As high streets across the country gradually become less reliant on traditional retail and start to re-purpose some of their spaces to new uses, it’s good to see a couple of new additions to Shepton’s town centre.

Last Wednesday saw the opening of a new MIND (the mental health charity) Wellbeing Center. Taking over what were previously offices halfway up the High Street at ‘57c’, the building has gorgeous gardens at the back and versatile rooms throughout. Speaking of those gardens, the Town Council’s rangers from idVerde gave up some of their spare time last week to clear the garden of green waste where it had become quite overgrown! I’m sure you will join me and the Town Council in thanking our hard-working rangers for their generosity and allowing more money to be spent on direct services, not waste removal. The wellbeing center will be welcoming to budding gardeners or those who just wish to relax at their free weekly gardening sessions on Wednesdays between 11am and 1pm.

MIND will be using the space for counselling sessions, training, drop-in opportunities, and lots of other activities. Having the facility in the heart of our town for the benefit of all our residents is great to see.

Anyone who wishes to make donations to the MIND wellbeing center’s gardening efforts in the form of pots, tools or plants should contact

Another organisation that has decided to invest in a physical presence in our town is Somerset Skills and Learning. Offering vocational courses and apprenticeships, the new facility has state of the art training rooms.  The full range of courses available specifically from the site has still to be published, but this will be the fifth SSL site in the county and the other four have proved extremely popular in their local towns. Do take a look at the highly inspirational SSL website ( to find out what could be coming our way!

Until next time,

Matt Harrison

Chair, Shepton Mallet Town Council

Dawn (L) and Alison (R) tending to the gardens

Resources available at the MIND Wellbeing Center

The MIND Wellbeing Center’s gardens