The Welcome Centre at Chhahari started in October 2013, as a direct reflection of the needs of the men and women, with whom Chhahari was in contact through its Street Project. The main objective of the centre is to offer multiple activities to allow clients and their carers to engage in indoor and outdoor activities, take part in counselling sessions and creative classes. During these sessions we aim to provide a safe and confidential relationship through which our clients and carers will be able to say things that they might have not been able to share with anyone else. We give guidance and suggestions on how to understand and resolve their mental health conditions.

Activities are mostly centred around individual counselling sessions as well as group and creative therapies with art, music, meditation, cooking and field trips. In between handicrafts, music and food we also have discussions about mental health issues with the clients and their family members. Discussions are chiefly centred around the clients' progress, problems faced and assessments of the creative sessions. These are all free sessions, during which lunches are also provided and they are also given money to cover travelling costs.

Till now, the response has been overwhelmingly positive with 15 clients and carers coming regularly and showing encouraging signs of engagement. Our observations show that their social skills have improved gradually as they are encouraged to engage with people, not only within the centre, but also through guided outdoor activities and excursions. They are able to communicate better and work together to have a good time for few hours a week. We have gone shopping and motivated clients to buy things and talk to strangers. This has increased their confidence and has helped us assess them whilst the session is ongoing (listening to their speech, looking at their behaviour, etc.).One indicator of the success of the centre is that most clients look forward to the sessions, with many arriving much earlier than the opening hours.

Equally significant has been the tremendous response from our staff and volunteers. After observing and taking part in these sessions, many of our volunteers (in Nepal and abroad) have gone on to donate their time and funds for other related activities. This has included, covering the monthly medication bills of a few clients (who are most in financial need) to sponsoring education and living allowances of carers. These generous donations, have not only allowed Chhahari to expand its support but have also been invaluable to the clients that they reach.

Various suggestions have been given and duly noted such as more outings (to the zoo, a picnic and outdoor games), dance classes (for exercising the mind and body) and a bigger room to move around as well as to hold more clients and to conduct these sessions more than once a week. We wish to take all suggestions on board and make our future welcome sessions more vibrant and enjoyable.