A STUDENT from the University of Salford has been working hard to help vulnerable people and bring the community together with her Wellness Centre project.
Jayne Anderson, a 53-year-old final year Psychology and Counselling student, came up with the idea for The Wellness Centre after feeling an absence of community in Moston, where she grew up: “I used to see my grandmother sitting, looking out of the window and that made me feel sad. There are a lot of elderly people suffering from social isolation.”
Jayne, who has a background in residential childcare, is passionate about creating a sustainable, community hub that will provide much-needed support for isolated groups such as the elderly, young people lacking access to employment, adults with learning disabilities, and those seeking mental health support.
Since starting the project, three years ago, Jayne has received enthusiasm from locals, highlighting the need for the centre. Although the council have not yet guaranteed permission to rebuild on the land, Jayne is determined to push forward with her project, which she believes “will deliver in so many ways.”
Jayne said the University of Salford has been “amazing” in supporting her with her business plans. The Psychology course has taught her about the importance of research methods, which she has been able to utilise in her market research. She has also been able to develop pitching and business skills with the university’s Enterprise Team: “The university have equipped me with so many skills that have made moving forward more achievable; I can’t emphasise enough how inspiring and brilliant the Enterprise team are.”
In 2017, Jayne received £1,000 in funding from Santander to boost her project. She also attended a series of business bootcamps at Media City, run by the University of Salford.
Jayne plans on returning to the university to study a Project Management MA in September, which she hopes will strengthen her future lottery bids. She also aspires to do a PhD the year after. Her advice to anyone considering becoming a mature student is, “you are never too old to open new doors.”
Justyna Turner, Incubation Manager at the University of Salford, added, “Jayne’s passion and commitment to this project have been commendable. From day one she has been highly driven to make a difference in her local community. She has put in an incredible amount of work towards this inspiring business idea, and we were delighted to support her with business advice and a Santander Make the Difference grant.”