Well Café: Socialise and skate at National Ice Centre's weekly mental health meet-ups in Nottingham

Meeting new people can be tough but this is a fun way to do it in Nottingham
Well café is a safe space to talk about your worries and meet like-minded people Well café is a safe space to talk about your worries and meet like-minded people
Well café is a safe space to talk about your worries and meet like-minded people

Adults who struggle to make friends are invited to a special weekly event at the National Ice Centre in Nottingham.

The weekly social session has launched in partnership with Nottinghamshire Mind, to allow adults to meet new people, 'social ice' and skate.

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The #WellCafé sessions are designed to give people the chance to connect with others in the community, enjoy conversations, and take part in physical activity to boost wellbeing.

Taking place every Monday 10:45am - 12:30pm, the weekly drop-ins will be hosted by Nottinghamshire Mind in the Rinkside Encore café.

Open to all aged 18 and over, people can pop along for some or all of the session. This comes with the opportunity to ice skate for a reduced price of £5 from 11am - 11:30am. Skate hire is included and the ice is accessible to all.

Social-Ice! Social-Ice!

"A safe place for like-minded people"

Beth Williams, Supportive Listening Administrator, Nottinghamshire Mind, said: “Mental health is becoming a lot more prominent in people’s lives. The chance to talk about it in a safe place with like-minded people may be just what someone needs to tackle difficulties in their lives. Our cafes are also a chance to socialise and meet new people in your area, developing a sense of belonging.”

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The initiative has been launched following a long-standing relationship between the National Ice Centre and Nottinghamshire Mind. The charity was present to offer support for those struggling with the recent tragedy involving the Nottingham Panthers.

Beth added: “We hope that people find comfort in our cafes and reassurance that they are not alone, with the overall focus on improving people’s wellbeing. We aim to help individuals with their mental health and provide support wherever they are in their journey.”

'Social Ice'

By throwing ice skating into the mix, the organisers hope the new ‘Social Ice’ will attract a wider range of people who would be keen to take up the opportunity to be active. The first session took place Monday 26 February and is now up and running each Monday. 

One of the participants at the first session was Crystal, who said: “Being on the ice gives me a sense of freedom that I don't get elsewhere, and it helps me to open up about things that are on my mind.”

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Kaylie Bickle, Operations Manager, National Ice Centre, said: “We’re delighted to be supporting Mind to hold the weekly social meet-up and skating sessions. We know how much fun our customers have on the ice, it’s a great way to break down barriers and enjoy time in a safe and supportive environment.”

*The charity holds #WellCafes all over Nottinghamshire with the National Ice Centre being its first in a city centre location. As well as just turning up, people can fill out the referral form on the Nottinghamshire Mind website or call their general line - 0800 470 0203, so they will know who to expect and can answer any questions about the group beforehand.