Champion Adam from Blackpool came up with the idea for an activity after watching the Be in your mate's corner ad. All Adam needed was a stool he could spray paint red, some Time to Change resources and he was off around the community bringing mental health into conversations.
Written by Adam, Blackpool Champion
What was the activity?
Two of us set ourselves the challenge of visiting 5 different locations in his community over 4 days. The locations were a park, health centre, cinema, college and pub. In each location I set up a space with the red stool and some Time to Change branded materials and had conversations with passers - by.
What was involved in the planning?
- Shortlisting potential venues
- Deciding venues based on popularity, demographics etc.
- Contacting venues through staff and third-parties
- Booked dates and times for each venue
What resources did you use?
- Two “in your corner” stools - purchased from Argos at a cost of £15 each and spray painted red
- Time to Change leaflets and posters downloaded from the Time to Change brand platform
- Our very own Blackpool Time To Change pin badges and tea bags to hand out
- Time to Change pull-up Banners (with support from Blackpool Time to Change hub)
- Coasters with Time to Change In Your Corner messaging on them and images downloaded from the Time to Change brand platform. These were printed by a local printing company at a good rate
How did you advertise the activity?
Publicised via social media beforehand to advertise and posted on Facebook throughout the activity using the hashtags #dontjudge #inyourcorner #itsokaytotalk #endthestigma
How did the activity go?
- The park was a particularly good location for engaging passers - by as someone sitting on a stool with posters and leaflets in a park drew peoples' attention and they approached me wondering what I was doing
- Staff and students at the college were interested and keen to implement what they had learnt into their daily lives
- I had many lengthy and meaningful conversations with people who were open to hearing my story and learning more about mental health
- There was a good mix of ages and people, especially in the park
- We met and recruited a new champion to the campaign who had their own lived experience of mental health problems
- I found that people felt comfortable opening up about their own experiences and how they could support friends and family to talk about mental health
- It was a great way to connect with a diverse range of people through a variety of locations and each location had people already there or passers - by
- The Time to Change branded coasters worked really well in the pub location and could be left so people could start their own conversations after the activity
Anything you would do differently next time?
- Allow more time to plan beforehand as it is easier to get venues with more notice and gives more time for planning
- Involve more champions in the activity so more than one person can share their experience and to share organising tasks and roles
- I wouldn't visit a Health centre again as people were less likely to want to chat due to being preoccupied with the reason for visiting the location
- I would research the popular times at locations beforehand so I could engage with more people
- Create an interactive challenge or activity as means of starting conversations and to engage people
- Link up with local press to better advertise