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Health

Almost half a million pounds of National Lottery funding committed to young people’s mental health in Cumbria

John Macilwraith

[Y]oung people in Cumbria are set to benefit from a new National Lottery funded project that will help them deal with emotional difficulties before they develop into more serious mental health issues.

‘Improving Emotional Resilience’ – a partnership project led by Cumbria Youth Alliance – is being made possible thanks to almost £500,000 of National Lottery money announced today (20 March) by the Big Lottery Fund, the largest funder of community activity in the UK.

The three year project brings together a partnership of statutory and third sector agencies to work jointly to address key issues affecting young people in Cumbria’s coastal communities. By working in partnership, agencies including Cumbria Youth Alliance, Cumbria County Council Children’s Services, and NHS Partnership Cumbria amongst others, will develop closer working relationships to help avoid duplication of services and identify gaps in local provision.

With particular focus on Allerdale, Copeland and Barrow in Furness, the project will work with young people to help them improve their emotional resilience, confidence and self esteem. Support on offer, including peer mentor training, one to one help, outdoor education and residential activities are all designed to help young people overcome challenges and build resilience. Ultimately the project aims to prevent young people from needing mental health services by working with them early before issues escalate.

Cath Clarke, Chief Officer for Cumbria Youth Alliance, said: “This National Lottery funding gives us the opportunity to look at how we work together, now and in the future, as statutory and third sector partners to get the best possible outcomes for some of our most vulnerable young people. It will help us avoid duplication, set joint priorities and make best use of limited resources so we can effectively address improving the emotional resilience of young people here in coastal communities in Cumbria.”

In total Big Lottery Fund is investing £492,500 of National Lottery money into the project.

Gemma Bull, England Director for Big Lottery Fund said: “We’re proud that National Lottery funding will be helping to tackle an issue that is of such great importance to local communities in Cumbria. This project is all about bringing different agencies together to develop a joined up approach to young people’s emotional wellbeing. It is a great opportunity for partners to work together to achieve a lasting impact for young people in Cumbria.”

John Macilwraith, Corporate Director for Children and Family Services at Cumbria County Council, said: “This is great news for Cumbrian young people. In Cumbria we’ve been focused on building children and young people’s emotional resilience for several years and the grant award reflects the fact we have a positive track record in this area. Young people face many challenges as they move into adulthood and poor emotional wellbeing is commonplace.  This project will better equip young people as they go on in life and help them to learn some of the skills needed to improve and look after their own mental wellbeing.

“This collaborative project will change the way preventative support is delivered on the ground and will be driven by young people themselves every step along the way.  We’re now going to be able to take forward some really exciting and innovative projects and I look forward to seeing the positive impact they will have.”

The Big Lottery Fund distributes money raised by National Lottery players for good causes. Every week, it gives out over £13 million to fund bright ideas, big or small, in communities across the UK. To find out more visit www.biglotteryfund.org.uk.

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