BBC Children in Need has awarded youth charity Brathay Trust £28,512 to support young people in Barrow with mental ill health.
The charity says figures show that Barrow is the fifth most deprived ward nationally for health and disability and hospital stays related to self-harm are double the national rate.
The money will help to fund a three year project, ‘Feel Good, Function Well’, starting in June and supporting up to ninety 10 to 16 year-olds through six, 12 week programmes.
The weekly after school sessions, based at Brathay’s Barrow base, The Hub on Cavendish Street, will also include a residential at Brathay Hall near Ambleside.
The project aims to improve children and young people’s wellbeing and resilience, increase their ability to access lines of support and raise levels of confidence and self-belief. It is also made possible by a grant from the Sir John Fisher Foundation, for a youth worker, as well as funds from Brathay’s ‘Focus on Furness’ appeal.
Brathay’s Jacqueline Wallace said: “We are so pleased to have been successful with a bid to BBC Children in Need which means young people from Barrow will get the critical support they need.
“Local agencies and partners that we already work well with tell us that they see lots of children and young people with a range of mental health issues, many of whom do not seek help, so it’s difficult to understand the true extent of the problem.
“It’s important that we work together to help prevent young people with low-level mental health problems from getting worse.
“Children will be referred to our ‘Feel Good, Function Well’ project through their school, youth group and community centre. They will also come to us via statutory services and other youth charities like Barnardo’s and NSPCC” added Jacqui.
Jacqui also explained that the young people will be involved in the planning, design and delivery of each programme. She said:
“The project takes into account what young people want, not what service providers think they should have. We will use their feedback each week to shape future sessions.”
Brathay has had a base in Barrow since September 2015, working with some of the most disadvantaged young people in the area. During this time, the charity has built up excellent links and partnerships with both local statutory and voluntary services.
Anyone wanting to find out more should contact Jacqui Wallace, Cumbria Project Manager at [email protected]