News - December 2020
Counselling Young People
Last year, Trustees agreed to fund North Kent Mind (NKM) £20,000 to provide mental health awareness in four schools that serve ME1 and ME2. This was the fourth year of doing this. Under normal circumstances, NKM would deliver their service by going out to schools but during 2020, the year of Covid 19, they have had to adapt. The coronavirus pandemic has put an increasing strain on many young people who have already been struggling with their mental health. NKM has seen a marked increase in levels of anxiety, depression, traumatic experiences and self-harm. Further, there have been increases in suicide attempts across local boroughs. Now, as much as ever, mental health support work is imperative to ensure that young people feel heard, supported and able to build coping mechanisms in this difficult time. NKM’s schools coaches are deemed essential workers and have been able to be on-site in all but one of their schools since September. NKM have been able to continue their usual service providing 1-1 support to young people either i) at risk of developing mental health issues or ii) displaying increased need for mental health support. Additionally, they have been providing staff and parents with resources to continue support at home and signposting to local services.
In addition to the work of NKM, Breathing Space has a budget of up to £10,000 per year deliver one to one counselling for young people within our catchment. They too have had to adapt, employing different approaches for different age groups and maintaining distance throughout.
The Hygiene Bank
The Trustees have awarded £500 to the work of this charity. Hygiene poverty is not being able to afford many of the everyday hygiene and personal grooming products most of us take for granted. The reality of low income is that it restricts people’s options, leaving us caught between being able to heat our homes, pay the rent, eat or be clean.
The Hygiene Bank is a people-powered charity and social movement, tackling the issue of hygiene poverty. Their passion stems from a sense of injustice that anyone should be locked out of living a decent, dignified life, so they work to inspire social change. They believe that everyone should be able to feel clean. However, they recognise that many people are living in poverty and can't afford to be clean. Consequently they run a network of projects which help give people access to the basics they need. Covid 19 has impacted heavily on their work and their access to both funds and products needed.