A Huddersfield-based mental health and crisis support charity is looking to expand across Kirklees to help more people who “fall through the cracks.”
Platform 1, founded in 2018 and based at Huddersfield Railway Station, now wants to find a second base in Dewsbury.
The charity helps mainly men – though there is now a women’s group – with mental health issues.
They differ from other services in that they offer an individual approach helping address all the problems in someone’s life, be that alcohol, housing, crime, drugs or employment.
Project manager Bob Morse said: “Some people fall between the cracks when they try to access services.
“It may be that if someone seeks help for alcohol problems the service they engage with only deals with the alcohol issue. They don’t deal with other issues in people’s lives such as housing, law courts, the police or probation. We go in and look at everything.
“With other services everything is pre-arranged and pre-destined and when your appointments are finished you leave.
“We provide a safe space where people can come and go. People come here because they have nowhere else to go or they are avoiding things.
“They may be lonely or isolated. It’s easy to fall into habits that are not good for you. They may sit at home on the PlayStation and have one can of lager which turns into four or six. Then they forget to go out, then they forget to wash.
“We don’t have all the answers – we are not super intelligent – but we have a simple holistic approach.”
Many of the people they help at Platform 1 come from North Kirklees and Bob said: “Dewsbury is crying out for us.”
Dewsbury MP Mark Eastwood visited Platform 1 this week and met Bob and project leader Gez Walsh.
Afterwards Mr Eastwood said: “It was great to visit Bob Morse and the team at Platform 1 to see first hand the fantastic work they do to help support people struggling with mental health problems.
“Following our meeting, I have invited the Platform 1 team to come and look around Dewsbury for a suitable location and to discuss further funding opportunities.”
Bob and Gez are not necessarily looking for premises in Dewsbury. The site, which could even be a vacant plot of land, must be big enough for workshop facilities for such as bike repairs or woodworking and also accommodate private offices for one-to-one conversations.
Platform 1 won an old Pacer train in a Department for Transport competition and it was craned into the station in July. The Pacer will be used as a kitchen and activity centre when fitted out inside.
The charity intends to open its centre to the public as part of the Heritage Open Days festival which runs from September 10-19.