'It's hard for people to open up' - Meet the Meanwood woman bringing her community together with wellbeing hub

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Julie Barrow is on a mission to bring her local community together with a monthly wellbeing hub in Meanwood.

The Leeds City Council employee runs Angels and Stars, a bereavement support group which is behind the wellbeing hub.

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Open to everyone, it offers holistic therapies, stalls and opportunities to socialise over a coffee at Holy Trinity Community Hall on a monthly basis.

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Julie Barrow is on a mission to bring her local community together.Julie Barrow is on a mission to bring her local community together.
Julie Barrow is on a mission to bring her local community together.

"Due to Covid, a lot of people went through a lot and they're still quite nervous about coming out and mixing with people," explained Julie. "Places like this are invaluable at getting people out and making that connection because they can pop in here for 10 minutes or book on to a workshop if they need a more in-depth discussion about anything."

She founded Angels and Stars after a close family member had a stillbirth, which led Julie committing to providing support for those suffering with grief.

"It's hard for people to open up," Julie explained. "Some people are very private and don't want to talk about loss and about grief.

"Other people do want to talk but don't know where to go and where to start."

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Julie has been buoyed by the reaction from her local community, which has embraced the opportunity to communicate with others and place focus on wellbeing.

"Everyone's been really enthusiastic and everyone who's been has said they've really enjoyed it," she said. "We do get people who come back every month so that speaks for itself. People I speak to in the community and in general seem to think it's a really good idea."

There are no immediate plans for the hub to cease operations and Julie is currently collaborating with various organisations to provide various types of support and ensure as many people as possible are catered for.

Julie said: "I think the more support networks that are about, the better it is for everybody really."

You can keep up to date with the wellbeing hub events here.

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