A hundred children and young people aged 16-19 with mental health conditions will be given help to improve their health and wellbeing with support from Involve Kent, thanks to a grant from joint West Kent and East Kent Freemasons.
The £41,492 grant will support Involve’s ‘Links!’ project, which will support young people to create friendships through fun activities. The activities will be designed with the young people and will be both online and in person.
Involve’s Youth Project Coordinator will meet with each young person at home or in the community to increase their confidence, reduce anxiety and build an understanding of what they enjoy and what matters most to them.
The aim is that young people work together to develop the project and create connections through shared interests and experiences which will help them to develop their social skills and reduce isolation.
Links! will demonstrate that early intervention (often prior to a formal diagnosis) can improve a young person’s outlook and transform their aspirations and their future. One in seven of all young people have a probable or diagnosed mental health condition and increasingly Involve is working with children and young people where the mental health condition is more severe, and where other factors exacerbate issues, such as poverty or parental ill health.
Links will provide personalised 1-2-1 support to 100 young people and their families. 40 intense 1:1 support (home visits, frequent contact, lots of support to attend a group, longer term support – up to the full year) & 60 lighter touch support i.e. newsletter, phone calls when needed, attends some activities but not all and doesn’t need much support to attend.
This is a strategic project which meets an immediate need for young people improving their mental health but also is part of a broader change, called ‘Transformation of community mental health services’. This is a national agenda led by the NHS. Our intention is to test this approach, gather feedback, insight and evidence, and use it to influence transformation plans so that it becomes ‘business as usual’ for mental health services in future.
Amelia Kury from Involve Kent, said:
“We’re very grateful to Kent Freemasons for their generous grant. Our Links! programme is designed to improve a young person’s outlook in terms of the way they relate to other people and can transform their future. Thanks to the Freemasons, we’ll be able to help 100 children and their families.”
Roland Stokes from West Kent Freemasons said:
“We are constantly striving to help our community and especially those that need the help the most in our society.”