Jigsaw Family Support receives grant from Youth Mental Health Fund

The Hampshire & Isle of Wight Community Foundation (HIWCF) has awarded grants totaling £55,058 to ten local groups with the support of the Police & Crime Commissioner for Hampshire, Michael Lane, who provided match-funding of c.80% to the Youth Mental Health Fund. Grants have been awarded to local voluntary groups right across Hampshire, Portsmouth, Southampton and Isle of Wight area for projects working towards the prevention and treatment of mental health problems for children and young adults.

The fund supports young children from the age of five up to adults of 25 years old who have been affected by a range of issues including anxiety, depression, cyberbullying, low self-esteem, drug addition, bereavement, domestic abuse and crime. Young people living with mental health issues, and their parents and carers, need be able to explore their concerns in a safe, friendly and non-judgemental environment, receiving support with their emotional wellbeing to help them avoid illness and mental distress. This is the first time HIWCF has run a Youth Mental Health fund and the Foundation received an overwhelming response, with applications received from 38 groups expressing an interest in grants for projects amounting to £206,823.67.

Jigsaw Family Support, Isle of Wight

Jigsaw Family Support based in Ryde offers psychological therapy and counselling to families in crisis and to children and young people who have been affected by family breakdown. The group has received a grant of £5,252 to enable them to support more young people suffering with mental health issues, allowing them to expand their services and offer even more help for people in desperate need who have nowhere else to go for the right advice and support. The group aims to help by dealing with the physical and emotional turmoil that may lead to unhappiness, risk taking, substance misuse or anti-social behaviour, reducing isolation and promoting key values that children and young people can carry forward into their adult lives.

Tina Maretic, Centre Co-ordinator for Jigsaw said “We are delighted to receive this grant which enables us to continue our vital services on the Island, supporting an average of 36 vulnerable young people every month. It is vital that children with mental health problems get early support, yet the reality is that mental health for young people has been chronically underfunded for decades. By gaining access to the right kind of counselling and treatment we believe that we can address young people’s problems, effectively transforming how they will deal with issues in their future lives in a more positive way.”

Jakes Ferguson, Chief Executive of HIWCF commented: “The overwhelming response to our first HIWCF Youth Mental Health fund demonstrates huge demand for the support of mental health programmes in the area. Figures from the Office of National Statistics in 2016 indicate that almost 1 in 4 children and young people show some evidence of mental ill health (including anxiety and depression), with just 0.7% of the NHS budget spent on children’s mental health. We are extremely pleased to support the vital work of local groups in this area of Youth Mental Health, and unfortunately with the funds available are only able to support a small number of those requesting help; so we have further work to do raising funds and awareness to meet the needs of vulnerable people across our communities.”

HIWCF continuously reviews grant-making to ensure that it focuses on the areas of greatest need. Last year we were able to target 70% of our £1.1m grant spend on the 50% most deprived wards in our area. If you would like to find out more about HIWCF and our invaluable work across Hampshire and Isle of Wight, Southampton and Portsmouth please look at www.hiwcf.com

 All enquiries should be directed to HIWCF and not to the Office of the Police & Crime Commissioner.

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