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All Minds Matter in Kilternan Parish

Kilternan Parish has been promoting positive mental health and saying thank you to its volunteers at the same time.

As part of the Kilternan All Minds Matter programme, the parish ran a volunteer appreciation evening on January 6 for everyone who volunteered at the Gathering Grounds Cafe.

The Gathering Grounds Café is an outreach programme of Kilternan Parish. Its mission is to promote community and belonging, growth and healing.

“We have an amazing team of volunteers – baristas, bakers, servers, etc. – of all ages who make the programme happen,” explains the Rector, the Revd Rob Clements.

“Not only do we offer amazing coffee and treats, but we also provide a space for conversation and connection. It’s a space where health and wellbeing are valued. It’s a special place, but its only special because of the people who invest in it,” he added.

Mindful of the connection between gratitude and positive mental health, they wanted to say ‘thank you’ to all their volunteers. They provided a meal for volunteers and their significant others. Seventy people of all ages gathered, and a room was provided (with a movie and pizza) for an additional 20 children. A group of transition year students acted as servers.

On each table there was a jar with messages to encourage conversations about health and wellbeing. “The volunteers spend their time and talents filling other’s buckets. This evening of appreciation was an opportunity to fill up theirs,” Rob said.

The Kilternan All Minds Matter (KAMM) Programme aims to develop a mental health and wellness thread that can be woven into all parish activities. The steps to achieving this are:

  • Employing a wellness coordinator one day per week;
  • Developing a calendar of events and workshops;
  • Coordinating a ‘Tiny Teachers’ programme;
  • Developing wellness appreciation packs for teachers in the national school; and
  • Organising a KAMM Well–Fest.

It’s one of 74 seed funding projects supported by the Mind Matters COI mental health initiative.  A full list can be found at this link.  The projects come from all of our dioceses and may be encouraging for sharing ideas about promoting positive mental health in communities across Ireland.

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