The Mayor of Axminster, Cllr Jeremy Walden, was the guest of honour (as he was 4 years ago when we opened!) and gave a heartfelt speech about The Project’s work. The event was also attended by around 50 people including The Project’s staff, volunteers, supporters and young people who use its support groups.
Cllr Walden, in his speech, referred to the value of The Project to local young people, and made reference to how few other services are available to support those with mental health issues. Debbie Humberstone, Founder and Project Manager, said,
“I am so proud of the service we have created at The Project. We are making a difference to many young lives, and by providing help and support at an early stage, preventing mental health issues from escalating into more serious problems. We know our groups are valued by young people, and their parents, but also by schools, GPs and statutory mental health services who all refer young people to us. As we celebrated our latest milestone – our 4th anniversary – it was wonderful to share the occasion with so many friends and supporters. It made my day!”
The Project, which is part of Action East Devon, provides a vital service for young people with mental and emotional health issues aged 13-24 across East Devon, South Somerset and West Dorset. Through its peer support groups, it supports up to 80 young people at any one time. Part-funded by Comic Relief, it must raise more funding through donations and fundraising from organisations, groups and individuals in order to cover running costs.
Earlier this month, The Project launched the crowdfunding campaign #Support4September to celebrate its birthday and raise much needed funds. Decisions about The Project’s future will be made in October and if the £15,000 target is not reached, some of its support groups are at risk. The #Support4September campaign runs until the end of the month, and donors can claim one of the fabulous rewards on offer, which range from wristbands and t-shirts through to mental health awareness training for organisations and employees, by visiting www.crowdfunder.co.uk/theprojectyp
Young people who attend The Project’s support groups experience a variety of mental health problems, including anxiety, exam stress, bereavement, eating disorders, depression and bullying. They don’t need to be diagnosed with a mental illness to be referred. The groups provide young people with a safe, inclusive environment where they can participate in activities which teach them tools and skills they can use to deal with their difficulties in everyday life.
The Project also runs a monthly support group for parents and carers, works closely with schools to educate teenagers about mental health and delivers mental health training courses and workshops. While its support groups mainly help young people across East Devon, South Somerset and West Dorset, The Project’s impact reaches much further. Its wider work is already having positive effects on people across the South West, and this will increase if it secures sufficient funding.
The Project hopes to keep providing mental health information, help and support well beyond its 4th birthday – the success of the #Support4September campaign will protect all of its services for the next year. By supporting The Project this September, you will ensure it can support young people in future.
For more information about The Project, visit www.theprojectyp.org.uk, call 07970 167341 or email firstname.lastname@example.org . Please visit its crowdfunding page www.crowdfunder.co.uk/theprojectyp to donate to #Support4September.
PS. We loved our cake! Thank you so much to Heather Upham, at Fancy That Cake Co. in Beaminster for donating it for our celebrations. You are a star, as always! 🙂 x