A project which helps 13-to-19-year olds with emotional, wellbeing and mental health difficulties is benefitting from a £2000 grant from IM Properties’ Peddimore Community Fund.
Headspace run by Sutton Coldfield based charity, The gap* (founded in 2008), is a school’s initiative established in 2015, which works to empower young people and build resilience when they’re going through tough times and awaiting further professional diagnosis.
The Peddimore Community Fund was set up by IM Properties as part of an extensive social value programme to support local community organisations surrounding its new Peddimore scheme and is managed by the Heart of England Community Foundation.
Zabrina Wolfe, coordinator of Headspace and manager at The gap* said the money was particularly well received at the present time when a surge in mental health issues is expected following a return to school from lockdowns.
“We work with three schools within Sutton Coldfield and the surrounding area, and in normal times we’d have up to five volunteers and staff going in and supporting pupils who teachers have referred and feel may need some assistance.
“Our work helps to literally fill the gap while some pupils wait for further support and to prevent mental health issues from escalating.”
The Education Policy Institute warns that young patients are waiting an average of 12 months for help and are frequently turned away. Research also shows that one in three mental health trusts are only accepting the most severe cases.
Zabrina added: “Clearly during the pandemic much of our work has had to stop, including drop-in sessions which would happen three times a week in Sutton town centre.
“We’ve been preparing ourselves for the return and carrying out training with our team to help young people who may be feeling anxious about being in school once again.
“Some have fears about Covid, wearing masks and what if they infect their families and others may have other issues and be disadvantaged, with families struggling to offer the right help and support.
“For all of the young people we try to act like a beacon on a hill,” says Zabrina.
Headspace runs as six-week sessions, with the option to extend depending on circumstances and is run entirely from a number of charitable trusts/foundations, local churches as well as individual donations. It’s not a commissioned service.
Kerry Amory social value manager for IM Properties said: “ Clearly Zabrina and her team are totally invested in the young people they work with and try to give them real solutions and the building blocks to go out and live life without fear, signposting where necessary to other services.
‘It’s also evident that the young people respond really well to them and miss them when they’re not around. We’re looking forward to visiting one of their drop-in sessions when conditions allow.
“We’re delighted to support them now as an organisation through our community fund to directly help young people in Sutton Coldfield and I know some of our team are already looking to volunteer and offer their support, which is really great to see.”
Further information on the grants is available at https://www.heartofenglandcf.co.uk/peddimore-community-fund.
Anyone interested in volunteering for The Gap can contact our main hub email which is: firstname.lastname@example.org