A charity in Torbay has been awarded £120,000 to provide mental health support to children and young people in our towns and communities.

The funding is being provided by the UK Youth Fund – Thriving Minds, a new programme being delivered by leading national youth work charity UK Youth.

Earlier this year UK Youth, working in partnership with the Julia and Hans Rausing Trust, launched Thriving Minds, an ambitious fund for projects to improve mental health support and provision for young people through youth work.

Organisations will be supported for three years, both with funds and a tailored package of extra support, including workshops, training and by building communities of best practice. The initial £10m pot provided by Julia and Hans Rausing has been boosted by an additional £1m from the Westminster Foundation.

Torbay Youth Trust is a charity set up in partnership with Torbay Children’s Services to run our Youth Service and Young Carers Service. They work with young carers, young people who struggle with adverse childhood experiences, and work with our cared for and care experienced children and young people to make sure they have a voice in the way we look after our children.Torbay Youth Trust is a proud partner within the Imagine This Partnership in Torbay, with over 50 local partners signed up. They will be sharing learning from Thriving Minds with partners to increase the impact in Torbay.

In July 2020, the prevalence of mental health problems in 5–22-year-olds went up to one in six, up from one in nine in 2017. This comes at a time when support for young people is suffering. Children are waiting up to three years for access to mental health care in some parts of the UK. In the last decade more than 4,500 youth work jobs and 760 youth centres have closed, as over £1bn funding has been cut from the sector.

Ndidi Okezie, Chief Executive of UK Youth said: “Youth workers can spot the signs that a young person is experiencing difficulties and can support them to open up, talk through what they are going through and seek help if they need it. With a youth support system already on its knees post-pandemic we know the numbers of young people that need support from a youth worker are only going to rise as we face the biggest cost of living crisis in a generation.UK Youth are delighted to be able to help fund Torbay Youth Trust, one of almost 100 organisations across the UK improving support for young people over the next three years through their incredible work with young people.”

Jo Morrell from Torbay Youth Trust said: “We are proud and delighted to have secured support from the UK Youth Fund – Thriving Minds. As an organisation supporting young people in the Bay, we have seen first-hand the impact of the pandemic and other issues on the mental health of children and young people. More and more young people are turning to us for support. This funding will allow us to strengthen our understanding of the issues our young people are facing, create new ways of working with them, and also support the mental health of our team who, day in day out, walk alongside young people and families and experience their difficulties with them.”

For more information about the UK Youth Fund – Thriving Minds, visit www.ukyouth.org.uk/thriving-minds

For more information about Torbay Youth Trust, visit www.torbayyouthtrust.org.uk

Girl meditating photo courtesy of Freepik.com