Banbury mental health charity donates slow cookers to people who attended money saving course

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The Banbury branch of the mental health charity Restore has recently donated 10 slow cookers to members who took part in the charity’s Simply Savers course.

The Orchard Recovery Group charity, which is an offshoot of the national mental health charity Restore and is based out of the warehouse on Calthorpe Street where they also operate a shop, has just completed running its popular course, which ran for four weeks every Thursday afternoon. It introduced the participants to a number of different ways in which they could save or manage their money better.

The Banbury branch of Restore has been operational in the town since 2010, and in that time, they have helped hundreds of people who experience a wide range of mental health issues and who either self-referred themselves to the charity or have been put in contact by their doctors.

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Recovery coordinator Jacqui Vincent-Potter said: "People come to us for a structured day because people with mental health issues need to have structure. So they will be given a day of the week to come in and do some activities, and at the end of the day we will have a meeting where we discuss what they have achieved that day.

Members of The Orchard sit together to plan their days activities.Members of The Orchard sit together to plan their days activities.
Members of The Orchard sit together to plan their days activities.

"We do different workshops with the members, at the moment we have a craft workshop with Activate Learning from Banbury and Bicester College, and yesterday morning we had a Tai Chi workshop. Any member, no matter what day they come in, is free to join those workshops.

"One of the most exciting workshops we are involved with is going to The Warriner School farm on Mondays. The members absolutely love getting involved with the lambing, feeding, and taking care of the animals there."

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The Orchard has a long-standing relationship with leading social housing provider Sanctuary Housing, as many of the charity’s visitors are tenants of Sanctuary and have been pointed in the direction of the charity.

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The housing provider often funds many of the projects and workshops that Jacqui and the team at The Orchard create for its members, including the popular Simply Saver course, where Sanctuary Housing provided the money to purchase the slow cookers.

Jacqui said: "Sanctuary Housing is really good for us, they helped to pay for the Simply Saver course that we have just run, and they have supported us in a number of other projects we have run."

The Simply Saver course demonstrated easy ways that anyone can use to help manage their finances better, from phone apps and websites that compare prices to cheaper meal plans and places to easily sell old clothes and items no longer needed.

The Orchard is now planning a meal where the members who participated in the course will have the opportunity to show their gratitude to those who funded and organised the course, including people from Sanctuary, by cooking food for them.

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Speaking about the work the charity does in Banbury, Jacqui said: "It really gives them something to look forward to. It gives them the opportunity to learn new skills, and the group atmosphere is incredible. People help each other and learn from one another, we feel it's important that group activities are provided."

The Orchard Recovery Group is actively seeking new volunteers. To get involved with them, contact by email at [email protected] or call on 01865 455822.

For more information on the charity, visit:

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