In line with many other charities and companies, Trust Links has had to shut its doors in line with government guidelines on social distancing. But this doesn’t mean we are closing; on the contrary, Trust Links is reaching more people than ever through our new live streaming project, Trust Links Live.
Trust Links Live posts on Facebook have already reached more than 25,000 views and we hope to engage many more people, with the aim of helping more people to maintain and improve their wellbeing.
Trust Links Live shares wellbeing tips, new skills and gardening techniques through three live broadcasts each weekday. The videos, which tend to be between 15 minutes and half an hour long, are a chance for the Trust Links team and special guests to engage with people that previously worked with Trust Links mental health support services, and to reach out to new people who may be finding the current situation to be a challenge. Some of our features have included seed sowing, crafts, mindfulness, yoga, meditation, photography, music, children’s activities and visits to the Growing Together gardens and St Laurence Orchard. Very soon, we will be sharing even more content, as we have started setting up livestreaming from nesting boxes at Growing Together Westcliff, giving you the chance to view baby chicks being nurtured in real-time. We hope this is will be going live in the next couple of weeks.
Jacky has volunteered at the Growing Together project for five years and really misses going to the community gardens. However, Jacky has really enjoyed tuning into Trust Links Live each day and said:
“Thanks to Trust Links Live for giving me moral support and connectivity in these trying times! It gives me a structured time each day to sit down with a coffee and just switch off and ‘be’. I have particularly enjoyed the gardening slot at 3 pm – I am determined to grow lots of things having been inspired by what I have learnt from the Trust Links Live videos as well as my time volunteering at Growing Together Westcliff, which is such a unique and special place!”
Matt King, Chief Executive of Trust Links, added “The COVID pandemic is already having a very negative impact on the mental health and wellbeing of many people. There will be those feeling loneliness, isolation, depression and increased levels of anxiety. It is very hard for our team to not be able to open our sites for the people we support and the wider community at the moment, but we are delighted with the response we are getting on Trust Links Live. Daily posts enable people to focus on their wellbeing, learn new skills and enjoy the gardens virtually, whilst learning from the expertise shared by our team and those volunteering to share their skills and insights. We hope that the Facebook and YouTube videos will reach more people and help them stay connected, look after themselves and look after one another.”