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Psychology student to open own Wellness Centre

Thursday 28 September 2017

Jayne Anderson received funding from Santander to kick start her project to open a Wellness Centre.

What did you study and are you a student or graduate?

I’m a very mature student, I’m currently going to be entering into my second year of Psychology and Counselling.

How much money did you receive for your project and what is the project called?

I received an award of £1000 and the project is The Wellness Centre.

Can you tell me more about the Project?

The project is in its very early stages. The Wellness Centre is an old former Scouts Hut which I’m planning to develop into a centre that,as the names says, is about wellness. So in that we’re looking at doing a Nana’s Café which is about having elderly people in the area volunteering,we’re going to have a day care centre for adults with learning disabilities, a day care centre for young children and within that we’re really just going to be working with the community to see what the needs are. We have a Muslim community in the area, a Polish community in the area and we also have an African community in the area and the whole point of the Centre is to provide an environment where people can come together, share everything, but also we’re looking at mental health issues as well.

Why did you set up a social enterprise and why did you back this cause in particular?

I’m a very mature student and I have come back to University to do a Counselling and Psychology degree and to be honest the project has been a project that I’ve had planned for when I’ve actually got my degree but coming to University and noticing the award I thought “okay let’s see if we can have any interest” and what it’s done is actually prompted me to get the project up and running far quicker than I wanted to. It’s a project that requires an awful lot of funding but the Santander £1000 award, what that’s enabled me to do at this stage is to buy a computer to do some market research and over the summer holiday’s we’ve actually bought some gardening equipment and we’ve managed to clear the site. It’s getting a project up and running and it’s quite exciting.

What were you able to do with the money you received?

£1000 is kind of a dip in the ocean because the project is going to require about £400,000 worth of lottery funding and other kinds of funding but the £1000 enabled me to buy a computer that I’m going to do the market research on and also £500 worth of gardening tools, really heavy duty gardening tools because it was like a jungle and I think over the summer period, having those tools and being down on site has generated an awful lot of interest from the community so in that respect the £1000 has been so worthwhile. We know that there’s a massive need for the project and that will be what we’ll need to get the lottery funding.

What support did you receive from the University of Salford when applying for and using your award?

I applied last minute when I noticed the award on Blackboard and to be honest it was kind of a rushed application because I didn’t know anything about what was available at the University and it’s amazing, there’s so much support from the University, there’s the training in Media City. It’s just been a roller coaster, there’s so much support that I actually haven’t been able to access it yet. My course is not business it’s psychology and counselling but the support that’s provided at the University for people who want to set up a business is really outstanding.

What impact will the funding have on the people who benefit from your project?

As I say it’s very early stages so with regards to the £1000 that we’ve actually had so far, I think the impact has been that it’s enabled the community to see that there is potentially something that’s going to be there that will help and benefit them and the interest is growing from lots of people within the community. So measuring the impact at this stage is quite difficult because it’s the very early stages but it’s actually aroused a massive interest which in order to acquire the lottery funding that we need to get the project up and running we have to show that there’s a need in the community and the £1000 has established that there’s a definite need in the community.

So long term, when the Centre is up and running the impact on the community is going to be phenomenal. We’re talking about working with elderly people, that’s one of the beneficiaries, particularly elderly people who are socially isolated and that’s a really topical issue in the country in the whole at the moment. So we’re going to be benefiting the socially isolated elderly people, we’re going to be benefiting adults with learning disabilities,the young people in the area, particularly it’s a socially deprived area so what we will be looking to offer is childcare for young people aged 2 and then within that the potential is to, once I’m qualified at the University to do psychotherapy and psychology and counselling, is to offer counselling and therapeutic care for people within the community, so the benefit to the community is going to be massive.

What impact has this had on you?

It’s made me really motivated to get the project up and running but it’s also highlighted that it’s going to be a really difficult journey because there’s so much funding required to get it off the ground. On me personally, I’ve spent hours and my family have spent hours over the summer period physically cutting down trees and physically getting the site ready to move further so we can access further funding. I think it's highlighted that balancing the needs of the project and having to work, having to do the physical work,it’s going to be very demanding so what it’s highlighted to me is that I need to tap into more resources and get more people on board. So it’s kind of a self-awareness of where the projects at and where it needs to go and what support I need to get to make it go further and hopefully in the future Santander can help with that.

What have you learned about yourself during this process?

I’m really good at cutting down trees and excavating sites!But I think it’s highlighted that I am a really good community worker, I get on well with people who are socially disadvantaged and I think I have that connection that is needed to make the project work well.

What would you say to someone who is thinking of applying for a cash award?

Go for it, absolutely go for it! The whole experience, I mean I entered it not expecting to win anything and to be asked to represent the University for the larger award and the support I’ve received from the University. I’ve got a lot of experience in business but I didn’t realise how much I still have to learn so what I would say to anybody is go for it. Even if your business idea is unsuccessful it’s a start of a journey.

How did you find the process of applying for the award?

Really easy. Again, applying for the award wasn’t just a case of there’s the application get on with it, there’s so much support from the team at the University with regards to putting together a pitch, how to apply for funding, the support is there so that’s been as beneficial as the award if not more so.

If you could thank Santander for the opportunity they have provided what would you say?

Thank you so much Santander and please support me some more!

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