We are delighted to report we'll be able to widen our creative services to help young people facing mental health challenges in South-West London, following the award of a coveted Baring Foundation grant of £8,000. We plan to use the funding to work with children’s services to develop new, creative arts workshops for local youngsters.
The mental health of young people has been seen as a priority in this area since a 2017 report highlighted how Richmond-upon-Thames youngsters had the fourth highest rate of hospital admissions following self-harm in London; and Richmond’s 15 year olds had wellbeing scores below the London average.
Co-chair of our trustees, Rachel Tranter says with experts predicting that young people’s mental health problems are likely to worsen as a result of the pandemic, winning this grant has been very timely.
The £8,000 will go towards building sustainable partnerships between Art & Soul and local children’s mental health services such as Achieving for Children, Richmond CAMHS (Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services) and voluntary organisations like Off the Record and other relevant council teams. The grant will allow for research and development work and knowledge sharing between ourselves and the other groups that will ultimately lead to a series of 25 creative workshops reaching at least 50 local children and young people. We plan to start the work in October and complete the sessions before July 2021.
Sir Vince Cable, President of Arts Richmond and also patron of Art & Soul, has welcomed the grant, saying he’s delighted at the additional funding to extend their work: “I recall some outstanding exhibitions of art from vulnerable adults. Now they are branching out to children and young people which is all the more essential given the pressures on them from prolonged closure of schools and colleges”.