East Devon charity Open Arms East Devon is holding an Open Day in June, at their new headquarters at Mackarness Hall. 

The event takes place on Tuesday, June 4 from 10.30 to 2pm. The group is a peer support group for people with mental health problems. 

Owner Garry runs the group voluntarily and wishes to help people with mental health support. The group was founded by Garry Wakeham in 2017 and focus on increasing social interaction and improving confidence and well-being.

The group meet twice a week from 12pm to 4pm on Tuesdays and from 10.30am till 4pm on Friday's.

Garry Wakeham, founder of Open Arms told the Herald why he decided to start this charity. “I have suffered from depression for most of my life. After a family tragedy, I struggled to cope alone and was admitted to hospital for treatment. I ended up homeless as a result of a breakdown in 2016.

"While on the road to recovery the following year, the mental health facility that I relied on for support was closed. I saw the distress of the people using the centre and, with help from others, I found premises and set up a group so that we could continue to support each other. So Open Arms East Devon was born.

"Since then we have grown in numbers and become a registered charity. I have seen how Open Arms East Devon has changed people’s lives – they have grown in confidence and now enjoy meeting with others. They tell me that they are doing things they have not done in years and I have often been told that Open Arms East Devon is their safe place."

"Running the group has also helped my own recovery and I am privileged to have been made East Devon District Council Tenant of the Year in 2018 and to be one of three national finalists for a Community Leader of the Year Award in 2019.

For more information on the charity, or how to access support, visit their website.