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New group to launch for people suffering with their mental health

A businessman is aiming to form a group which helps people suffering with their mental health.

Peter Prior is executive chairman of Summerleaze Limited, a sand and gravel extraction business his parents founded in Maidenhead 90 years ago.

Seeing people close to him struggle with their mental health has shown Peter ‘it’s a lonely world out there’ and that ‘there’s a bit of a hole’ when it comes to mental health provision locally.

He said: “You feel unsupported, either as someone who is ill, or someone who cares about someone who has got symptoms of mental health,” he said.

“You don’t know where to go for help.”

The nearest group run by mental health charity Mind is in West Berkshire and Peter said ‘there’s a limit to what local authorities can do themselves, they have budgeting constraints’.

“The mental health problem doesn’t seem to be getting any better for people, and because it’s World Mental Health Day on October 10 we thought it was a good place to make a start,” he said.

“We’re going to see if we can put together facilities to see if people can come to terms, and get over their mental health problems as much as they can.”

He added: “It’s not an easy thing to do but we think a lot of people will benefit to know that it’s not a stigma, it’s an illness, and to try to help them to contribute to the community again.”

With ample experience of starting businesses and being involved in different community groups, Peter knows it won’t necessarily be easy.

“I know the challenges of starting a group of any sort, because you start from more or less nothing.”

He added: “You never know how it’s going to turn out, but we’re going to do our best to help people with these challenges who seem to be growing in number.”

Anyone suffering with their mental health – and those supporting them – are invited to join the group’s first meeting at North Maidenhead Cricket Club, off Summerleaze Road, next Thursday between 10am and noon.

Peter also wants to enlist the help of professional mental health practitioners who can lend their expertise.

For those who may struggle getting to the cricket club he is hoping to arrange transport to and from the meeting from a central location, for those who want to attend.

To find out more, to register interest or to offer professional support contact peter@summerleaze.com

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