June 4, 2024

Meet CPSL Mind Good Life Facilitator Shannon Graham

This month, we caught up with CPSL Mind Good Life facilitator, Shannon Graham, who is part of the team that helps run the Good Mood cafes in Peterborough.

In a new blog series, we will be catching up with members of the CPSL staff and volunteer team, so you can find out more about the people working across the charity. This month, we caught up with Good Mood Cafe facilitator, Shannon Graham, who is part of the team that helps run the Good Mood cafes in Peterborough.

Headshot of woman with brown hair

CPSL Mind: Shannon, how long have you been working for the charity?

Shannon:  I’ve been working for CPSL Mind as a facilitator for two years. I hadn’t worked in mental health before – I used to work as a charity administrator for eight years. I absolutely love it! I think it’s such a rewarding role. You get to see so many different aspects and a wide range of people. I’m based in Peterborough – so I do 1-1 packages and help run the Good Mood Cafes in Whittlesey, Yaxley and the ARU Peterborough Campus session.

CPSL Mind: What do you enjoy most about your role?

Shannon: I love what CPSL Mind is all about. I love to meet people in the community and seeing them grow in confidence ever week. it’s so rewarding and sometimes they don’t see it themselves, so it’s great when they reflect back on what they have achieved. I love what CPSL Mind offers. There are so many different elements to the Good Life Service: The Good Mood Cafes, the one-to-one packages of support, the calm spaces – there are so many available options for people to join.

CPSL Mind: Has there been a particular highlight for you so far?

Shannon: We hit our record attendance at a Good Mood Cafe – we had 26 people join in Yaxley! We’ve had individuals who have attended from the start, and they are still joining us years down the road. So, I feel like I’m doing something right!

CPSL Mind: How would you describe the connections made at the group?

Newcomers can sometimes be anxious, which is understandable. I would probably be really nervous myself going into a new group. The people that have been there for two years have welcomed newcomers with open arms. A lot of the cafes that I go to have established long-term friendships and people get together through the week and do other things. That’s what Good Mood Cafes are all about – supporting people who are feeling lonely and isolated. It’s amazing to see people making supportive connections.

CPSL Mind: What would be your advice to someone attending for the first time?

Shannon: My advice would be to let people know that they can always contact us beforehand. If you feel overly anxious, I’ve always said to individuals that we can meet them outside just to help them because joining a big table of people can be overwhelming. Across all the cafes, everyone is so friendly and welcoming. At the end of the day, everyone is there for the same reason. Everyone remembers their first session, too.

Once you have gone once, you have done the hardest thing of meeting new people and visiting a new environment. There is no pressure to stay for the whole hour and a half. What’s great about the Good Mood Cafes is you don’t need to be referred – they are drop-in sessions and people just need to know whether they have a free week and a free part of the day, then they can just pop along and they can catch up with people they haven’t met in a while.

CPSL Mind: What’s your understanding of mental health and how do you look after your own wellbeing?

Shannon: Twelve years ago, I struggled with postnatal depression but I feel more supported in my life now, more than ever. I think it is down to the role and because my managers are so supportive. I’ve never been employed by a company that is just so reasonable and understanding. In the role I’m doing, I think it’s important to have empathy and understanding about mental health. I can’t see myself doing anything else.

I have an American Akita dog – who is currently asleep on the sofa. I take her for walks a lot, two-three hours a day. It’s really good for my mental health. I spend a lot of time with my family, I lost my mum to motor neurone disease three years ago, so I spend a lot of time with my dad and my sisters. I also really enjoy swimming; I find that it gives me a full body workout. It’s my time to switch off and I’ve done it for years. I’m keen to give wild swimming a go this summer.


Drop in to our weekly Good Mood Cafes in local cafes, outdoors or online via Zoom to connect with like-minded people in your community. Visit the CPSL Mind website to find out more.


Other Posts

Group of people sitting around a table in a coffee shop

Blog, Our services

Hand drawn blue calendar

Our Good Mood Cafes provide an opportunity to meet new people to share interests, skills and wellbeing tips in an informal space to help boost your mood. The team who run the Good Mood Cafes share their insights on what to expect.

A group of friends smiling


Hand drawn blue calendar September 15, 2023

It is important to have positive mental health – to live a healthy life. We have 10 tips for you to promote positive mental health.

A wooden table with two people's hands holding coffee cups one has a smiley face design in the milk

Real life stories

Hand drawn blue calendar February 18, 2020

Sipping on a cup of tea, John Willock is chatting candidly about his experiences of mental health challenges, grief and suicidal thoughts – “I didn’t talk about it for years,” he says.

Sign up to

our newsletter

Sign up to receive bi-monthly news and updates from CPSL Mind. You can unsubscribe at any time.


This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Hand drawn blue person with raised arm