Access Wellbeing Poole opens its doors

29th January 2024

A new support hub, Access Wellbeing Poole, has opened in The Dolphin Poole. 

Access Wellbeing Poole will offer a welcoming space to find support on the issues that matter to members of the local community. The hub’s friendly Wellbeing Coordinators will take the time to listen, then help people to access support and advice on a wide range of topics including:

  • Mental health and emotional wellbeing
  • Social connections and activities
  • Bereavement and grief
  • Advice on issues such as work, money and housing
  • Support for carers and family members.

Members of the public don’t need an appointment to visit Access Wellbeing Poole – they can pop in at any time during opening hours. The service is designed to support people aged 18 and over. The hub is located on the first floor of the shopping centre, next to the car park entrance, in the old Eco Hub, and is open from 10am-4pm Monday to Friday.

Access Wellbeing Poole is managed by PramaLife and Help & Care, working together with NHS Dorset, Dorset HealthCare, Community Action Network, Legal & General and BCP Council, as well as other charities and community groups. It is facilitated by The Dolphin Poole.

Maja Gandurska, Hub Manager at Access Wellbeing Poole, said: “PramaLife and Help & Care are looking forward to opening the doors of Access Wellbeing Poole for the community. We have worked hard to develop this project, and we now want to put this into practice by helping people with their wellbeing and mental health.

“Sometimes when you’re worried or struggling, it can be difficult to know where to turn. The team at Access Wellbeing Poole will offer a friendly ear, whatever is on your mind, and help people to access the right support, whether that’s from a charity or community group, the NHS, or another local service.”

The Dolphin Poole is further expanding its community offering with the introduction of the new Access Wellbeing Poole hub.

John Grinnell, Centre Manager, said: “The opening of Access Wellbeing further underlines our desire to place The Dolphin Poole at the centre of our community. As the needs of our visitors evolve, so must the services we provide, and we know the Poole community engage with The Dolphin for more than just shopping. For many in the community, we offer a place for safe and comfortable social interaction and provide a sense of community.

“Working with partners and experts, we have fine-tuned the Access Wellbeing project over several months, ensuring that the service provides the most appropriate resources and signposting for our community.”

The new hub in Poole is part of the wider Access Wellbeing programme of work, which sees organisations in Dorset working together to improve mental health and wellbeing support for the local community.

NHS Dorset is the Integrated Care Board for Dorset, and commissions mental health and wellbeing services in the county. Mark Smith, Principal Lead for the Dorset Place Team at NHS Dorset said: “We are delighted that Access Wellbeing Poole is open and available to people who will undoubtedly benefit from the support it offers. We look forward to getting feedback from those who use it which will help all local health and care partners when planning services in the future.”

Dorset HealthCare is the NHS Trust that provides community mental health services to Dorset. Morad Margoum, Deputy Service Director for Mental Health, Learning Disabilities, Children and Families at Dorset HealthCare said: “We are really pleased to have reached a significant milestone of our nationally driven community mental health transformation programme, Access Wellbeing, with the opening of the hub in Poole.

“We have worked with local people to develop Access Wellbeing and the services will offer different types of support depending on a person’s need, including earlier and easier access to help, which can prevent concerns from escalating. Overall we want to ensure more people get the right mental health and wellbeing support, at the right time and in the right way.

“As part of this new way of working, we will be building on the excellent work of our staff and use this as a foundation to help us move mental health services forward together.”

Dorset Mental Health Forum – a local charity that has been utilising experience to increase understanding around mental health in Dorset for 30 years – has played a key role in supporting the development of the Access Wellbeing programme. Kerry Matcham, Peer Lead for Community and Specialist Services (East) at Dorset Mental Health Forum, said: “We have been proud to offer a lived experience perspective throughout the design and opening of the hub, amplifying the voices of individuals and the wider community. We look forward to continuing this work, supporting people to feed back and shape future development. There will also be regular opportunities within the hub for people to meet with and talk to our Peer Specialist team.”

Access Wellbeing Poole will be open to the public from today (29 January), from Monday to Friday 10am - 4pm.

For more information on Access Wellbeing Poole and the support available visit


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About the Access Wellbeing transformation programme

Access Wellbeing, Dorset’s community mental health transformation programme, will improve mental health and wellbeing support across the county.

Local charities and community groups are working together with the NHS and local authority to support the programme, which will build on some of the great work already taking place in our community, to connect services and provide everyone with access to the right support. Local partners will be working towards providing people the help they really need, when and where they need it, and provide early access to help.

Find out more about the Access Wellbeing transformation programme at:


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