Sarah's story

“All these people at the Centre they’re so lovely, it feels like coming home each week.”

Themes: Social prescribing; embroidery group; mental health; anxiety; community; creative expression.


Sarah was struggling with her mental health when she was referred to one of our Mental Health Community Connectors. Through her time spent at the Centre she has found tools to navigate her mental health, close connections, and a supportive new skill. Read Sarah’s story below.

“I started coming to the Centre because I was really not in a good place. Before I got sick, about 18 months ago, I didn’t know anything about depression and I didn’t know anyone who had it. Everyone around me was just living their happy lives. So, none of my friends really knew what to say or do. I didn’t do anything outside of what I was used to, it was just easier to not go to anything and to hide myself away. I was really anxious. I was so desperately trying to feel better and I think the Centre was what I needed to push myself out of my comfort zone.

“The moment I met Eleanor, one of the Centre’s Mental Health Community Connectors, I instantly clicked with her. She found the group that I’m with now, Thread Heads. It’s been nice to have someone that you know is in your corner. A lot of day-to-day tasks I have to perform feel scary because I’m always worrying about being in trouble or just feel too overwhelmed to do them. In the past I would just put them off and not doing anything at all. But, Eleanor is just absolutely fabulous. She lets me take things at my own pace with no pressure or expectations. She’s helped me with paperwork and practical tasks as well as joining Thread Heads.

“I’ve been coming to Thread Heads every week for about eight weeks now. It’s been nice to meet other people who have similar problems, everyone is really open to sharing information about where they’ve found support– knowledge is power! Since we are all doing an activity together and people are just having normal conversations, it never feels like you have to talk about why you are coming to the group. You just come in, get given a needle and thread, and talk about the weather. It’s the most normal thing that you can do when you don’t feel like you’re normal. The group shows you the other side when you are in a bad place because lots of the ladies have been through it already. All these people they’re so lovely, it feels like home each week. It feels safe. It’s like a hug.

“I think sometimes when you’re unwell you think you’re no good at anything and that there’s no point trying anything new. But I had never done anything like embroidery before and it is the best thing that’s ever happened to me. I love it! For me embroidery is a kind of mindfulness, meditation.

“When I first started working with Eleanor I told her that I wanted to be working towards a goal. Even if it took a year it’s about having a project. On all those days where you’re not doing well you can still at least accomplish something. Just embroider one leaf and you’ve done it! I bring my embroidery everywhere with me now. I’m a workaholic when I’m not well, I will work 12-14-16 hours a day just so I’m not thinking. So, this is so much better. It’s made me less anxious because I have to sit and stop and do it. It’s peaceful.

“The group is also really accessible. I bring my own embroidery things with me, but the group provides the things you need if you don’t have anything, so there’s no barriers. If you don’t know what you’re doing someone’s there to teach you without doing it in a really structured way. I started off with something really simple, just a little flower that the group lead had drawn on some fabric for me. I’m now on to my second piece which is going to be a cushion cover. I wait all week to come to the group and the Centre!

“I would tell anyone thinking about coming to the Centre that even if it feels scary it’s really, really worth it. Everyone’s really lovely. There’s so much space for everyone, we can certainly have more people join Thread Heads! Even if you feel like running away and not talking to anyone about the services just sit down and have a coffee in the café or take a walk in the park. It’s a really social place. It doesn’t matter how you interact with the Centre you will always feel safe and welcome.”