem added: “I come here for breakfast every Wednesday and I’ve met some nice people through it.

“It helps to get you out of the house and seeing people, which I think is great.”

John Bennett is just one of the multiple volunteers who give up their time to cook, chat and clean up at the weekly meet-up.

Red Community Project also oversees the local food bank in Mumbles, with many of those volunteers lending a hand at the breakfast club too.

“It’s nice to be able to give something back to people,” Mr Bennett said.

“Some of the people here may not see anybody again or talk to anybody again for the rest of the day.

“At least here they can come and have something to eat or have a chat and hopefully it makes them feel a bit better.

“They must feel like it’s something nice to come to as we have offers of help from them to do the dishes afterwards, so it’s nice they want to give something back to us as well.

“You definitely get something out of helping other people.”

Bay Health Cluster lead, Dr Nicola Jones, said: “We are delighted to be able to help support the West Cross Well-being Project.

“It is providing a much-needed space to allow the local population to re-establish those vital connections to each other which we all missed out on during the Covid-19 pandemic, and which are vital for maintaining a healthy, thriving community.”