A former jobs and skills centre has been given a new lease of life as a safe space to support people with mental health needs.
The Vale Circles centre was officially opened on December 4 with a day of entertainment and events which included a steel band and salsa dancing.
The new service, based on Tunstall Road in Beeston, helps people with mental health needs to access education and training while they also work on their recovery.
Activities currently being run at the centre include art, pottery and music workshops as well as angling and cooking groups.
Vale Circles was named by service users, who have relocated from the previous mental health service at The Vale in Hunslet.
They said they wanted to keep some aspect of the name because of their good memories of the old venue.
Councillor Adam Ogilvie, Leeds City Council’s executive member for adult social care, said:
“Those who used The Vale centre formed a real attachment to it, largely because of their positive experiences and memories of what they were able to accomplish there.
“Now, thanks to the opening of this new service, those people and others who come to use the centre can continue to learn, develop and recover in a new, friendly and accessible place that has been built with their needs in mind.”
He added: “The supportive and empowering environment of Vale Circles is already helping service users to get involved in a programme of interesting and engaging activities which give them the skills they need to live independent lives.”
The opening of the new centre is part of a major modernisation programme of mental health day services across the city which aims to challenge the stigma around mental health and help those who attend to get involved in a wider range of mainstream activities.
Around 34 people access Vale Circles every day, with more than 140 people regularly attending.
For more details about Vale Circles, visit www.mentalwealth.org.uk or www.leeds.gov.uk/mentalhealth.
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