Since 2019, SGS College LRCs have been involved with the mental health awareness campaign, Holly’s Pombombs.
Holly’s Pombombs was set up by the family of Holly Cowlam after she sadly took her own life in 2018. Holly’s Pombombs uses the making and displaying of yarn pompoms to promote the Time To Talk campaign. Time To Talk focuses on raising awareness of mental health issues by encouraging open and informal conversations to bust myths about mental health, break down barriers, and to help prevent, through discussion, feelings of shame, isolation, and worthlessness that so many of us often feel.
For the past two years SGS LRCs have been involved with Holly’s Pombombs and Time To Talk by running pompom making workshops in our libraries, and then “pomboming” locations around the SGS campus! If you’re not new at the college this academic year, no doubt you have seen our colourful pompom displays scattered around in conspicuous locations – perhaps you have even made some pompoms yourself!
This year things are, of course, a little different. We are a year into a pandemic, and currently in the middle of a Second UK Lockdown. As SGS College is now only open in a very limited capacity, obviously we are sadly unable to run our pompom sessions as usual.
But does this mean we give up? Call it a day for this year? Write it off as futile? Absolutely not! Now more than ever we all need to engage in open communication about mental health – and as many are feeling the strain of isolation in Lockdown, online engagement with the people and communities which surround us can be literally life-saving.
Time To Talk Day is on Thursday the 4th of February, and Holly’s Pompoms is Saturday the 13th of February (Holly’s birthday). Throughout this period, SGS LRC will be sharing video sessions and tutorial links on pompom making and other craft activities. On Thursday the 4th we will be running a dedicated virtual Pomboming session via Teams.
Anyone who wants to get involved can make pompoms from home and then display your pompoms yourself on Saturday the 13th. You can then share pictures of your pompoms on social media (including on the college Teams site!) to get discussion going, and to show off how crafty – or not! – you have been! You can use the hashtag #HollysPomBombs.
We will also be getting involved with Thursday “Crafternoon” session alongside SGS College’s Student Union, so come along with any craft project you like for a cuppa and a chat!
Online Crafter Pomstitchtassel will also be running an online workshop to raise money for the charity MIND UK. You can find more information on this event and, if you like, buy a ticket to attend, by following this link.
If you are having trouble with your own mental health, you don’t have to struggle alone. If you are a student at SGS College, you can contact Ben Johnson at the Student Union by telephone on 01179092413 or via email at SU@sgscol.ac.uk
There are also many external support systems in place to help you. Please see the information below, and please don’t be afraid or ashamed to reach out for the help you deserve.
Samaritans – for everyone
Phone number: 116 123
Papyrus – for people under 35
Phone number: 0800 068 41 41
Monday to Friday 10am to 10pm, weekends 2pm to 10pm, bank holidays 2pm to 5pm
Text: 07786 209697
Childline – for children and young people under 19
Phone number: 0800 1111
The number won’t show up on your phone bill
Bristol Mental Health crisis line – Bristol residents
Phone number: 0300 555 0334.
This line is open 24 hours a day, every day
Togetherall 24/7 – SGS College Staff and Students
Professional and peer-to-peer online support, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Sign up is required.
Reach out, talk, and get the help and support that you deserve.
Mental Health Matters.