Teachers from Adult Education Wolverhampton have been shortlisted for a prestigious West Midlands Combined Authority Mental Health Star Award.

The Like Minds Team has been nominated in the Large Organisation Team, Service or Organisation category, to recognise businesses, public services or voluntary organisations which have ‘gone above and beyond’ to support mental health and wellbeing in their area.

The team has built up a reputation for providing creative learning programmes, focussed on arts and crafts, yoga and pottery, that make a real difference to the lives of Wolverhampton residents suffering from mental health issues. 

The courses are designed to allow tutors to support students to move to a more positive state of mind, building friendships, gaining confidence and having a purpose. 

One student, who had a very difficult childhood that led to her adulthood being marred by severe depression, did a Like Minds course, using pottery as her creative medium. After a few years progressing with Adult Education Wolverhampton, Marie Smith is now doing a degree in Fine Art at the University of Wolverhampton and admits: "Adult Education saved my life!".

Fellow student Hannah Kelly, who suffered with low mood, said: "When I started, I had a lot of mental health issues, but since I've been with Adult Education Wolverhampton, my confidence has grown massively." She is now planning to start her own business. 

Councillor Chris Burden, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Education, Skills and Work, said: "The Like Minds team have achieved positive results for many students. Their trick is to listen to what students want and need and to flex the learning programme to meet individual needs. Ultimately, they provide a safe and nurturing environment which enable confidences, self-esteem and well-being to flourish.

"The team go beyond above and beyond and I am delighted that they have been shortlisted for a West Midlands Combined Authority Mental Health Star Award."

Also nominated for an award is Ranjit Singh from Wolverhampton Wrestling Club who has been shortlisted in the Individual category for people who have ‘gone above and beyond’ to promote mental health and wellbeing in their area.

The Chase’s Paul Sinha will host the West Midlands Combined Authority Mental Health Star Awards 2022 tomorrow night (Wednesday) to celebrate the ground-breaking work being done across the region to improve mental health and wellbeing.

This year hundreds of nominations were submitted which recognised acts of heroism and innovation that have helped people within our communities get through life during the Covid-19 pandemic. These acts will also heavily influence the work of the new Mental Health Commission as it reports later in 2022.

For more details, visit West Midlands Mental Health Star Awards 2022