Chalkhill residents unveil Memorial Wall as part of project to promote mental health and wellbeing

02 February 2023

Summary:The Memorial Wall is part of a resident-led wellness initiative funded by MTVH, Brent Council Public Health team, Chalkhill Community Trust Fund, and the Young Brent Foundation.

Residents, councillors, and local community & voluntary groups have come together to unveil a new ‘Memorial Wall’ at the Chalkhill Community Centre. Designed by local artist Errol Donald, the wall commemorates those who passed away in the Chalkhill community, as part of an initiative helping to promote mental health and wellbeing among local residents.

In order to increase wellbeing in the community, more than 30 Chalkhill residents have been trained as mental health first aiders, with some using their skills to help other members of the community. This group identified the impact of grief, bereavement and loss on the mental health of local people and initiated the ‘Memorial Wall’ project as a way of remembering and helping process the loss of those who passed away. In addition to the creation of the ‘Memorial Wall’ itself, the project included three workshops for residents on art and wellbeing, and it also included the creation of a poetry resource book for children.

MTVH partnered with a number of Brent-based community and voluntary organisations to provide support for the ‘Memorial Wall’.

The ‘Memorial Wall’ has been funded by MTVH, Brent Council Public Health team, Chalkhill Community Trust Fund, and the Young Brent Foundation.

Local artist, Errol Donald, who designed the ‘Memorial Wall’ said, “We need accessible spaces where communities can come together not only to reflect on their challenges, but also to discover new and creative ways of living and learning.”

Lieneke Eleveld, MTVH’s Regional Community Coordinator for North London said, ‘’The Empowering Futures team of MTVH is committed to empower residents and communities to live well. From 2019 some 32 people who live or work on Chalkhill estate have been trained in Mental Health First Aid. The Mental Health First Aiders observed the impact of grief, loss, and bereavement on the mental health of the people of Chalkhill. The ‘Memorial Wall’ project was designed to create a safe space for people to connect and talk about their experiences of grief, loss, and bereavement, to honour people who have passed away and to create a legacy. The result is a beautiful ‘Memorial Wall’ in the heart of Chalkhill where loved ones will be remembered, and new connections will be made.’’

Jo Gift, from Brent Council Public Health said, ‘’Brent Council Public Health are very pleased to have provided support for this project. This memorial work has enabled Chalkhill residents to come together and connect with each other and reflect on loved ones who have gone and create a beautiful Memorial Wall. Within Public Health we promote the 5+1 ways to wellbeing, which are six evidence based actions to help maintain and improve your wellbeing. These actions are: Connect, Be Active, Take Notice, Keep Learning, Give and the plus one is Create. Incorporating these six actions into your everyday is said to give support to your wellbeing. This project encouraged people to connect with each other and create something reflective of their community, of which we are very proud to have supported.’’