Get Living has teamed up with its charity partner Mind in Salford to create a ‘Mindful Christmas Tree’ at its New Maker Yards neighbourhood to help make a positive difference to the mental health of the people of Salford this festive season.
The build to rent operator behind the 800-home development at Middlewood Locks has installed a 25ft Christmas tree on Lockgate Square (M5 4GP).
The tree will hold more than 300 messages of bauble decorations, support, motivation and self-care reminders, helping uplift spirits for those who may be struggling with feelings of anxiety and loneliness this Christmas.
Residents at New Maker Yards as well as visitors to the development will be encouraged to take home the messages which will be tied to railings around the tree, containing information of the support services available from Mind in Salford.
While Christmas is often thought of as a joyous occasion, for many people it can be a challenging period, with around a quarter of the UK population admitting to experiencing increased levels of stress and anxiety, as well as loneliness.
According to research carried out by Mind this year, 60% of adults said that their mental health worsened during the initial lockdown earlier in the year. This has affected many people without any prior experience of poor mental health, and as a result more people have reached out to local services for support.
As the country faces further uncertainty over restrictions this Christmas, Mind in Salford expect these figures to continue to rise.
Naomi Evans, Strategic Communications Lead at Mind in Salford said: “Current events have made this year harder than others for many people. As we approach the festive period and people look forward to their Christmas plans, it is easy to forget those of us who will be spending time alone and perhaps away from their family for the first time.
“More than ever we need to look after our friends, family and neighbours and we hope that an encouraging message of support from the Mindful Christmas Tree at New Maker Yards will help people access the resources available and provide a message of hope for the end of this year.”
Mind in Salford became a Get Living charity partner after New Maker Yards residents were asked which local charity they would like to see the team support. Since then, £5,000 has been donated to Mind in Salford.
Kim Quickfall, General Manager at New Maker Yards said: “Our Mindful Christmas Tree has been installed as part of our ongoing relationship with Mind to help bring some festive cheer to those who will need it most.
“As tough as this year has been, it’s really shone a light on the strong sense of community spirit within New Maker Yards. Through virtual events and dog-walking meet ups, residents have found new ways to stay connected and our team has been here to support them in the neighbourhood throughout. To help lift spirits in lockdown, our team of eight hand packed and delivered care packages to all 250 homes and next week will be delivering care ‘stockings’, including ‘Mindful’ baubles, for residents to decorate their homes this Christmas.
“We’re delighted that these small but significant acts of kindness and good-neighbourliness were recognised at our industry awards when we won ‘Team of the Year’ last month.
“Through partnering with Mind we wanted to extend support to anyone who feels alone and encourage them to visit our tree on Lockgate Square and take a message home. Mind in Salford provides vital services for those who need help and we are proud to have supported them throughout 2020.”
 YouGov, 2019 https://yougov.co.uk/topics/health/articles-reports/2019/12/18/christmas-harms-mental-health-quarter-brits
 UKAA Festival of BTR Awards 2020