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The rise in small business owners who are helping people with their mental health

By Cheryne Lauraly Fourdrigniez

People have finally found the time to start their own little side hustle during the pandemic. But what’s becoming more apparent is that more and more of these businesses are revolving around helping people with their mental health – without having to get a shrink involved.

Buds & Bows Bakery

Baking fanatic and full-time corporate worker, Lynne Peters, 55, started her baking journey when she decided to bake a cake for her parent’s 40th wedding anniversary.

Since then, Peters says that she’s devoted much of her time mastering the art of baking. Now, she has her own business – Buds & Bows Cakery based in Norfolk, which invites people to sign up to a baking club for just £10 a month.

“Baking is a great form of relaxation when things are stress-y or when things are just going to pot around you, if you can just get lost in a recipe for half an hour, you’ll feel great at the end of it,” she says.

Credits, Cheryne Fourdrigniez

“Everybody loves to receive a cake as well, so you always get some nice warm feedback at the end of it.”

Not only does baking act as a stress-relief for Peters after a busy day at work, but she says that she’s received a lot of positive feedback from clients as well.

“I had a lady who joined in with her autistic son and he went from not even being able to be in the room when the food mixer was going to doing it all himself and following a recipe from start to finish,” she says.

Wee Woolly Wonderfuls

It’s not just baking that’s helping people stay sane during the pandemic. Learning how to crochet has served as a means to pass time, master a new skill, and take up a new hobby during the pandemic.

When 49-year-old Lisa Dobbs ditched her 9-5 working as a mortgage advisor in Hull for something a little more exciting, she never thought she’d be receiving emails from people saying that she saved their lives.

Not only does Wee Woolly Wonderfuls have their own website which features an array of handmade stuffed crochet animals, but they also have a YouTube channel with beginner tutorials on how to crochet.

Dobbs says that she’s gotten a huge number of messages from clients admitting that they don’t know what they would’ve done without it. “People were feeling down, depressed and really fed up.”

Wee Woolly Wonderfuls also has its own all-inclusive Facebook group – ‘Woolly Friends’ which acts as a community page for people to share all their creations and support one and other. “It has kept them going because they’re making friends and sharing their progress with each other,” she says.

How to join the Woolly Friends Facebook group, screen recording by Cheryne Fourdrigniez

Dobbs is now planning on expanding her business and hopes to keep making a difference in her clients’ wellbeing.

Infographic by Cheryne Fourdrigniez