Church mental health project provides laptops to help people keep in touch amid pandemic


A church-run mental health project has provided five laptops and internet data to help participants stay in touch from home during the pandemic.
Revd Dr Chigor Chike and  Project Coordinator, Rev Ajennie Subaran

Stepping Stones, which supports people living with mental ill health, is run by Emmanuel Church in Forest Gate, east London, in partnership with East London Foundation Trust.

Running a weekly drop-in session for the past five years, it has long promoted wellbeing for those experiencing mental health difficulties and their families.

Now the drop-in sessions are online with laptops provided by the church to those who have limited access thanks to a grant from the National Lottery Community Fund.

The grant also pays for internet data where needed to help participants join the sessions.

Dr Chigor Chike outside his church

Revd Ajennie Subaran, Curate at Emmanuel Church and lead at Stepping Stones, said:

“Stepping Stones is an important part of our ministry at Emmanuel Church. We are a place of inclusion and welcome for those experiencing mental illness.

"Coming to the group can be the only outing for some and so it is important that we provide somewhere where we can come together in worship and socialise. Even though we are not able to meet in person at the moment, our online sessions have helped us stay in contact and support one another”.

Revd Dr Chigor Chike, Vicar of Emmanuel Church, said the laptops would make a huge difference. “This will help our participants cope with Covid restrictions by continuing to access our services from home.”