Tamworth Co-op supports vital work of mental health charity

A small, user-led Tamworth mental health charity which won a Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service in 2021 has received an unexpected cash boost.

Changes is the third charitable organisation to share a £750 handout from Tamworth Co-operative Society. Cheques have already been given to St Editha’s Church and Tamworth’s Number Eight charity.

Tamworth Co-op donated the money as a result of its annual Christmas Memorial and Carol Concert at St Editha’s Church being cancelled due to Covid. A collection is normally made on the night which is split between the church and charitable groups. Tamworth Co-op’s board of directors decided to make a direct donation to compensate the good causes for missing out.

Tamworth Co-op funeral manager Glen Speak at cheque presentation to Changes representatives
Glen Speak, deputy general funeral manager of Tamworth Co-op’s funeral division, is pictured with (from l-r) Changes project manager Yvonne Street, wellness co-ordinator Tony Colborne and volunteer Graham Street.

Glen Speak, deputy general manager of the Society’s funeral division, visited Changes’ base in King Street to see for himself the vital work that is being carried out and to present the cheque. He was hugely impressed by what he saw.

“Changes is a small charity which offers instant free help to people which in extreme cases saves lives,” he said.

“I’ve no doubt there are people now leading happy lives who would not be here at all if it was not for the fantastic work carried out in these premises. It’s a privilege to bring them this donation.”

Changes was formed in 2016 by project manager Yvonne Street and wellness co-ordinator Tony Colborne. They have both experienced mental health issues themselves and fully understand the devastating effects.

“Mental illness can cause some people to take their own life and the work we do is vital,” said Yvonne.

“It is absolutely crucial that people can get help when they need it. The pandemic made things worse for many sufferers and it was hard having to close our doors during lockdown. We continued to support people over the phone, but it is great that restrictions are being eased because face-to face support is so powerful, for both one-to-one and group sessions.”

Changes offers a 12-step recovery programme for mental health, supplemented with workshops, peer group support and expert leadership, as well as advice from people who understand the issues and feelings.

“We always try to get to the root of the problem, whether it is debt, bereavement, homelessness or physical and mental abuse. Issues can arise which tip people over the edge. People will fall but we are here to pick them up.”

Changes first operated in the town in 2011 but was set up as an independent charity five years later. Yvonne says she and Tony had to scramble around for every penny and even now funds are tight. Yvonne sill helps to raise cash from having a market stall where she sells donated items.

“We are grateful for everything we get and this donation from the Tamworth Co-op is much appreciated. It will help out with our running costs.”

The charity provides a safe, confidential, familiar and non-judgmental environment which is key to an individual’s recovery. All the services are free and not time limited, leaving users to access or top up support for as long as they want. Help is available for a range of mental health problems from anxiety and depression to anger issues. Users are also helped to build up their confidence and assertiveness, and to adopt a positive mental attitude.

Although the service is intended mainly for people from Tamworth and the surrounding areas, nobody in need is ever turned away.

“We are here for people who want to get well, no matter what their postcode is,” said Tony.

If you need support or want to volunteer to help at Changes call Yvonne or Tony on 01827 311006. For more information visit https://www.changestamworth.com

The group also has an active Facebook page.













Glen Speak-

Glen Speak M.B.I.E. General Manager of Tamworth Co-operative Funeral Service

Tamworth Co-operative Funeral Service is a member of the National Association of Funeral Directors which was established in 1905. All members abide by the NAFD Funeral Promise.

“By choosing us, you can be assured that the funeral is a fitting farewell to your loved one at a price you are comfortable with, that we will treat you and your loved one with respect at all times, and act with integrity. We will seek to fulfil any special wishes and requests.”

Scroll to Top