Community News From Around Our Area

The WPH Charitable Trust Awards £5,000 to Help Young People with Mental Health Issues

A project which supports children and young adults in Coventry and Warwickshire with mental health problems has been awarded £5,000 by the WPH Charitable Trust.

Established in 2012 the Sharp Minds project works with 11 to 18 year olds who have been referred by a variety of professional agencies.

In many cases the young people have withdrawn from their families and friends, education and social groups, entering into a downward spiral of anxiety, depression and loneliness.

Experienced staff work with young people at various stages of that spiral. Some may be entering into the early stages of mental illness whilst others may have already been the subject of interventions over many years but have yet to see any improvement.

Sharp Minds started as a small weekly group meeting and has now expanded to three group meetings across Warwickshire, in Stratford, Warwick and Leamington, catering for up to 15 young people in any one session.

Using one-to-one mentoring as well as weekly group activities, it gives young people the chance to build friendships with their peers.

This is the fourth time the charity has been helped by the WPH Charitable Trust, having previously received three grants totalling £9,500 since 2013.

David Skoppek, Chief Officer of Young People First, which runs the Sharp Minds programme, said, “Since the inception of Sharp Minds we have seen our young people grow in confidence, make new friends and learn tools to help them manage their mental health problems. As a result, young people have returned to education, secure employment and actually started to enjoy life. This year one of our eldest members started university which was a major triumph for all!”

Costing £46,700 a year to run, David said the money from the WPH Charitable Trust will be used directly towards staff salaries.

He added, “Young People First is only able to do what it does thanks to the support of grant making charities like the WPH Charitable Trust.

“Through their consistent support of our work since its early days, hundreds of vulnerable young people have grown in confidence, made new friends and learned how to better manage their mental health problems.”