The Project aims to celebrate its 4th birthday in style this September – by raising at least £15,000! This would provide the youth mental health charity with the remaining money needed to continue running its services, including peer support groups in Axminster and Chard, for another year.
The Project, which is part of Action East Devon (registered charity no. 1134611), 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 their peer support groups, they support up to 80 young people at any one time. Part-funded by Comic Relief, they raise match funding through donations and fundraising from organisations, groups and individuals.
Providing a place in one of its support groups for a young person with mental health issues costs The Project £1,200 per year, so it relies on the generosity of supporters to keep this service free and accessible to all. They hope that in running a successful crowdfunding campaign, they can secure the money needed to safeguard the immediate future of the service.
You can donate to the #Support4September campaign, gaining one of the amazing rewards on offer in the process, by visiting www.crowdfunder.co.uk/theprojectyp
Debbie Humberstone, The Project’s founder, says “Since The Project opened 4 years ago, it has grown and expanded the support it offers so more young people are now able to benefit. As it grows, the amount we need to raise each year to keep the service running also increases. Grant funding is becoming harder and harder to secure, so in addition to generating our own income through our successful mental health training courses, we are trying out crowdfunding as a way of raising funds.
“So many young people now rely on our support to help them through difficult times, and we work tirelessly to keep our groups running. We now have waiting lists for some of our groups as more and more young people turn to us, and demand for places increases. Statistics show that young people’s mental health issues are on the rise, so it is vital that The Project continues. We hope that people will feel inspired by the rewards on offer to donate to our #Support4September campaign.”
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 give it a head start. By supporting The Project this September, you will ensure they can support young people in future.