HOPE, healing, resilience and community – these are the focus of Hearing Voices Cymru, an organisation which supports people who hear voices in Wales, and the latest sponsor of the Western Telegraph’s Health and Care awards.

The support network operates across Wales, with support from other charities.

In Pembrokeshire it works alongside Mind Pembrokeshire to offer support to those who hear voices which others cannot.

The network is sponsoring the Support Staff of the Year award at the Western Telegraph’s Health and Care awards this year.

This is an area close to the heart of those working for Hearing Voice Cymru, whose staff work with people who hear voices, offering them support through the distressing and overwhelming experiences this can sometimes present.

Hearing Voices Groups aim to demystify the voices that people hear, acknowledge the voices are part of ordinary life, find processes of learning to cope with the voices, and keep in mind the idea that it is normal to be different.

The hearing of a voice or voices inaudible to others is a relatively common human experience.

This can be triggered by bereavement, illness, unemployment, divorce or some other traumatic event.

  • Voice hearing is experienced by 10 to 15 per cent of the population in their lifetime.

  • 1 per cent of the population are labelled by psychiatry as schizophrenic.

  • 53 per cent of people labelled as schizophrenic are voice hearers.

  • 2.3 per cent of the general population are voice hearers at any one given moment in time.

To hear a voice or voices inaudible to others does not mean that someone is severely mentally ill.

In Pembrokeshire, the Hearing Voice Cymru group is based out of Mind Pembrokeshire’s building at the Old Wool Market, Quay Street, Haverfordwest.

The group meets on the last Tuesday of each month between 1.15pm and 3pm.

Contact Josie Rees, who runs the group, for more information by calling 01437 763626.

For more information about Hearing Voices Cymru, visit the website.