Child mental health support is fighting to keep the service from closing in Whittlesey

Whittlesey Young People's Counselling Service

Whittlesey Young People's Counselling Service - Credit: Archant

Volunteers at a free child counselling service are on a mission to save it from closing.

Whittlesey Young People’s Counselling Service has set up a Just Giving page to raise £3,420 for 10 young people to receive up to 12 free sessions.

Louise Russell said: “Nationally, child mental health is a big concern and locally we are seeing more and more cases of young people without the support they need.

“After a recent change of committee and a cut in local government funding the service is faced with the dilemma of how to keep the service going.

“Our aim is to keep applying for funding however the reality is that there is still a growing waiting list and no sign of the regular CCG funding we have been receiving for the past six years.

“We have seen a growing change in the types of referrals we are receiving, there have been an overwhelming amount of 13 year olds who have been referred and as we know early intervention can be crucial for a young person’s social and emotional development, we decided to focus on a smaller age group hoping to help prevent mental health in later years.”

Since April 2014 the service has received 120 referrals from Whittlesey and Yaxley GP practices, Stanground Academy and Sir Harry Smith Community College.

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Issues dealt with by qualified counsellors include self harm, low self esteem, anxiety, bereavement, phobias and abuse.

The service began more than 20 years ago offering counselling to 14-25 year olds but now hopes to switch to offering support to 13 to 18 year olds.

Norwich and Peterborough building society in Whittlesey have selected the service to be one of their nominated charities for donation.

Volunteers will be in branch from May 9 to 21 to talk about their work and also at Yaxley Festival on May 14 and 15.

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