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The Life Rooms

The Life Rooms is an innovative community-based service delivered at multiple sites – including libraries, a theatre and other public spaces – across the Liverpool city region, UK. It offers access to social support, learning, and creative activities that enable participants to care for their own health and wellbeing.

The Life Rooms

The Life Rooms is an innovative community-based service delivered at multiple sites – including libraries, a theatre and other public spaces – across the Liverpool city region, UK. It offers access to social support, learning, and creative activities that enable participants to care for their own health and wellbeing.

More about The Life Rooms

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Learn more about Mersey Care’s Life Rooms initiative and the services it offers.

Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust established the Life Rooms to offer a holistic model of wellbeing support that recognises the impact of social factors such as housing, education and interpersonal connection on individuals’ ability to live well.

The Life Rooms has nurtured over 100 community partnerships that are now integral to its care offer. With the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic (RLP), Mersey Care has delivered the ‘Music and Mental Health’ programme reaching more than 10,000 beneficiaries, their families and carers in Liverpool. Their reach is now expanding further as RLP regularly delivers high-quality music-making sessions within Life Rooms facilities across the city region.

Similarly, The Reader, a Liverpool-based charity that runs over 600 Shared Reading groups with a focus on vulnerable and disadvantaged groups, was established with funding support from Mersey Care and also regularly delivers sessions within Life Rooms sites across Merseyside. This core element of the Life Rooms partnership working – centred on creative and arts-based activities – promotes positive mental health, skills development and employability opportunities that complement its wider social support offer.

Play Video

Learn more about Mersey Care’s Life Rooms initiative and the services it offers.

I have been astounded by the positive effect it has been having on me and the service users in the groups. The impact of such positivity, encouragement, empowerment and friendship is not to be ignored

How the work started
How the work started

The Life Rooms was established in 2016 to address health inequalities and barriers to service access across Liverpool. Its approach is responsive and creative, placing the needs of the whole person and the values of local communities at its core.

Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust created its first state-of-the-art Life Rooms centre for learning and health within the beautiful surroundings of Walton Library, right in the heart of North Liverpool. Through their work at this site, the Life Rooms team developed a ‘three pillar’ approach to delivering services centred on learning, social prescribing and community. This has evolved over time into their unique Social Model of Health designed to address social inequality through system change by enabling people to become more active in the management of their own health and prevention of ill health. Members have the opportunity to create their own social prescription, from support with housing, debt, employment and physical or mental well-being, to digital learning and arts-based activities. For those unable to attend sites in person the Life Rooms also offers a wealth of options to connect with their services virtually, whether that be through learning and creative sessions delivered on Zoom, or finding out more about their services through the Life Rooms Podcast.

I needed help and from walking into the building, they were helpful, caring and very supportive and it was evident that the staff were dedicated to making a difference in people's lives. It was difficult for me to accept support, and that’s exactly what they did by guidance, listening and discussing the types of sessions that would possibly help me.

Expanding the work

Expanding the work ...

Using the model developed in North Liverpool, Life Rooms have opened many more sites across the Liverpool City Region to make its bespoke services accessible to a wider range of communities.

Life Rooms services are now delivered in venues across Southport, Bootle and South Liverpool in collaboration with local libraries, one stop shops and children’s centres. Some new sites are even operated through creative and cultural partnerships. For example, the Central Liverpool Service, now based at Liverpool’s Central Library, was for several years hosted by Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse Theatres. This collaboration enabled the integration of drama and creative writing workshops, for skills development and confidence building, into Life Rooms’ wider social support offer.

When sites re-opened in October 2021 (following the lifting of COVID-19 related restrictions), 8,507 social prescriptions were developed with pathways advisors at Life Rooms sites in Liverpool, with 6,147 people attending face-to-face Life Rooms learning sessions in Sefton and Liverpool.  As Berenice Gibson, Arts and Wellbeing Programme Support Manager at the Life Room, says: ‘It’s important that people have access to a really wide range of things that make them feel good as human beings.’

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