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Young People's Centre
Lyme Road

The Project launches second support group

Staff team at The Project - (left to right) Kerry Cable, Lesley Brown and Debbie Humberstone

Staff team at The Project – (left to right) Kerry Cable, Lesley Brown and Debbie Humberstone

Local mental health support group expands to meet need

A ground-breaking mental health scheme for young people is to open in Chard in January 2016, bringing a much-needed new service to the town. Called The Project, the scheme has been operating successfully in Axminster for the past two years, and is opening its second group in response to demand from the South Somerset area.

The Project will help young people aged 13 to 24 – and their parents and carers – by providing mutual support and new friendships, and fresh ways of handling emotional difficulties. The Mayor of Chard, Cllr. Dave Bulmer, will be guest of honour at the a launch event which is being held on Wednesday 2nd December from 4 – 7pm at the Chard Young People’s Centre.

“Thereʼs nothing like ‘The Project’ for young people nationally, yet statistics show that three young people in every class have a diagnosable mental health problem, and issues are emerging earlier and earlier. Offering support, and investing time and effort in young people at this level is worthwhile, if it stops one person developing long-term mental health problems. The Project will provide that much needed support,” said Debbie Humberstone, who was inspired to set up The Project by the past mental health issues of one of her own children.

“Our launch event is a chance for young people, parents and professionals to come and find out more about The Project, and the work we do in supporting young people. Our friendly team of staff and volunteers will be on hand to chat to and answer any questions.”

The Project is being brought to Chard through a partnership with Yarlington Housing Group, a Yeovil based company that provides social housing across the area. Funding is being provided by Yarlington for the initial one-year pilot of The Project, however other partners and potential funding needs to be sourced to secure the long term future of the group.

Ken Comber, Head of Communities at Yarlington Housing Group, commented, “We are so excited to be able to partner with The Project. After seeing the success they have had in Axminster and the demand they have had already from the South Somerset area, we hope that by working together we can make this support more accessible to our residents and the wider community. In a time of uncertainty and pressure on support services for young people, we are pleased to be able to support the set-up of The Project and hope to see it go from strength to strength.”

Referrals are now being taken in readiness for the group opening in January. The Project are also very keen to hear from people of any age who may be interested in volunteering with them, particularly people who have had their own mental health issues or who have worked with young people in this field. To find out more about The Project and how to get involved, visit or ring Debbie on 07970 167341.

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