Verity Hart, 44, from Bridgnorth, Shropshire is launching a vital new social enterprise designed to help individuals experiencing distress or anxiety by connecting them to services that can support them through traumatic times. It’s her ambition that her new venture, After the Storm, will help those suffering as a result of the pandemic.
After the Storm aims to become the UK’s most comprehensive and exhaustive resource of support services areas such as mental health and wellbeing, addiction support, bereavement support, lifestyle and fitness, housing and financial support, relationship advice, life coaching and youth support. The platform will list charities, public services and private practitioners.
Married mother of three, Verity Hart, came up with the idea for After the Storm based upon her own difficult life experiences. Her family has dealt with cancer, alcohol addiction, bereavement and bulimia, and throughout all of these traumatic times she’s struggled to know what information you can trust on the internet and where to turn for help. Verity is using inheritance from her parent’s recent deaths to fund the new business venture alongside three founding partners, and she is still working full-time as a Business Change Leader whist she gets After the Storm off the ground.
The After the Storm website will launch to the public on November 30 2020. The need for After the Storm couldn’t be more urgent. The pandemic has caused economic, social and political chaos on a global scale. In the UK 8.4 million people (19% of all adults) are drinking at higher risk, which is an increase of 10.8% from February 2020. 39% of people are fearful about their mental health and a further 40% of people are fearful about their household’s financial position. Christmas will make many people’s worries feel more acute. As the situation worsens weekly, many of the traditional routes to support services have been cut back at a time when they are overwhelmed.
Verity says: “After the Storm is a product of my personal life experiences, but lockdown was the catalyst for the urgent need to get it up and running, having seen the vast scale of the impact on people, in so many different aspects of their life. I could see the rising alcohol intake, the panic and the confusion and knew that now was the right time to get the site live. We’re heading, if not already there, to a mental health catastrophe that needs to be dealt with, starting right now.”
“We’re now living in a world that is out of kilter to say the least, but so many people continue on in isolation when a life changing event happens – they’re unsure of where to turn, what help is credible and whether they can trust the information found on the internet. The pandemic has forced us to work harder and faster on this site, but it will be around long after that danger has gone.”
“People might not even know that there’s is support available for what they’re experiencing, but for those who really want to change the circumstances they find themselves in – whether that’s in behaviours, careers or lifestyle – there is now a way to find out and take action.”
In addition to the portfolio of providers, through engaging and informative content it will bring people to the site to share insight and gain the motivation, inspiration and support they need to heal.
Verity continues “Our vision is to become a social enterprise that helps to break down the barriers that exist around asking for, and finding, the correct help when life doesn’t always go according to plan. Of course, it’s about bringing the people who need your help to you, but also providing you with a network of like-minded individuals and companies who can provide insight and learning, whiles supporting your business.”
Verity is joined by three other partners in her new business venture. Louise Welsby also from Bridgnorth brings a wealth of marketing and communications expertise to the table, whilst Nicola Green and Carl Johnson from Manchester will be supporting on sales and technology. The After the Storm team have secured the support of Andy Lord, former CEO of Code Nation, who joins the start-up as an ambassador.
Part of Louise’s role is to ensure that those offering support to those in need register their details with After the Storm. Louise says: “We have ambitious plans for After the Storm to become the largest scale resource for those needing help, and for this to happen we need practitioners to register their details on the site. It’s free to sign up, and we’ll act as a connector between their business and potential clients. We’re reaching out to a really wide mix of support staff from psychologists, hypnotherapists, relationship counsellors to nutritionists.”
“Of course, alongside quantity, we also need to ensure quality. All potential service providers will have to go a three-point check to ensure credibility. We’re checking qualifications and testimonies or references. But in return we will connect you with potential clients and provide you with opportunities to share your thoughts and content through our website, social media channels, company spotlights and a structured PR approach.”
“The vaccine may be in sight but the long term impact of this pandemic will be felt for decades. Let’s ensure everyone can seek and find help now, before their worries and problems grow more acute.”
To register yourself as a service provider, or if you think you may need support in any are of your life, visit After the Storm