Yesterday we got to know Sara Kamrath, Service Manager Pillar Kincardine. Today, we look at what Pillar does.
Pillar Kincardine was founded in 1989 as a result of the success of “Stepping Stones” and Pillar Aberdeen’s provision of social and leisure activities for people within Aberdeen City (Pillar Aberdeen has since closed on 29th August 2010).
Pillar Kincardine’s objectives then, as now, were to provide support services for people who have experienced or continue to experience challenges in relation to their mental health and to promote mental wellbeing.
We have been providing day services continuously for 25 years. These services were developed in response to service user’s needs and have evolved over the years. New projects and initiatives have grown out of earlier ones.
Today Pillar Kincardine is a successful local charitable organisation aiming to enhance the quality of life of people in South Aberdeenshire who experience mental health difficulties by helping them to live more fulfilled, independent lives in the community. Pillar Kincardine provides opportunities for people to find company, engage in positive and meaningful activities and to be with people who may understand how they feel and who will not judge them.
Throughout the process of expansion and change, Pillar Kincardine has successfully supported service users to become directly involved in the management of the organisation, which is still one of our top priorities. We are fortunate to have four service user representatives as Directors of the Board of Pillar Kincardine. They inform Board objectives through direct feedback and make crucial decision about the running of our service.
Pillar Kincardine provides flexible and responsive services which are geared towards the needs of current service users and a younger generation of people with different experiences of mental health who require different input, services and support; such as the invaluable one-to-one support.
Our inventive approach to supporting people with mental health difficulties on their road to recovery and our determination to find ways of support that enable people to recover, has proven beneficial for our service users.
Pillar Kincardine provides different groups focussing on a diverse range of recovery tools:
The Meet and Eat session aims to introduce people to a healthy life style with a healthy diet and gentle exercise. Service users are encouraged to gain new skills and knowledge in this area by preparing and cooking healthy, simple meals with the assistance of staff in a safe, supported environment. The opportunity for social interaction and the access to support from Pillar Kincardine staff, as well as a range of physical activities is also provided.
Group 65 provides an opportunity for individuals over 65 to engage with others within their age group and with similar experiences. Service users will be able to access support with the aim of reducing isolation and increasing well-being by creating responsive, accepting and safe environments to socialise, establish a mutual support network and develop skills and confidence. It is aimed to engage service users in meaningful and beneficial activities directed towards older people’s needs and interests.
This garden project has a focus on providing beneficial outdoor activity and growing fresh produce. The project aims to facilitate the improvement of general health, wellbeing and social inclusion through therapeutic gardening and gaining new skills. The opportunity for social interaction, meaningful and empowering activity within a non-stigmatised, safe environment and access to support is also given.
THURSDAY DROP IN
This session is the only regular “out of hours” service provided in the South of Aberdeenshire. A range of opportunities are facilitated by both Pillar Kincardine and external providers. The development and building of confidence in social settings sets the tone of the drop in as it is a naturally open, welcoming and less pressured environment. The opportunity to engage in creative and physical activities is given.
This group is supporting women to improve their confidence and establish a mutual support network. It gives women the opportunity to engage with other women with similar experiences and difficulties within a safe environment. It is aimed to engage women in meaningful and encouraging activities directed towards women’s needs and interests as well as providing access to professional advice and information.
POSITIVE STEPS WALKING GROUP
It is well known that exercise has a positive effect on physical and mental well-being therefore Pillar Kincardine continues to support people to consider and participate in beneficial physical exercise. Health walks in the local community are followed by coffee and a chat.
Pillar Kincardine staff help people with long-term mental health problems adapt to ordinary life in the community as an alternative to hospital admission and dependence on other services including statutory services. This involves giving advice and guidance as part of a range of support activities. One-to-one support is crucial as most new referrals require one-to-one support before being able to attend any of our group sessions independently.