Mind Moves is a mobile mentoring service based in Merseyside, taking place from a car, or on a walk – literally, while on the move, aimed at supporting people with their mental and physical health and guidance around better decision making. It is a referral service, aimed at supporting people from 11 years to adults who need a little extra support or guidance.
Mind Moves was set up by Keith Gabbidon-Thompson, after working for over three decades as a youth worker.
“As a young man, I was presented with many challenges that formed crossroads in my life. Some paths I chose well – and others, not so well. However, I was lucky enough to engage with a youth worker, who mentored me and helped me to make better choices and decisions, which ultimately changed my life and turned me away from a negative path. I know the difference a supportive mentor can make to a person’s life, because I was once that person, and their support turned my life around.”
The concept for Mind Moves was born out of recognition that some people find targeted (one to one) discussions over a table too intense. Some people find it difficult, invasive and awkward to engage in this type of direct eye to eye communication.
It is a well-known fact that people can have a deep and meaningful conversation with a ‘taxi’ driver during their journey from the back seat and they engage through the driver’s mirror. Passengers naturally look at the mirror or out of the window to consolidate their thoughts and engage in positive interactions. Mind Moves follows this same theory in that the service takes place in a car or while walking to nurture a natural conversation while on the move.
As a recognised Key Worker (Youth Worker) Keith has been in a position to continue operating during the pandemic and this is more important than ever given that Covid-19 shows many people within communities are struggling to cope during these extremely unprecedented times and then are likely to also face challenges as they eventually return to work or school, after months of living through the crisis. The pandemic has put a huge strain on many people who were already struggling with their mental health due to traumatic experiences, social isolation, a loss of routine and a breakdown in formal and informal support.
Funding will be used to offer programmes to individuals in need, enabling Mind Moves to offer appropriate interventions to vulnerable or at-risk people without them needing to seek funding themselves to access support.
Keith’s ambition for the future is to have a team of mobile mentors so Mind Moves can offer support to more people and have an even greater impact on the community.
For a new venture, Keith has made a big difference already. This funding will provide free sessions to those in the community in most need of support during these challenging times.