Thanks to continued funding from the NHS in Gloucestershire, The Cavern at Westgate Street in Gloucester will continue to open every evening from 6pm – 11pm.

The Cavern offers non-clinical mental health support to people in the evenings, when they often need help most, helping them feel less isolated, cope with anxiety and meet new people.

The café is run by trained staff and volunteers who offer a listening ear and low-level interventions such as board games, adult colouring and more inclusive activities such as quiz nights.

It offers an inclusive and supportive environment, with a ‘snug’ and quiet space upstairs when privacy is needed.

Dr Tristan Lench, Clinical Lead for Mental Health Services at NHS Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group, said:

“It’s sometimes difficult to know where to turn for support when life feels too much or you’re struggling to cope.

The Cavern is a really friendly place, and offers a safe and supportive environment for times like this.”

The café, which opened in 2015 alongside a community hub, is run by Kingfishers Treasure Seekers, a voluntary organisation with a long history of supporting people who have mental health problems.

Katie Tucker, Director at Kingfishers Treasure Seekers said:
“We are delighted to have continued support from the CCG, which will ensure that Support at The Cavern can carry on providing a safe space for those most in need.

It has been a lifeline for almost 200 people who are now registered to use the service, so it’s wonderful that we can continue to offer this desperately needed support.”

Professor Jane Melton, Director of Engagement and Integration, said:

“The Cavern is an impressive resource offering a great range of support to those who visit and spend time there.

We’re really pleased that the social interaction and activities provided will continue to be available to those who use the facility during the evenings.”

Councillor Andrew Gravells, cabinet member for public health at Gloucestershire County Council said:

“Places like The Cavern  which  give people informal support in a friendly environment are key in our work with our partners to do all we can to promote good mental health and  help reduce and prevent suicide.

This is such a great resource, very welcome and helpful. I’m really pleased to see these extended opening hours and we’ll do all we can to publicise them.”

Although based in Gloucester, the service is available to anyone in the county with mental health problems. It has close links with the county’s NHS and mental health services, for times when more intensive support is needed.

Anyone who needs support is welcome to drop in. Referrals can also be made through mental health teams, A&E, GPs, adult social care and the police.