Clubhouses that are well-on in their development can offer members a variety of activities; the list below is typical and not exhaustive. Norfolk Clubhouse, being a startup enterprise, must necessarily limit its early involvement to activities such as regular “meetups” in which the founder and fledgling members meet for discussions over tea/coffee in a safe environment. Here they can make plans for future activities immediately suitable for those members.
Over time, and with injections of grants and donations, paid staff can be gradually taken on and activities such as those below can be added.
Typical Range of Activities in Established Clubhouse
Business & Administration
Office skills, computer literacy, updating website and social media, checking stock levels for stationary.
Membership & Wellbeing
Gardening & allotment, art group, relaxation sessions, book club, poetry & writing, running club, managing applications and inductions of new members, general health & wellbeing of members.
Work & Learning
Education, volunteering, opportunities for Transitional Employment Placements.
Preparing and maintaining kitchen and eating areas, ensuring supply of snacks and beverages.
Although Clubhouses employ paid support staff, services are typically understaffed as a means of ensuring that everything is delivered in a partnership between members and staff. Members also need the staff and other members in order to complete the work, but even more importantly, the relationships that evolve through this work together are the key ingredient in Clubhouse reablement. The Clubhouse members and staff as a community are charged with prioritising, organising and accomplishing the tasks that are important to make the Clubhouse a success.
Relationships between members and staff develop naturally as they work together side by side carrying out the daily duties of the Clubhouse. All of the staff have generalist roles in the Clubhouse and are involved in all of the Clubhouse activities. Working closely together each day, members and staff learn of each others’ strengths, talents and abilities.
The role of the staff in a Clubhouse is to engage with members as colleagues in important work, and to be encouraging and engaging with people who might not yet believe in themselves.
A Clubhouse is a membership organisation, and the people who come and participate in a Clubhouse are its members. Membership in a Clubhouse is open to anyone who has a history of mental illness and has been referred by a GP, CPN, psychologist, psychiatrist, social worker or occupational therapist. This idea of membership is fundamental to the Clubhouse concept, and implies that the person has both shared ownership and shared responsibility for the success of the Clubhouse.
The Clubhouse is designed to be a place where a person living with mental ill-health is not treated as a patient and is not defined by a disability label, but is seen as a valued participant, a colleague and as someone who has something to contribute to the rest of the group. Each person is a valued part of a community engaged in important work and contributes to the health and wellbeing of the entire community. Clubhouse membership is for life.
The skills, talents, and creative ideas and efforts of each member are needed and encouraged each day. Participation is voluntary, but each member is always invited to participate in work which may include clerical duties, reception, food service, transportation management, outreach, maintenance, research, managing the employment and education programs, wellbeing activities, financial services and other areas.