Social Enterprise of the Month: Making Space

Blog Created: May 30, 2024

We spoke to Sarah Booth, Senior Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner at Making Space, about the importance of supporting the mental health of people in Wigan. Their small Psychological Wellbeing Service team has supported 9,000 people over the last decade. 

Sarah said: “The National Institute of Health and Care Excellence’s clinical guidelines recommend psychological therapies as first choice of intervention to treat depression and anxiety. We are a Step 2 NHS-funded talking therapies service, part of Making Space, a national charity and leading provider of health and social care services. 

Our psychological therapies service offers mental health assessments and low intensity cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) for people who are experiencing mild to moderate symptoms of common mental health problems such as low mood, anxiety, worry, panic, sleep problems, phobias, and low self-esteem.

“We also support clients who are experiencing difficulties with mood/anxiety associated with long term health conditions and chronic pain.”

The Psychological Wellbeing Service holds its face-to-face clinics in some Wigan GP surgeries and offer a telephone service for anyone with a Wigan based GP.

All psychological wellbeing practitioners are degree-qualified with accredited IAPT training and are registered with either British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies (BABCP) or the British Psychological Society (BPS). 

Patients must be 16 years old and over and can be referred in via their GP or another professional or can self-refer. 

“Patients need to have some degree of motivation to engage with the process and be interested in the ‘here and now’ of their problems rather than focusing on the past,” said Sarah, who has worked for Making Space for 14 years.

“The psychological wellbeing practitioners and the computerised CBT treatment programme use a range of psychological interventions and teach individuals skills to support them to self-manage their symptoms and recovery. 

“Patients are predominately offered supported computerised CBT (cCBT) over six to eight weekly sessions. For those who are not suitable for cCBT or prefer 1:1 sessions, we also offer guided weekly self-help delivered face to face, via video call or over the telephone so our clients do get a high level of support throughout the programme to aid their recovery.” 

Mark* has a very familiar story. At the age of 27, he was lacking interest and energy, feeling on edge and restlessness, and having problems sleeping

The year before his relationship broke down and he was having financial difficulties. He had been struggling depression and anxiety ever since.

He had begun avoiding going to the gym and boxing, activities he loved, worrying he had lost who he was as a person. 

“It has always been the thing that people know me for,” he said. “I worried people would view me differently now.” 

Mark wanted to find coping strategies, manage his mood and anxiety better and to understand himself better as he felt himself withdrawing and disconnecting from others. 

He said: “I felt was letting myself and other people down, that I was not working hard enough. I was overwhelmed and couldn’t see a way out.”

After six weeks using the SilverCloud Space from Depression programme, Mark felt confident in his ability to use the tools and techniques he learned to enable him to stay well. He reported he had found the sessions and weekly support calls with his Making Space therapist very helpful.

Sarah said: “Mark was motivated to help himself and engaged consistently with process. The clients I support really do inspire me – therapy can be challenging at times, is a commitment and isn’t an overnight fix! I often feel a real sense of fulfilment on my clients’ behalf when they share that they are finding the therapy helpful and that they are managing their symptoms better by applying the techniques that they have learned in therapy.” 

As part of Wigan’s thriving VCSE sector, Sarah said: “It feels like there is a lot going on in Wigan and a lot of peer support among social enterprises.” 

She added: “I believe in helping people and in fair and equitable access to mental health care. My mission is to continue to do the best I can to support people who are struggling with their mental health. 

 “We have supported nearly 9,000 people with their mental health across Wigan borough. We want to be able to continue to grow the service and help more people.”

If you need help, contact Making Space’s Psychological Wellbeing Service on  or 01925 581755. Currently, there are short waiting times to be seen and start treatment. Interpreters are available.

*We have used the name Mark to protect the patient’s anonymity.

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      Wigan & Leigh Community Charity. Business Community Hub. Platt Bridge Community Zone.
      81 Ribble Road, Platt Bridge, Wigan. WN2 5EG
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