Penrose LINKS was established in 2014 as a social group to overcome loneliness and isolation. LINKS has collaborated with partners such as ELFT, Open Arts, Resolutions and Active Luton, to engage with people who need low level support, social interaction, confidence building and recreational activities, through weekly sessions that are open to the public as well as current service users. After consultation with service users and members Links was re named CONNECTS
To establish and develop The Community Based Recovery Service as an overarching umbrella strategy to incorporate all elements of service user involvement and Community Engagement.
To create a pathway that promotes an ethos of inclusion, recovery and progression, through building confidence, training and development opportunities.
Connects has a monthly timetable of social groups and activities that are open to everyone:
- Coffee Morning/Tea/light bites
- Social engagement
- Mindfulness & Art therapy
- Opportunities to learn skills; conversation building, confidence and self esteem
- Book club
- Walking group
- Outings to places of interest
- Sports, leisure, recreation activities
- Low level/ad-hoc support; mental health, social anxiety, benefits/housing queries, advice and signposting
Connects offers Training and Workshops – led by (CBRS) volunteers, Connects members, Staff and Stakeholders, as well as trainers:
- Managing your independence
- Healthy Eating
- First Aid
- Interview Skills & CV Writing
- Mental health; Overcoming Stigma and Barriers
- Housing and CBL Bidding
- Basic computer skills
Penrose strives to create opportunities and pathways to independence and offers:
Peer to Peer Support:
- We can offer you a peer mentor to support you in dealing with a challenging situation, through sharing their experiences and helping you to make a plan
- We can provide training if you would like to become a peer mentor to support someone who would benefit from your knowledge & experience. This might help you to make progress in your own journey towards employment or volunteering.
- We can support you to develop your skills as a volunteer; we have many areas where we would love to have volunteers sharing their experience and interest with us
- We will offer you all the training you need as well as supporting you to become a DBS checked member of our volunteering team
- Volunteering could be part of your personal development pathways to independence and financial stability
Penrose Roots to Recovery:
This is our garden based project that provides a therapeutic growing space for our service users, members, volunteers and the wider community. Through our work in the garden, we equip people with new skills, help reduce social isolation, and promote positive mental, emotional and physical wellbeing.
Roots to recovery offers access to a safe space where people can grow plants and organic produce, take part in on-site workshops such as woodwork and upcycling, as well as learning about wildlife, horticulture and environmental sustainability. Roots brings people together, giving them a renewed sense of purpose.
In addition to our practical activities, we also promote recovery from substance addiction, and support those with mental ill health, offending behaviour, those who have been homeless and those who are unemployed.
Roots to Success:
The project offers an expansion to our current Roots to Recovery project by providing a social enterprise that is used for training of horticulture and well being. Roots to Success (R2S) operates in a 2500 sq2 glasshouse located on the award winning Stockwood Park in the borough of Luton, and run by Bedfordshire Rural Community Charity over seen by Luton Culture. Currently it has 5 volunteers donating 20 hours per month to Stockwood park gardening department. We have a current arrangement to sell plants and flowers through the Stockwood park gift shop.
This additional project provides opportunity to:-
- To have a social enterprise that will generate an income through growing and retail of locally grown plants
- To provide gardening services across Bedfordshire and the SIG family and give clients the chance to gain real work experience
- To provide more voluntary and apprenticeships opportunities to our current client group.