Access Wellbeing Poole – New Support Hub opens in The Dolphin Centre

The Dolphin Poole is further expanding its community offering, with the introduction of a new support hub, Access Wellbeing Poole. The facility will operate from the old Eco Hub in the Link Mall on the second floor of The Dolphin and opens on Monday 29th January 2024.

Access Wellbeing Poole is a partnership between local charities and community groups (sometimes referred to as the voluntary and community sector), the NHS, local authority, and Legal & General, and is facilitated by The Dolphin Poole. 

The new hub will offer a welcoming space to find support on the issues that matter to members of the local community. The hub’s friendly Wellbeing Coordinators will take the time to listen, then help people to access support and advice on a wide range of topics including:

  • Mental health and emotional wellbeing
  • Social connections and activities
  • Bereavement and grief
  • Advice on issues such as work, money and housing
  • Support for carers and family members

Members of the public don’t need an appointment to visit Access Wellbeing Poole – they can pop in at any time during opening hours and a member of the team will be on hand to help. The service is designed to support people aged 18 and over.

John Grinnell, Centre Manager, said: “The opening of Access Wellbeing further underlines our desire to place The Dolphin Poole at the centre of our community. As the needs of our visitors evolve, so must the services we provide, and we know the Poole community engage with The Dolphin for more than just shopping. For many in the community, we offer a place for safe and comfortable social interaction and provide a sense of community. 

“Working with partners and experts, we have fine-tuned the Access Wellbeing project over several months, ensuring that the service provides the most appropriate resources and signposting for our community.”

Maja Gandurska, Hub Manager at Access Wellbeing Poole, further underlined the importance of collaboration in launching the scheme: “PramaLife and Help & Care are looking forward to opening the doors of Access Wellbeing Poole for the community. We have worked hard to develop this project, and we now want to put this into practice by helping people with their wellbeing and mental health.

“Sometimes when you’re worried or struggling, it can be difficult to know where to turn. The team at Access Wellbeing Poole will offer a friendly ear, whatever is on your mind, and help people to access the right support, whether that’s from a charity or community group, the NHS, or another local service.”

The new hub in Poole is part of the wider Access Wellbeing programme of work, which sees organisations in Dorset working together to improve mental health and wellbeing support for the local community.

Mark Smith, Principal Lead for the Dorset Place Team at NHS Dorset* said: “We are delighted that Access Wellbeing Poole is open and available to people who will undoubtedly benefit from the support it offers. We look forward to getting feedback from those who use it which will help all local health and care partners when planning services in the future.”

Morad Margoum, Deputy Service Director for Mental Health, Learning Disabilities, Children and Families at Dorset HealthCare** said: “We are really pleased to have reached a significant milestone of our nationally driven community mental health transformation programme, Access Wellbeing, with the opening of the hub in Poole.

“We have worked with local people to develop Access Wellbeing and the services will offer different types of support depending on a person’s need, including earlier and easier access to help, which can prevent concerns from escalating. Overall we want to ensure more people get the right mental health and wellbeing support, at the right time and in the right way.

“As part of this new way of working, we will be building on the excellent work of our staff and use this as a foundation to help us move mental health services forward together.”

Dorset Mental Health Forum – a local charity that has been utilising experience to increase understanding around mental health in Dorset for 30 years – has played a key role in supporting the development of the Access Wellbeing programme.

Kerry Matcham, Peer Lead for Community and Specialist Services (East) at Dorset Mental Health Forum, said: “We have been proud to offer a lived experience perspective throughout the design and opening of the hub, amplifying the voices of individuals and the wider community. We look forward to continuing this work, supporting people to feed back and shape future development. There will also be regular opportunities within the hub for people to meet with and talk to our Peer Specialist team.”

Access Wellbeing Poole will be open to the public from Monday 29th January 2024, from Monday to Friday 10:00am to 4:00pm. 

For more information on Access Wellbeing Poole and the support available, visit www.ourdorset.org.uk/accesswellbeing. For more information about The Dolphin, visit dolphinshoppingcentre.co.uk or follow The Dolphin Poole on Facebook and Instagram @thedolphinpoole.