Fund launched to help young people in Cheshire affected by mental health issues

Reporter:

Matt Warner

A major new fund has been launched to help young people affected by mental health issues.

The Young Minds Matter Programmeis the brainchild of Cheshire Community Foundation (CCF), which matches charitable donors with the causes that matter most in Cheshire and Warrington.

The launch of Young Minds Matter took place on World Mental Health Day.

CCF is putting in place plans for a £500,000 fund to distribute over the next three years. It already has 50 per cent of the funds secured from a number of local donors and is keen to hear from other individuals and companies interested in supporting the programme. Contributions will be match-funded pound-for-pound (up to £250,000).

CCF also wants to hear from organisations who feel their work fits with the programme’s objective of combating mental health issues affecting young people in Cheshire and Warrington.

Organisations are invited to express their interest in the programme no later than November 30. Successful organisations will then have until March 15 next year to submit a full application.

CCF is specifically looking for organisations with plans for longer-term projects running for three years, although successful applicants will initially receive funding to deliver a pilot project.

Zoe Sheppard, CEO of Cheshire Community Foundation, said: “We are very proud to be launching our Young Minds Matter Programme.

“In Cheshire, 13.1 per cent – or nearly 24,300 children and young people between 0 and 24 years – are believed to have a mental health issue.

“Early intervention is crucial. Some 75 per cent of adults with a lifetime of mental illness first developed symptoms before 18. Experiences, particularly in the first five years of life and during early adolescence have a lasting impact on a child’s mental wellbeing. Intervention can therefore be life-changing.”

CCF organised a Mental Health Symposium earlier this year, attended by leading experts in the field of mental health, sufferers of mental health issues and key voluntary organisations. The findings from the day played a key role in shaping the new initiative.

Zoe added: “The Young Minds Matter Programme allows us to work in a really focussed, strategic way to achieve significant impact across Cheshire and Warrington – very few charitable organisations are in a position to do this.

“We are committed to helping reverse the devastating effects of mental health issues and on making long-term improvements to the lives of young people with mental health issues.”

If you are a potential donor or an organisation interested in finding out more about the Young Minds Matter Programme, please contact Angela Richardson on 01606 330607 or email: office@cheshirecommunityfoundation.org.uk

Email:

matt.warner@nwn.co.uk

See full story in the Chester Leader

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