To recognise its ongoing support for the theme of health and wellbeing at this year’s Cows about Cambridge art trail, official travel partner of the exhibition, Thameslink, will be hosting a drop-in mental health hub at Cambridge station.
Staffed by volunteers from Cambridge Samaritans, CPSL Mind‘s STOP Suicide campaign and Cambridgeshire Public Health, the hubs will be open from 07:00 to 19:00 on Friday 13 and 07:00 to 17:00 on Saturday 14 August. The aim is to offer support to those seeking help and advice about mental health by signposting to local services. Listening volunteers from Samaritans and CPSL Mind will also be at the hubs on both days, along with professionals from Cambridgeshire Public Health.
Thameslink has previously partnered with Mind for Cows about Cambridge to run a mini moo design competition, focused on health and wellbeing. The winning entry, submitted by librarian Alice Billington, uses flowers, butterflies and the human form to convey the path to wellbeing. Alice’s ‘And so the flower will bloom again’ mini moo is on display in Jigsaw, Trinity Street, until Saturday 4 September.
In addition, the rail operator has also sponsored the ‘Strength in Numbers’ cow, which is being hosted at St Andrews Church in the City. The inspiration for this was taken from the artist’s sister who works within the mental health sector in Cambridgeshire. The unique design – which features people linking hands – encourages people to reach out to those around them and demonstrates the mental resilience and support each individual brings when linked together.
Tom Moran, Managing Director of Thameslink and Great Northern, said: “We’re really proud to have Alice’s mini moo as well as the ‘Strength in Numbers’ cow as part of this year’s art trail because the messages behind each design bring to life the importance of talking to one another. We wanted to take that ethos one step further by hosting somewhere for people living in the city, or visiting for the day, to come and seek help. We’re working with Cambridge Samaritans, CPSL Mind and Cambridgeshire Public Health to ensure the right support is available and we encourage people to come down and have a chat.”
Kathy Hartley, Consultant in Public Health, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, commented: “This event is a great opportunity for people in the area to learn more about the help that is available to them if they are concerned about their own mental health or the mental health of a loved one. This has the potential to benefit many people, both in Cambridgeshire and beyond, and it would be fantastic to see lots of people visit.”
The drop-in mental health hubs have been organised by Thameslink and in partnership with Greater Anglia. The hub will be set up just outside of Cambridge train station and open to rail passengers as well as the general public on Friday 13 and Saturday 14 August.