Gainsborough businesses invited to become a 'safe space' by mental health charity

Businesses and venues in Gainsborough are being invited to become a ‘safe space’ for people to be able to go if they are struggling with their mental health.

Mental health awareness and suicide prevention charity, Bearded Fisherman, has launched a new initiative to create places around Gainsborough and further afield where people can go if they need support or someone to talk to.

Bearded Fisherman was set up by Rick Roberts and Mick Leyland who have both struggled with their own mental health over the years.

Rick Roberts, chairman, said: “Our Safe Space UK project is to create a network of spaces that will allow people that are needing to chat to go to and get help.

A Bearded Fisherman stall at a Gainsborough family fun day

"Ideally places with customers and clients that are regulars at a business so the staff get to know them and they are comfortable chatting and if they feel the need to talk to a member of staff then the business would have a safe space to allow that person to chat in confidence and safety.

“Then the business would be able to then make a referral to us or to actually ring us with permission to be able to offer phone support.

"We want to create these safe spaces all over the UK and we want to be able to offer members of staff some ZSA suicide training and some safeguarding and mental health awareness training so they are comfortbale to give help when its needed.”

The charity are looking for barbers, hairdressers and cafes to get involved but it is open to all businesses and venues.

There will be access to leaflets and phone numbers to call for people who need some extra support in all the safe spaces.

Rick said: “The idea came up when I was chatting to a friend while my wife had a tattoo done and the owner loved the idea as she has suffered herself and she then became our first safe space.

"We have leaflets in all our safe spaces too that people can take and a poster on the windows showing that it is a safe space.

"We want this all over the country.”

For more information or if you would like your business to become a Safe Space visit www.facebook.com/bfsafespaceuk.

The Bearded Fisherman will also be part of an event at The Venue at Roses in Gainsborough on July 10.