RESIDENTS have provided the South Lakeland community with a ‘beacon of hope’ by forming a new charity for mental health and wellbeing.

Following the closure of the charity South Lakeland Mind at the end of March, volunteers and residents worked hard to help fill the gap.

Maddy Iddon, of Kendal, who was a volunteer at the Mind charity before it closed for good, wanted to try to find another way to provide help for those who desperately needed it.

The Lighthouse Community Mental Health Hub became an official mental health peer support charity at the end of last month and provides daily peer support drop-ins for residents across the South Lakes.

“Following the closure of Mind,we knew we had to something as soon as possible”, said Mrs Iddon.

“Public mental health services are so stretched already, despite one in four experiencing mental health problems each year. Because of this, peer support and mental health charities are a lifeline for many.”

Still relatively new to the scene the recently formed charity has hopes to expand it’s services in the future.

“Someone came to one of our drop-ins at the Lighthouse,” said Mrs Iddon.

“And out of the blue said, ‘This is the first time, in a long time, that I’ve been able to relax and feel comfortable somewhere other than home’. Anybody struggling with their mental or emotional wellbeing is welcome. You don’t have to have a diagnosed mental health condition. “

The charity is there for anyone who simply needs a boost to those who may need help with their mental and emotional well being.

Based at Stricklandgate House, in Kendal, doors are open to the public from Monday to Friday.

“The charity was named after the idea that it could provide a beacon of hope to some,” said Mrs Iddon, "We provide a comfortable and safe space with non-judgemental peer support volunteers, where you can come and chat, or just sit in the company of others who understand.

“In the future, we hope to be able to deliver an outreach and befriending service out in the community, for those unable to attend the drop-ins.”

However, the Lighthouse charity would not be there without ‘the wonderful team’ of volunteers.

If anyone would like to help and support the charity in some way then email

There will be an opening of the charity on Thursday, July 18 at 12pm at Stricklandgate House.

South Lakes MP Tim Farron will officially open the Lighthouse followed by a buffet lunch fundraiser.

Everyone is invited to join.