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Improving Mental Wellbeing

At Maples, we’re always thinking of ways to give our service users a happier and more fulfilled life. Having fun activities planned is one of the many things we do to achieve this goal.

This week we interviewed Flora King, who has recently become the Activities Coordinator at the Park. Flora was previously a Support Worker at the Park for 6 months, and is now getting into the swing of her new role. Flora tells us about her new role and her aspirations to plan fun activities that improve mental wellbeing for our service users.

Tell us about you and your passions outside of work "I am very boring, I like shopping, spending time with families and friends. I watch football quite a lot, nothing exciting. Everyone has said hiking so far, but that’s not me, I like to go home and chill!"

Tell us more about your role “I’ve recently become the Activities Coordinator at the Park after being a support worker for 6 months. As a support worker, you’re a lot more hands on and you’re supporting the service users with day-to-day skills and chores. But with activities, there’s more of a focus on getting the service users out and doing something fun.

I’ve started doing timetables and trying to get more of a routine going, my aim is to give our service users something to look forward to. If there’s a planned activity that’s not based at the Park, I organise it and see which service users want to go. I also see if we have time for any extra fun things, like ping pong, baking, or other in-house activities. Every day is different!”

Tell us more about the sort activities you plan? Do you have anything exciting in the pipeline? “I plan things like ping pong, badminton, walks, baking. I baked a cheesecake the other day, but I dropped it! I’ll plan admin too, which is scheduled time where we can focus on universal credit applications and stuff like that.

We’re going to mini golf soon, and I’ve also planned a Chinese New Year's Day. My personal favourite activity was probably go-karting, it was so nice to see the service users so excited, they loved it – it was really good fun. I think mini golf will be fun too, it’s something different. Even going to play snooker or pool, everybody loves it. I know this sounds extreme, but I do eventually want to do a skydive, I want them to raise money towards a mental health charity, it’s a big dream, but I’m hoping it’s possible.”

How do you feel like these activities help with mental health? “When you’re struggling with mental health, it’s easy to stay in bed all day and do nothing. Having something to do, and having planned activities gives our service users something to look forward to, it keeps everyone going.

When you live independently, you can go out at the end of the week and have a nice meal. Our residents can’t just go out and enjoy a meal, they can’t just get in a car and go somewhere nice, it can be boring sitting in their room. Having these actives gives them a reason to get out of bed, it breaks up the day and it gives them a chance to socialise and do something fun and different.”

What have you enjoyed about working at Maples? “My job is so rewarding, our service users are genuinely so thankful to us, whether we’re helping them with universal credits, or baking a cake with them, it’s the little things that make a big difference. It’s something that we don’t appreciate, if someone made us a cake – it wouldn't be that big of a deal. But I made one of our service users a cake and that was such a big thing for them.”

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