ANXIETY is increasingly affecting people within the town of Trowbridge, says a manager of a community charity based in the town working with residents. Zoe Meaden has been the manager of Trowbridge Community Area Future since December. To tackle loneliness, anxiety and isolation, she holds a happiness cafe every Friday where 15-20 people often meet to spend time together.

The centre, in The Shires, opens for several hours a day and she says a large part of her job is helping people get the help they need and has noticed more people describing feeling of anxiety in their lives.

It also operates out of the Civic Centre in the town and relies in part on a grant from Trowbridge town council to provide youth services, happiness cafes and youth clubs for the community.

Anxiety is affecting many people within the community of Trowbridge, who are turning to her charity for help she said She believes that knife crime in the area is becoming an ever increasing problem exacerbated by County Lines, where drugs come into rural communities like Trowbridge and vulnerable people get targeted by urban drug dealers.Yesterday afternoon a man was slashed across the face by a knife and a man was arrested for GBH in conneciton to the attack.She said“We have a lot of people who have anxiety and are really struggling. People are time poor and life goes so fast, they cannot cope. They don’t want to sit on their own in a coffee shop but they don’t know where to go. Sometimes they can come in three or four times before they actually start to open up and tell us what are their real issues. We have had one man come in who is getting too worried to leave his house because he feels so anxious about the crime within the town.”

The charity helps people find out ways to get support and is hosting Wiltshire Council’s Foster Care Fortnight stall for the next two weeks in the town.