23 May 2023
Gladden, a fictional online village that aims to utilise heritage engagement as a means of supporting and improving mental health, has been created by three heritage-loving individuals.
Gladden Village is open to anyone, anywhere aged 18 and over, who feels they could benefit from this unique village offering.
Volunteer-run, the aim of Gladden to provide a novel and inclusive option for people to feel a sense of belonging, increase their sense of connection and create a little 'respite' from life's stresses, cares and concerns by offering a village that is accessible, globally, from the comfort of your home, 24/7.
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For many people, being out and about for social and cultural engagement can be restricted. Reasons can range from social anxiety to caring responsibilities, transport limitations to cost of living impacts, vulnerable immune systems to disabilities.
Explore the village
Gladden Village offers a Coffeehouse, Reading Room, Post Office and Heritage Apothecary. As a Gladden villager you receive weekly invites to the Coffeehouse Gatherings and copies of the Gladden Gazette, priority booking of appointments at the Heritage Apothecary and access to the Gladden Reading Room, 24/7.
The Gladden Coffeehouse operates from September to June, providing villagers with weekly Wednesday Gatherings inspired by heritage from across the globe. The Gatherings offer an eclectic mix of villager-led events from book nights, quiz nights and poetry evenings, to the Stylus Story Club and Unsung Heroes & Heroines, and also hosts 'visitors' to the village sharing their stories of a particular character, place, invention or happening from our heritage.
Gladden Post Office is where villagers can contribute to and collect their quarterly Gladden Gazette and create and share the ‘Villagers View’ blogs and interviews.
In the Reading Room, villagers can enjoy the Poem of the Week, Book of the Month and support the curation of Gladden Recommended Reads and Playlists. This space also has a section dedicated to research papers relating to the benefits of heritage and libraries in mental health and non-clinical interventions and recommended books on community care, health and wellbeing
Finally, the Heritage Apothecary provides one-off sessions and short support programmes, utilizing heritage engagement to help individuals who may benefit from a non-clinical approach to support develop greater sense of self, self-compassion and empathy.
There are a wide range of ways villagers can contribute to Gladden. These include:
- writing articles or participating in interviews for the Gladden Gazette
- writing blogs that will be hosted in the Gladden Post Office
- volunteering to share a story at the Stylus Story Club or present an Unsung Hero or Heroine as part of the Coffeehouse Gatherings programme
- provide book and playlist recommendations for the Gladden Reading Room
The Gladden Village Council would love to hear from any charities, services and professionals working in social prescribing, mental health, social care and heritage. Simply email.
Visit the Gladden Village website.