New charity looking to help provide mental health support in underserved community

Anna O' Neill is setting up a new charity in Wickham Market 

Anna O' Neill is setting up a new charity in Wickham Market - Credit: Anna O'Neill/ Gregg Brown

A mental health charity is being set up in Wickham Market to help rural residents access support.

Giving Community Wickham Market will be launching on November 13 to help people living in the area. 

Anna O'Neill, who will be heading up the project, moved to the village earlier this year, and believed that more could be done to support people living locally. 

"I did some market research," she said. 

"It felt like there was a gap.

"For some reason Wickham Market seems to have been left behind."

Mrs O'Neill said that most people living locally would usually have to travel elsewhere for help while existing support groups did not cover the area. 

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Following her research and her own experiences with mental health provision and having worked as a nurse, she decided to set up her own charity. 

"A big part of setting up the charity was from my own experiences," she said. 

One of the regular events set to be held by the charity is the Wellbeing Tree Cafe which will look to provide support through speakers.

"I am looking to work with other external groups," said Mrs O'Neill. 

"They will focus on things like mindfulness and stress management."

She said that the charity was receiving advice and guidance from The Hour Community in Framlingham, which works in a similar way but does not extend its coverage to Wickham Market. 

Mrs O' Neill said she hoped the new charity would "bring all ages together" from retired people to single mums and young people. 

"We are hoping to break down stereotypes," she said. 

The charity will be hosting a volunteer meeting on Wednesday, October 6 at Wickham Market Library where those interested in helping can find out more. 

Then in November the charity will have its launch at Wickham Market Village Hall. 

The launch event will see an exhibition, open to residents of all ages to enter, which will focus on people's experiences of Covid and their hopes for the future through both art and the written word. 

There are prizes on offer to the top three entries by youngsters. 

Those looking for more information or to enter pieces should email