Tamworth Co-op cash will help charity meet high energy costs

An award-winning Tamworth charity which provides a unique recovery service for people experiencing mental distress has received a timely boost to its finances.

The £1,000 donation from Tamworth Co-op’s Cash in the Bag scheme will help Changes to meet the running costs of its wellbeing centre in King Street.

Yvonne Street, one of the co-founders of the user-led organisation, said the money had come at just the right time as its electricity bill has shot up over the past two years.

Tamworth Co-op Cash in the Bag cheque presentation to Changes

Tamworth Co-op business support manager Julie Gasper (second from right) presents a cheque for the money raised to Changes wellness coach Tony Colbourne and project manager Yvonne Street, co-founders of the mental health charity, with Graham Street (right) who provides administrative support.

“This has come as an absolute godsend to us. We are constantly having to raise funds to keep going and we’re very grateful to Tamworth Co-op for thinking of us. This money will help us to heat the building.”

Changes offers a 12-step recovery programme through themed workshops, plus peer group and one-to-one support in a safe, confidential and non-judgemental environment.

All the services are free and not time limited, allowing users to access or top up support for as long as they need it.

“Nothing is more important than giving people help in their darkest days,” added Mrs Street who set up the charity with wellness coach Tony Colbourne in 2016.

Help is available for a range of mental health problems from anxiety and depression to anger issues. Around 30 people come to the workshops every week and it has 480 members.

Changes received the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service in 2021. Run by two volunteers and three paid staff, it was also recently honoured with a Tamworth Civic Pride Award.

Julie Gasper, Tamworth Co-op’s business support manager, said: “Mental health problems affect people from all walks of life, and we’re delighted to be able to help a charity which is providing such an essential service.

“The money was raised through the sale of plastic carrier bags in our food stores and this year we will be handing out £12,500 to good causes in our trading area.”

For more information about Changes call 01827 311006 or visit www.changestamworth.com

The group also has an active Facebook page with more than 2,000 followers.