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Help us reach £100k to support children's mental health

27 May 2021

We have received just under £100k of donations to the Richmond upon Thames Voluntary Fund – the more we raise, the more young people can receive help.

The fund is a charitable trust that was launched in 2020 to collect donations from residents for specific vulnerable groups, where there is a need for additional funding for help and support.  

Every year the fund (Registered Charity No. 1186870) selects a vulnerable group which it intends to support. Residents are invited to donate towards chosen local charities that work hard to offer support in this area of need. The 2021 beneficiaries are Twickenham based charity Off The Record, Richmond Borough Mind, Dose of Nature and Marble Hill Playcentres.

The Trustees decided that, in 2021, the fund will continue to support children’s and youth mental health for a second year. After the first national lockdown in 2020, approximately one in six children was identified as having a probable mental health disorder. Lack of interaction with friends, access to sports and social activities, plus worries about education and their futures, have all led to increased levels of anxiety in young people and children.

Off The Record provides the only free drop-in counselling, information and sexual health service for young people aged 11–24 living, working or studying in the borough of Richmond. Richmond Borough Mind offer free mental health awareness assemblies and workshops to every primary and secondary school in the borough and work alongside the schools to promote better mental health. Their specialist workshops cover important issues from cyber bullying to exam stress and anxiety.

Dose of Nature offers a number of opportunities, presentations and programmes, appropriate for children and young people of all ages. Their workshops combine classroom-based learning about the mental health benefits of spending more time in nature, with practical outdoor nature-based activities. Marble Hill Playcentre's mission is to unlock the power of play and the magic of community, providing inclusive, supportive and sustainable play and education services to all children and families. In a normal year they would have around 10,000 visits.

Residents can make a donation throughout the year online or by cheque and every donation counts. Just £55 could help provide a crisis counselling session for a young person, or £105 could provide five 1:1 youth peer mentor sessions.

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Up to: May 2021

Updated: 27 May 2021