Expansion of Neighbourhood Mental Health Cafés set to open across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland

The Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Health and Wellbeing Partnership are expanding the number of Neighbourhood Mental Health Cafés (previously Crisis Cafés) as they announce the next 10 cafés that are set to open.

Neighbourhood Mental Health Cafés offer local support for people who need immediate help with their mental health. The cafés are drop-in centres for anyone to come and talk about their mental health – no appointment needed.

Justin Hammond, Associate Director of Mental Health and Learning Disability at the Integrated Care Board, said: “This is an important project for the development of urgent mental health services across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland. Once all these 10 cafes open, we will have 25 cafés up and running across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.

“These extra cafes mean that people who need urgent help can find this help more locally. People can simply drop-in to the cafes, so there is no need to get in touch with a GP or other service to make an appointment before getting help.”

Tanya Hibbert, Executive Director of Mental Health Services for Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust said: “We are so excited for this expansion of the Neighbourhood Mental Health cafés for our local communities. We have seen an increase in numbers attending across the cafés already open, so to widen the presence further across the city and county will mean that more people can travel less to access this valuable support. The range of new providers will enhance the localised support for the communities they serve.”

Councillor Diane Ellison, Cabinet Member for Adult Care and Health at Rutland County Council, said: “I’m delighted that Rutland finally has a dedicated Mental Health Café and that Pepper’s is the location. Pepper’s is already well-known for being a safe and welcoming place to go. Having a recognised Mental Health Café here is a bonus for everyone in Rutland because any of us could need help with our mental wellbeing at any time. People must be able to access support in different places – not just through their GP.”

Councillor Louise Richardson, lead member for health and wellbeing at Leicestershire County Council said: “Mental Health is an important aspect of the Health and Wellbeing strategy for Leicestershire County Council. Therefore, we very much welcome the arrival of new Crisis Cafés in Leicestershire which provide an opportunity for those who are vulnerable and in need of support around their mental health.

“With access to help and support at a critical time in their lives, in a safe and friendly space closer to home, we want to prevent escalation and improve the mental health of those attending.”

Councillor Vi Dempster, Assistant City Mayor for Public Health for Leicester City Council said: “I am delighted to welcome these new cafes to the city. We know that people want more local support for their mental health and these cafes could provide that first step for someone to reach out for help.

“I am looking forward to getting out and visiting them as they start to open over the coming weeks and months.”

Almost a year after the launch of the first 15 cafés, six new providers will be running their own, as well as two providers from the first round.”

Quotes from the new café owners

Syston: Tracy Pollard, project manager at the RCC (Rural Community Council Charity Leicestershire & Rutland) said: “Having a Neighbourhood Mental Health Café in Syston will make a real difference to the town and the surrounding areas – with over 12’000 residents in Syston alone, and great access links to other local villages, it makes the perfect place for someone to be able to access mental health support in their local area, without having to travel into the city”.

After running a local project, primarily targeting mental health in Melton & Rutland for the last two years, Tracey knows how important this café will be in helping and supporting people with urgent mental health and wellbeing needs.

“We wanted to create a unique café, combining a welcoming, safe space for socialising, and a confidential area for individual support, where people can feel calmer and more confident about getting the help they need locally. Our rural coffee connect barista coffee van will attend each café, offering free hot drinks to anyone who comes along – a warm drink and a listening ear goes a long way in helping people feel more supported and positive about their future”.

Rutland: Pippa Gorman, Development Manager at Pepper’s – A Safe Place said: “We’re thrilled to be running the Neighbourhood Mental Health Cafe for Rutland. With experienced listeners on hand and transport options available we hope the cafe will be of great benefit to locals in times of need, providing a safe and welcoming support hub. We’re looking forward to our launch date and to opening our centre for two new evening sessions. And we’re grateful to VAL and the LLR team for enabling us to bring more mental health support to our community.”

Measham:  Tony Donovan, Executive Director of Age UK Leicester Shire & Rutland said: “We are looking forward to delivering a crisis café to support people in the Measham area. This is a great opportunity for us to extend our range of services to work with people across the adult age group and to support the mental wellbeing of local people. We are confident that our established track record of delivering services and support in the local community was a contributing factor towards the success of our funding bid.”

City East: Rehana Sidat, Founder/Chief Executive Officer of Jamila’s Legacy said: “I’m really pleased and honoured that Jamila’s Legacy has been selected as one of the providers for the Neighbourhood cafes. We have built trust with local people & are well known in the community and

have strong links with community and voluntary organisations in the area. Our team has extensive knowledge of working at grass roots level and supporting the local community. The Neighbourhood drop in cafe will enable us to compliment and expand our current provision and provide more structured and extensive support for people struggling with mental health problems”.

City West: Laura Gray, from Saffron Lane Neighbourhood Council said: “We know that anyone might need a bit of help occasionally. We hope that the addition of the Crisis Café will mean that we are able to strengthen and expand the ways in which we can offer that support to local people”.

The grants are being administered on behalf of the NHS by Voluntary Action LeicesterShire (VAL) who will continue to work with the Cafes as they set up and develop.

For more information on the Neighbourhood Mental Health Cafes, click here.

A full list of successful applicants

Organisation Area (s)
Rural Community Council Syston (Charnwood Borough)
Age UK Leicestershire and Rutland Measham (North West Leicestershire)
Pepper’s – A Safe Place Rutland
Saffron Lane Neighbourhood Council Saffron (Leicester City)
Jamila’s Legacy Highfields (Leicester City)
Team Hub CIC New Parks (Leicester City)


Successful applicants with existing Neighbourhood Mental Health Cafés in LLR

Organisation Area (s)
Beacon Care and Advice CIC in Partnership with Blaby District Council Enderby (Blaby District)
Mental Health Matters Eyres Monsell, Thurnby Lodge (Leicester City), Earl Shilton (Hinckley and Bosworth)