Inclusive Mental Health Drive Provides Free Bus Transport to Festival
Visitors to this month’s Perth and Kinross Mental Health and Wellbeing Festival are being offered free transport to and from the event in an effort to boost inclusion and accessibility.
Now in its third year and organised by Perth charity Trauma Healing Together, this year’s festival theme is ‘Mental Health for All: Promoting Inclusivity and Connection’, aimed at breaking down the barriers people face when seeking or accessing support. Taking place on Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 August 2023, the festival will offer a packed programme of activities, talks and workshops, allowing visitors to explore everything from mindful photography, arts and crafts, a silent disco and all-ability fitness to art journalling, while also tapping into support with autism and trauma.
Now, festival organisers have secured £5,500 – £3,000 from charity Paths for All and £2,500 from Stagecoach – providing 500 free East Scotland DayRider tickets (usually £11 per day) for those wishing to attend either / both days of the event. The ticket will allow passengers from anywhere in the East Scotland zone, covering Perth and Kinross, Dundee and Angus, Fife, Edinburgh and Glasgow, to travel to Perth and back free of charge.
To sign up for the bus transport, visit https://festival-bus.eventbrite.co.uk
Roxanne Kerr, CEO of Trauma Healing Together and Founder of Perth and Kinross Mental Health and Wellbeing Festival said, “When shaping the content for this year’s festival, we were driven by inclusion and accessibility. Too often, we hear that people living in rural communities really struggle to access support for their mental health and wellbeing for a whole host of reasons, including transport and cost.
“Similarly, and especially during this cost of living crisis, many people living in towns and cities simply cannot afford to buy a bus, train ticket or drive to a festival. We are therefore absolutely thrilled to have secured this funding which will essentially remove any obstacles which might have dissuaded people from coming along.”
Sarah Elliott, Commercial Director for Stagecoach East Scotland, said, “Safety and the health and wellbeing of our staff and passengers is a top priority for us, and we’re thrilled to support this initiative to help provide free travel to the Perth and Kinross Mental Health and Wellbeing Festival this August with free bus travel. We are always proud to serve the local community in Perth and are looking forward to welcoming people on board our services who are heading to these events across the festival weekend.”
Rachael Prothero, Paths for All’s Smarter Choices, Smarter Places Development Officer for the Open Fund, added, “The Smarter Choices, Smarter Places Open Fund is delighted to be supporting Trauma Healing Together to encourage people to use sustainable travel to access the Perth and Kinross Mental Health and Wellbeing Festival 2023. Trauma Healing Together will offer free bus travel to attendees from rural areas and those struggling due to the cost-of-living crisis, promoting sustainable travel whilst removing barriers to mental health and wellbeing opportunities.
“The festival and project are important resources for the region, and we are really pleased that Trauma Healing Together is committed to providing a sustainable travel option to make sure the local community is supported to make the most of them. We are delighted to have also awarded £2,000 to support sustainable travel to the charity’s Pathways to Hope project.”
This year’s festival is funded by the Scottish Government’s Perth and Kinross Community Mental Health and Wellbeing Fund and Perth and Kinross Council’s Community Investment Fund.
Perth and Kinross Mental Health and Wellbeing Festival is organised by Trauma Healing Together with support from All Strong, Change Mental Health, Linda’s Ladies, Live Active Sport, Kelly McIntyre Photography, MoveAhead, Perth Autism, Perth Minorities Association, Plus Perth, Stephen Lyon Organisation, Endometriosis UK Dundee Support Group, Project Forte, ESOL, Trinity Church, Mindspace, SCARF, Starting Step, and Vitality Me.
For more information, visit https://www.traumahealingtogether.org/mental-health-festival-2023