Buckinghamshire Council has awarded nearly £100,000 to a range of projects which promote positive emotional wellbeing for children and young people in Buckinghamshire.
The funding, from the Children and Young People’s Wellbeing Fund, has been allocated to eight different out of school projects spread across the county. The fund is run in partnership with Heart of Bucks who administer it on behalf of the Council. Local groups were invited to apply for funding of up to £15,000 for their project. All bids were considered by the specialist panel which included local young people.
The successful projects were:
- Action 4 Youth: Counselling service for 12-18-year-olds exhibiting poor emotional wellbeing and mental health, based at The Junction Youth Centre
- Brighter Futures Together: Aims to develop a network of Young Mental Health Champions
- Carers Bucks: A targeted group focusing on the mental wellbeing of young carers aged 12-16 years.
- Connection Support: Counselling service for 12-18-year-olds who have become homeless or at risk of being homeless. This project was co-produced with young people who wanted to employ a trained counsellor to support them with poor emotional wellbeing andmental health.
- CreateED South East: A music and mindfulness project for children aged 5-11 years with poor emotional wellbeing and additional needs.
- Mama Bee Group: ‘The Bigger Picture Programme’ aimed at supporting young people in care or care leavers with poor mental health.
- Theatre Shed: A youth led initiative to improve wellbeing and increase resilience through weekly issue based performing arts workshops and wellbeing activities.
- Youth Concern: To help meet the increased demand for high quality person-centred counselling for vulnerable 13-18-year-olds outside school hours.
To be considered, projects needed to demonstrate that they would actively promote positive emotional wellbeing for children and young people in ways such as equipping them with strategies and tools to manage their emotions, improving resilience, improving understanding of the symptoms of mental ill health, and improving knowledge of the sources of support available. Another requirement was that the projects needed to be aimed at children and young people from communities identified as at higher risk of poor emotional wellbeing and poor mental health, and also within the areas of Aylesbury, High Wycombe and Chesham outlined in the Council’s Opportunity Bucks programme, which seeks to ensure equal opportunity for everyone in Buckinghamshire. The programme is focussed on ten wards in the county where people are experiencing the most hardship.
Angela Macpherson, Buckingamshire Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing said: “We are delighted to be able to support so many fantastic initiatives aimed at supporting the mental wellbeing of children and young people in Buckinghamshire. Over the past few years particularly, our young people have been hugely affected by global events. These events were unsettling enough for adults, let alone children. Growing up in today’s world can bring many challenges so it is important that our young people are able to arm themselves with the knowledge, awareness and capabilities to look after their mental health both now and in the future.”
Henry Allmand, CEO at Heart of Bucks said: ““By working in partnership with the council we have been able to direct much-needed funding to a range of organisations supporting children and young people. Together we are committed to promoting positive emotional wellbeing and we look forward to seeing the difference this fund will make to the lives of local young people.”
One of the beneficiaries of the funding is Carers Bucks. Beth Sawyers, Fundraiser at the organisation said: “This donation will enable our young carers to take part in a course of wellbeing workshops followed by a well-deserved day trip at the end. Without this money these opportunities and experiences wouldn’t be possible so we would like to say thank you for your generosity.’’