A WELLBEING mentor is "desperately” encouraging people to sign up for a free programme in Winchester after no one attended the sign-up session.

Ling Salter, founder of Compassionate Cuppa, is offering a free programme of seven sessions for people to come and share their stories to improve their mental health.

After no one attended the sign-up session on Sunday, March 3, Ling is urgently spreading the word for people to join the programme which starts at The Winchester Rooms in The Square on Sunday, March 10.

The wellbeing mentor has since had two people sign up. The sessions have been funded by a community grant from Sovereign Network Group.

Hampshire Chronicle: Ling SalterLing Salter (Image: Ling Salter)

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Ling, 47, who founded the community interest company in 2020, said: “I’m still trying to recruit a group of people otherwise I might have to give the money back. This is the first time I have launched in Winchester.

“We need to be reaching out and sharing our stories, vulnerability is a strength. I’m hoping people will learn from the positive encouragement they can get from others. I’m trying to cultivate a safe and non-judgemental space so people feel understood and heard for people no matter where they are on their mental health journey.

“It will be purposeful group talks and helping people feel safe enough to share. Others can then respond to that with feedback. When we suppress how we feel it can lead to a disconnection and that disconnect causes problems. It’s important to get people to attend every week so we get to know each other. We get through it better together.

“It’s not treatment or therapy, it’s a form of peer support which is really powerful. The answer is connection because we are social beings even though we feel there a risk in mentally exposing ourselves. It takes a lot of bravery to say I’m in a vulnerable place.”

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Compassionate Cuppa’s mission is to uplift mental wellbeing, one cuppa at a time. The organisation was born after Ling helped a lady, originally with her physical health, with jobs around the house. They would have a cuppa together and talk things over and eventually, the lady’s confidence began to build.

The Winchester programme consists of seven sessions from 11am to 1pm every Sunday with a break in the middle for Easter. Each session is at The Winchester Rooms, on the second floor of Mint Yard in The Square.

For more information or to sign up contact Ling on 07579 762 078 or email contact@compassionatecuppa.co.uk.