Of the many things I like about working for WILD, one of the things I like the most is the community we create around us.
Although the media image of life in our county can often be portrayed as one of an idyllic sunny beachside community. For many of us living in Cornwall, the reality of the rural isolation, poor transport links, poverty and lack of community activities can often lead to huge problems of isolation and loneliness. If you then add a new born baby into this situation, the feeling of being alone and feeling isolated can often be magnified.
Feeling lonely isn't in itself a mental health problem, but the two are strongly linked. Accoring to Mind, having a mental health problem increases your chance of feeling lonely, and feeling lonely can have a negative impact on your mental health.
So, having the opportunity of going on a collective outing to an evening theatre trip with WILD mums from the Falmouth, Redruth, and Camborne groups, a WILD Project Worker, our WILD Art Worker, WILD Senior Management and a WILD 1-2-1 Caseworker seemed a brilliant thing to do on a Wednesday night.
From the moment we walked into the fairy lit gardens at Heligan, until we gathered outside the big tent called The Asylum we knew we were in for a special night!
A frog puppet leapt from person to person as we were given our tickets, while a musician played nearby, and as we walked into the massive theatre tent we didn’t know what else to expect. Some of us had not been to the theatre before, or to Heligan gardens before, or to a theatre show in a tent… and one of us had left their 12 month old baby at home with their family for the first time ever, so there were many unknowns. However, the great thing was that we all had each other, so even though I am sure all of us felt our own slight sense of apprehension, it felt ok because we all were there together as a WILD community ready to watch the show.
And what a show! A lot of what it was about was explained in the title – UBU Karaoke – and what a brilliant, fun, and thought provoking show it was. Singing power ballads, and playing party games, bouncing blow up balls onto the stage, it was a great experience. My most special memory of the night is looking across at us all laughing, not only smiling but really laughing.
I think the best way to sum up the night is from all of us…
‘You know like when you go on a school trip and everyone says it’s gonna be awesome, but actually it’s s&*t, it wasn’t like that at all.’ WILD Mum
‘Anything that can make me forget my baby for a few hours has got to be great.’ WILD Mum
‘I loved it.’ WILD Mum
‘It was really weird, but at the end I didn’t want to leave.’ WILD Mum
‘Can we go again?’ WILD Mum
‘To watch the mums having that much fun, knowing the effort it has taken to get themselves to Heligan, is beautiful.’ WILD Staff member
On behalf of WILD, a HUGE thank you to Kneehigh for giving us the tickets and the opportunity to see the show and also thanks to the WILD team for making the trip happen. Finally, thanks to the young mums (especially the mum leaving her baby for the first time) for being brilliant and brave in coming.
Evidence shows that being part of a community can often make things feel a little better. I feel very lucky to be part of such a supportive, fun and caring community that is created by being a part of WILD.