Online groups, activities and community support

Andy’s Man Club runs mental health support groups for men around the country. Some weekly meetings might be currently postponed, but members can access online meetings. There is also a national online group for those outside of group catchment areas. For information about how to book on to one of their sessions, either in person or online, email info@andysmanclub.co.uk. You can follow them on Facebook or Twitter.

Barca-Leeds runs the the Reclaim project, which currently has free online facilitated groups for men or women, as well as mindfulness groups. They aim to support people who feel cut off from the world, providing a safe space where you will be accepted and not be judged when talking about mental health.

The details are:

  • Reclaim online women’s group: space for women who feel cut off from the world in these unprecedented times, who are registered with GPs in LS12 and LS13. It will run every Thursday from 10am to 11.30am and you can download a flyer with more information.
  • Reclaim online men’s group: providing a safe place for men to not feel judged, to be understood and accepted when talking about their mental health, for men registered with GPs in LS12 and LS13. It runs every Friday from 10am to 11.30am and you can download a flyer with more information.

You can also find out more about the Reclaim project and groups by contacting Barca-Leeds:

Call 0113 220 9037
Email counselling@barca-leeds.org

Barca-Leeds also runs The West Leeds Men’s Network, which is using Zoom and WhatsApp to run groups online at the moment. The network aims to combat isolation amongst men in Armley and Bramley and there’s more information on the Barca-Leeds website or on the @westleedsmensnetwork Facebook page. You can contact also Ian for more information:

Call or text 07738 107 012
Email ian.pepper@barca-leeds.org

Battle Scars runs peer support groups for people who self-harm or their families. Face-to-face meetings are currently suspended, but they run a range of online groups using Zoom and a Facebook:

  • 5 standard groups running on different days and times, each group runs every 2 weeks and groups may be more suitable for people who frequently struggle with self-harm
  • Inbetweeners group for people who struggle with self-harm urges but rarely act on them, meets every 2 weeks on a Thursday from 6.30pm to 7.30pm
  • Do Something Different mental health peer support group, with a mix of easy creative activities and discussion exploring the issues of mental health, runs every 4 weeks on Tuesdays 6.30pm to 7.30pm
  • parents and families online group, meets every other Tuesday evening from 6.30pm to 8pm, you need to be invited by joining the mailing list on their website
  • Facebook support group, closed so only members can post and offer support, open 24/7 to members worldwide, see website for information

You can find out about all the groups, get details of when they meet and how to join them (some need you to register) on the Battle Scars website.

You can keep up-to-date with Battle Scars on their website and Twitter @BattleScars_SHFacebook @BattleScarsSelfHarm or Instagram @battle_scars_sh pages.

You also can contact them:

Call 07410 380 747 (not a support or crisis number)
Email info@battle-scars-self-harm.org.uk

Carers Leeds supports unpaid carers in Leeds. It has launched free online wellbeing workshops to help people look after their own health and wellbeing. Find out more and book a place on a workshop on their website.

Cloth Cat Leeds runs the Man About Town group for men in South Leeds, which has moved online. The group encourages men who may be socially isolated with creative, practical and fun sessions including both music and the digital arts. Groups and activities are available online, see their Facebook page or contact enquiries@clothcatleeds.org.uk. New members welcome.

Connect in the North has a Facebook page and run a Facebook group featuring activities and information for people in Leeds with learning difficulties. They also run the Through the Maze website, which has lots of information about activities you can do at home, online activities and groups, helpful services and more.

Covid-19 Survivors Group is a Facebook group run by Self Help UK for anyone in the UK who has survived Covid-19 and is living with the impact on their physical or mental wellbeing. The group will be molded by its members, through their voices and opinions. You can find the group on Facebook: www.facebook.com/groups/COVID19SurvivorsGroup/ or contact Self Help UK for more information: call 0115 911 1662 or email outreach@selfhelp.org.uk. More information on their website: www.selfhelp.org.uk/COVID-19_Survivors_Group_UK

Deaf BSL users online social group is run by Leeds Hearing and Sight Loss Service and Live Well Leeds. This online group will run every Wednesday evening from 5-6pm. Contact Jade Martin for more details: Text 07736 134 158 or Email jade.martin@bid.or.uk.

Death Cafes usually meet to eat cake, drink tea and discuss death and dying in a relaxed environment. Leeds Bereavement Forum (LBF) is currently holding virtual Death Cafes, which are proving popular. You can find more details, and information about the next cafe, on the LBF website. Email them to find out more and get the password: jane.robinson@lbforum.org.uk

Frazzled Cafe meetings have gone online hosted by Ruby Wax. Frazzled Cafe offer confidential and non-judgmental peer support, where people who are feeling overwhelmed by the stresses of life can talk openly, connect and feel heard.

Humans Being is currently offering a Long Distance Social Club for men, using Zoom to meet up once a week, open to men in a range of Leeds postcodes. The workshops explore how the culture of masculinity affects health and how we can start to challenge and change it for the better. You’ll get some valuable ideas that will help you support your own health and that of men around you.

Leeds Autism AIM (advocacy, information and mentoring) is running groups online using Zoom or Discord. Their groups are run by and for autistic adults living in the Leeds area. The current groups are:

  • Women-Aligned Group is open to autistic cis and trans women in the Leeds area. This includes femme-aligning non-binary people.
  • Peer support sessions -are fortnightly sessions with a theme or topic, as chosen by the group. The sessions will run for one hour each and you can join as many or as few sessions as you like.
  • Autistic-led Creatives Group is for all autistic creatives in Leeds to share and discuss their ongoing works. If you want to attend, you could do such things as read an excerpt from your novel, show your art or craft work, play a bit of music or discuss your latest ideas for your blog. You’ll get supportive feedback and encouragement from fellow autistic creatives.
  • Gaming group using the Discord app. The group will initially run on the fourth Tuesday of every month from 5pm to 6pm, but may become more frequent.

You can find out more about Leeds Autism AIM’s groups by seeting their website https://leedsautismaim.wordpress.com/our-services/online-groups/ which also has a group timetable. You can email leedsautismaim@advonet.org.uk for details of how to join a group.

Leeds Disabled People’s Organisation (LDPO) – running social and creative activities online at the moment:

  • Monday night quiz on the third Monday of every month – using Zoom, see their Facebook events page.
  • Series of creative workshops with Immortal Bloom, using materials from your recycling bin. You can find more about the next event here.
  • Online book club, were you can discuss elements of your favourite books with like-minded people.

Follow LDPO on Facebook or Twitter to find out more about upcoming activities.

Leeds Inspired has listings for online events including creative cafes and cinema hangouts.

Leeds Mindfulness Co-op offers accessible, accredited mindfulness courses in community settings in Leeds and Bradford. Some of their courses are free. During Covid these are both face-to-face and on-line. Leeds Mindfulness Co-op also offer self-funded courses and support within organisations. Download the latest offerings or sign up for their newsletter at the Leeds Mindfulness Co-op website https://mindfulnesscoop.co.uk/courses/

Leeds Mind Peer Support offers online sessions so that people can talk to others sharing personal experience and empathy, focuses on strengths, and developing skills and strategies to maintain wellbeing. People can join the online support groups and book online workshops and courses by visiting www.leedsmind.org.uk/services/peer-support/about-peer-support/.

Leeds Rhinos Foundation – Tea and Talk online runs on Fridays from 12-1pm for anyone to join on Zoom. If you want to find out more or join a Tea and Talk session, email health@leedsrhinosfoundation.org. You can also follow @RugbyLeeds on Twitter @LeedsRhinosFoundation on Facebook or @LeedsRhinosFoundation on Instagram to keep up-to-date with their community events.

Leeds Survivor Led Crisis Service is offering an online group using Zoom to help people in Leeds feel less lonely and isolated. You can join in every Thursday from 12.30-2pm to chat with others. For more information, Call: 0113 260 9328 or email survivor.led@lslcs.org.uk.

Leeds Wood Recycling – will be running woodwork tutorials online using Zoom for people in Leeds who are struggling with social isolation and loneliness. People will need to be online (computer, smartphone or tablet with access to the internet) and a have safe space to work. These tutor-led sessions are for suitable for people with no woodworking experience. There will be two morning or afternoon sessions per week, for two weeks, and Leeds Wood Recycling will provide a flatpack of all the materials and loan a pack of tools if needed. You can find their website here or download a flyer. To find out more about the workshops, contact their Community Engagement Worker Sam Williamson: Tel 07812 403 772 or email leedswoodrecycling.community@gmail.com

Live Well Leeds offers community-based support to people in Leeds with mild to moderate mental health difficulties. The service is offering telephone support sessions, online support groups, online creative community groups and referrals to sources of food and other practical help. Check out the service website. Contact 0113 219 2727 or info@livewellleeds.org.uk.

Live Well Leeds LGBT+ group – the social group is running online, using Zoom. LGBT+ people in Leeds who are struggling with their mental health at the moment are welcome to join. Contact 0113 219 2727 or info@livewellleeds.org.uk or follow them on Twitter @LivewellLGBT.

People Matters has services for people in Leeds aged 18+ with learning disabilities. They are running their social groups online and also hve themed daytime activity groups. You can find out more on their website or by contacting them: call 0113 234 6896 or email info@peoplemattersleeds.co.uk. They also use Facebook and Twitter to promote their latest activities.

Shared Harmonies – currently running free singing sessions on Facebook on Mondays at 10am and Fridays at 12.30pm, where you can warm up your voice and learn a song. There’s also a weekly singalong session using Zoom, for anyone at any level of singing experience. It runs on Wednesdays from 5-6pm. Find out more by messaging them on Facebook or emailing emma@sharedharmonies.co.uk.

Stitch Up – Craft and Wellbeing group starts online from Wednesday 27 January, from 6.30-7.30pm. This free online craft group aims to be a creative, welcoming and inspiring space to try new crafts, share skills and ideas with like-minded people or just take the time to listen in and work on your own craft projects. You can book a place using Eventbrite. The group will meeting using Zoom and you can find out more by visiting their website stitch-up.org.uk or following them on Instagram @stitch_up or Facebook @stitchupleeds.

Through the Maze – website for people in Leeds with learning disabilities, featuring lots of information about activities you can do at home, online activities and groups, helpful services and more, including a weekly timetable. See also Connect in the North, above.

Wellbeing for New Parents – is a free, fun online session for self-care and mindfulness in parenthood. Running in October and November from Your Space Leeds, you can book places on Eventbrite or contact kimg@touchstonesupport.org.uk for details. Keep up-to-date with Your Space Leeds on Twitter @YourSpaceLeeds

Young Black Minds – a groups for male-identifying Black individuals, aged 16 to 25, who live in Leeds, run by Leeds Mind in partnership with Black Health Initiative. If you’re interested in joining the group or would like any more information, please contact and self-refer to Leeds Mind Peer Support on peersupport@leedsmind.org.uk or call 0113 305 5800.

Yorkshire Mesmac – Currently running some of it’s LGBT+ social or support groups online, see their websiteFacebook or Twitter for up-to-date information. Yorkshire Mesmac is also running a new health and wellbeing course aimed at supporting the mental health of people ages 16-20 who are male or male identifying, contact Verity Smith for more information – Email: v.smith@mesmac.co.uk or Call: 07900 740 269.

Your Space Leeds – has online groups and socials via their Facebook page including their Chocolate, Chill & Chat and Journaling groups.

Online tools and courses

MindWell self-help information and resources
MindWell has information to understand and manage problems like anxiety, stress, panic attacks and low moods. It can also help you to access a wide range of self-help tools and techniques to help you to feel calmer and cope better with life’s challenges:

Leeds Mental Wellbeing Service online courses
If you are 17 or over and registered with a Leeds GP, you can access free online Omnitherapy courses delivered by NHS therapists. Courses can help you cope with a range of mental health difficulties including panic attacks, stress and anxiety, and depression. LMWS also offer a course in mindfulness and a course that can help understand your feelings if you’ve recently experienced a bereavement.

They are running Coping With Covid-19 Online Group Classes. These are four-week courses, developed and delivered live online, using the basic principles of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) to look specifically at how and why the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted our mental wellbeing. Please see the Leeds Mental Wellbeing Service website for details of all support available and more information about the service.

RecoveryCollegeOnline is an online college that offers free courses on topics such as sleeping problems, anxiety and stress.

NHS Leeds and York Partnership Foundation Trust, who provide specialist mental health and learning disabilities services in Leeds, has put together some resources and tools for their service users and members of the public.

Leeds Recovery College – face-to-face courses have been suspended but you can access helpful information including newsletters wth wellbeing tips and tools on the college website.

NHS app library – access a range of apps and digital tools through the NHS app library that can help you cope better with stress and anxiety. You can also access a free introduction to the Be Mindful NHS course.

Side by Side is a supportive online community, managed by Mind, where you can be yourself. It’s a safe place to listen, share and be heard.

Clic is a free online community for mental health support, managed by Mental Health UK. You can find self-help resources and have a Quickchat, with more ways to join in being added soon. It’s moderated 24 hours a day to create a safe environment.

Guides to using groups and staying safe online

If you’re new to using Zoom or WhatsApp or aren’t sure about being safe online, take a look at these guides, which are suitable for anyone to read or watch.

Easy Read information to help people with learning difficulties use Zoom, from Learning Disability Wales.

How to install and use Zoom on a computer – from People in Action.

How to install and use Zoom on a smartphone – from People in Action.

Easy Read guide to using WhatsApp groups, from Learning Disability England.

Easy Read guide to Keeping safe online from CHANGE.