It’s hard to believe it, but our first ever Talking FreELY event is over. In a blur of boiling kettles, bouts of mindfulness, pieces of cake and conversations around mental health, our four hours at the Ely Cathedral Conference Centre flew by.
When you launch a new initiative like Talking FreELY, which is run solely by volunteers with busy jobs and home lives, it’s hard to know if it will be a success. Have we done enough to get the message out? Will people know how to find us? Does Ely even need something like this? Suffice it to say that after this morning, we feel confident in saying that it’s a resounding yes to all three. The footfall was beyond anything we had imagined, and the conversations we had showed that the people of Ely need and want the opportunity to discuss mental health openly and freely. We felt humbled by the stories people shared with us, and we also enjoyed simply passing the time of day with so many people from our wonderful city.
But this day would not have been possible without a whole host of people, from locals like Helen, Fiona and Tanya who made us cake for our pop-up cafe, Grovemere Property who gave us an extremely generous donation that made holding the event a lot easier, our incredible speakers Naomi Farrow and Steve Morley who gave up their time to talk about their experiences and take questions from attendees, Sarah Parkin who ran free guided meditation sessions all morning, our amazing team of volunteers who did everything from having conversations to washing up mugs and plates, and all of you who came to the event and helped us all to start Talking FreELY. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
And we can’t write this blog without thanking our founder Tony, who spotted a need in our city and became determined to provide a valuable resource. This is only the beginning for Talking FreELY, and we’re so excited about what lies ahead. Keep an eye on this site and our Facebook page for our future plans, and in the meantime, be sure to keep the conversation going. It will make this man very happy.