BESS is a service that has a creative and innovative response to people who are experiencing loneliness through social isolation. We work to tackle the stigma that surrounds loneliness but more importantly we co-produce our projects to tackle the issue. 

We often work with people who feel they can’t make a connection that is meaningful in their life. Our team journey alongside that person to help see what is needed to get back onto the path they feel most connected. Working with kindness, the team will make gentle suggestion and use lived experience to demonstrate what can be achieved. 

 

BESS is here to challenge the unconnected systems that contribute to loneliness and advocate for those who feel they have no voice. Below are ways in which you can connect with us.

Community Engagement

BESS service currently offers three weekly activities across Blackpool and this year we are opening up this opportunity to connect with the community in new and creative ways. We will be working with those we have been unable to reach previously due to funding and projects will be updated on this page in due course.  
  • Crafternoon Group meeting (currently online for the month of January) Wednesday 2pm – 4pm at the Lowmoore Community Centre, Edmonton Place, Blackpool, Lancashire, FY2 0UT. All crafts are welcome and we love to learn new things! Sometimes we offer a one off workshop with partners but mainly we like to have a brew and chat.
  • Claremont Chatty Cafe (Online for the month of January) Meeting every Monday 11am – 1pm at Claremont Park Community Centre. Open to all residents in Blackpool for a friendly brew and chat with a chance to connect with others. 
  • Claremont Digital Group (Online for the month of January) Meeting every Tuesday 2pm – 3:30pm at Claremont Park Community Centre. Open to all men living in Claremont Ward who want to get digital and learn new things.
  • Elliot’s Place Development Days. Saturday 29th January 10am – 2pm and Saturday 12th February 10am -2pm. Open to young men living in Blackpool who want to help shape the service that Elliot’s Place Project will be providing.

 

If you would like to attend a group activity please contact us Here

Elliot’s Place Project

Elliot’s Place Project is here to engage young men aged 18-25 with peer support specifically around feelings of mental ill health and suicide. 

In 2021 friends, family and the community of Blackpool came together to raise money to help build a support space, specifically for young men, who are struggling with their mental health. The space created at the Empowerment Sanctuary garden is called ‘Elliot’s Place’ in memory of Elliot Taylor, who tragically lost his life to suicide after battling with mental health and having nowhere to turn for immediate help.

Social isolation can be one of the various key factors to suicide and Elliot’s Place will provide a safe space for young men to access support and gain meaningful connections within their community. Elliot’s Place will therefore help young men to make connections through activity or whatever way they feel comfortable to help them on their personal journey. 

  • Elliot’s Place Development Days. Saturday 29th January 10am – 2pm and Saturday 12th February 10am -2pm. Open to young men living in Blackpool who want to help shape the service that Elliot’s Place Project will be providing. Places are limited so please book using the link below.

 

To make an enquiry about Elliot’s Place please click here.
 

Claremont Digital Library

Claremont Digital Library is a project to engage men who are digitally excluded living in the Claremont Ward of Blackpool.

Set up during the coronavirus pandemic, the Claremont Digital Library project was first established by the Claremont Park Community Centre. There was a growing need for men to engage back into the community who had been digitally excluded.

In November 2020 BESS service manager Linzi took over the project building on the online social activities for the participants. Since then the group has grown in size and they have been sea fishing as well as planning a BBQ at the Community Centre. 

With a new member of staff attached to this project in 2021 the group has grown in new and positive ways. In 2022 we have plans to extend the sessions to Mondays with the Claremont Chatty Cafe and another third day engaging other communities within Claremont.
 
This group are always looking to engage with the community and they welcome anyone to join in from the Claremont area. 

To get involved please contact the Engagement Officer Here 

BESS Buddies

BESS BUDDIES was a volunteer led befriending service offering a weekly friendly phone call.

Set up during the coronavirus pandemic with no funding, we did not want to stop reaching out to those who may be experiencing loneliness and isolation at this time as well as keeping connected to those who were already regularly using our service.

The befriending service was volunteer led meaning that our volunteers kindly spent time each week calling a small case load of people each week for a chat. Usually this wasn’t the volunteers only job and we really cherished the time that was given. 

Participants received a weekly phone call from April 2020 until December 2021 meaning our volunteers have engaged with people for 20 consecutive months which is 80 consecutive weeks making 8,000 calls – a staggering 4,000 hours of one to one befriending! 

This service is now closed for referrals

The BESS Service Team 

Linzi Cason

Bess Service Manager and Empowerment Community Engagement Manager

Heather Bunker

Volunteer

Volunteer Vacancy

Volunteer Vacancy

John Benson

Claremont Digital Library Engagement Officer

John Chippendale

Elliot's Place Volunteer

Volunteer Vacancy

Volunteer Vacancy

Boz Philips

Crafternoon Facilitator

Mel Duckworth

Volunteer
Elliot's Place Project Officer

Rosie Watt

Community Engagement Officer
Volunteer Vacancy

Jason Rowland

Volunteer

Volunteer Vacancy

Volunteer Vacancy

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