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Keeping it Local

Museum officers and health support staff have teamed up and are on a mission to make us all feel happier

MEET the team on a mission to make you feel happier during the lockdown.

The council’s Health Improvement Team and the award-winning Kirkleatham Museum have joined forces to devise activities for mental health awareness week from Monday (18 May).

And Sharon Chappell, (pictured), the council’s Community Health Development Coordinator, has stressed the idea is for everyone to take part to increase your happiness and wellbeing.

Fun activities include a competition with prizes including an afternoon tea at Gisborough Hall and Amazon vouchers, a ‘how to’ video from a professional artist and story time.

“We are here for people with mental health issues – but we are also here to promote a positive psychology,” said Sharon. “We want the happiness and wellbeing levels of everyone in the whole borough and beyond to improve.

“The lockdown is a challenging time. We’re finding that a lot of people with anxiety issues are actually coping well with staying at home as some of the issues surrounding everyday life are removed. However, we are also picking up that other people’s anxiety levels are increasing. I would urge everyone to engage in our activities, not least because they are fun but also because we all have a duty to take care of our own mental health.”

Joanne Hodgson, Museum Manager at Kirkleatham, said: “Just because the museum is closed just now it doesn’t mean that we aren’t open to engage with the public in an important and meaningful way. We have come up with a series of activities from creating a doodle diary for your daily walk and to stories of kindness and giving.”

The online activities will run each day from Monday 18 May to Sunday 24 May as part of Mental Health Awareness Week. Each day, from Monday to Friday, has a theme taken from the NHS’s five point plan to ensure your mental wellbeing is healthy – be connected, be active, take notice, keep learning new things and give to others. The weekend activities have a ‘being kind’ focus on helping others.

Find about the Mental Health team’s competition with a range of great prizes on three ‘feel good’ Facebook sites for Redcar, East Cleveland and Greater Eston and

Simply ‘like’ and ‘share’ activities and health and wellbeing tips on the pages to take part.

Councillor Karen King, Deputy Leader, said: “This is a time when a lot of people are obviously feeling isolated and we all need to take time to think about our mental wellbeing. These activities are fun and interesting as well as engaging and they can really help. Why not have a go and engage each day.”

Find out more about each day’s activities on the museum’s Facebook site at and website

If you – or someone you know – needs mental health support a range of numbers can be found at The Samaritans can be contacted on 08457909090.