A community centre in North Shields called Cloud 9 Wellbeing, which helps to improve mental health in the North East, has expanded its offerings thanks to a £5,000 donation. 

Cloud 9 Wellbeing has created a new meditation room at their business in Farringdon Road, which will assist them in helping more people return to full health.

Co-owners Susan and Rachel Universe have been able to do it thanks to a £5,000 donation by TSB to help them pay for an overhaul of the space.

It includes the redecoration of the meditation room, a new sound system, a new sofa, promotional materials, projectors and lighting.

The couple have both suffered with mental health illnesses and aim to help as many people as they can by offering a kind heart to all their clients and their community.

Rachel said: “The meditation room has been absolutely transformed since TSB gave us the grant.

“We have different sensory smells and sounds – it’s the ultimate meditation room I would have dreamed about going to and we’ve been able to do it thanks to them.”

Susan added: “We are going to help more people, because they are limited with their time and they will be able to come where they please.

“They will be able to come on their own and meditate, nobody is going to be holding their hand.”

The owners help people from all walks of life to look after themselves. And as well as the meditation room, they run alternative and holistic health sessions as well as a coffee shop for people to use.

James Simpson, 28, from Newcastle, suffers with anxiety and has been using the centre for more than two years, has found the centre incredibly helpful.

He said: “It has helped me so much with coping with anxiety, keeping calm and has done me absolute wonders.

“It’s helped me realise who I am. They are so supportive, dead friendly and don’t judge you for what your condition is.

“The classes are amazing and calm you straight down. You go there for yourself and it’s your time.”

Personal trainer Laura Parker knows how to look after her body, but the Universes help her care for her mind.

“When I come to Cloud 9 it’s usually just to chill out,” she said.

“I have a few treatments from Susan – mainly reiki. It’s a nice place to come and just relax.

“It helps with my anxiety. It’s me looking after me by coming here, it’s for my self-care.

“Mental health is a massive issue now and it’s at the forefront now.

“Cloud 9 helps people have a place to come and have somewhere they can share how they are feeling and be part of a community which makes them feel better about themselves.”

The Universes founded their business four years ago by starting the type of place they would want to go to.

They wanted to help people make their lives better by offering the services to improve mental health.

The business already has 20 subscription members, as well as people attending classes and using the coffee shop, and hope to grow to 50 by the middle of 2019.

From the start of next year, the unique meditation space will be open to all, with no set class times and people able to drop in from the community when they please if they sign up.

Susan said: “The whole model has been made possible by TSB’s grant.

“Our new room has been trialled by our existing members, who have been able to come and go to use it as they please.

“They are able to use it four or five times a week as opposed to coming to classes one or two times a week – they are getting more benefit from it.

“When I found out we got the grant I cried. I don’t think TSB realise what they have done for us.

“The ideas we needed money for and they came at that time – which we are eternally grateful for.”

Bev Gibson, Area Director, TSB North East England & Cumbria, said: “I’m delighted to hear about Cloud 9 Wellbeing’s plans to open their new open mediation space in the new year. It’s a very simple but powerful idea that I’m sure will make a huge difference to people lives.

“And that’s why we’re proud to support them. People helping people is at the heart of everything we do at TSB and Cloud 9 is a great example of that.”