Five voluntary sector projects have been awarded ongoing grant funding due to the positive impact they have made on the emotional wellbeing of children and young people in Suffolk.
Twenty two organisations were given £278,000 by the Ipswich & East Suffolk and West Suffolk clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) in May last year.
Suffolk Community Foundation (SCF) was commissioned to identify projects and organisations working to support the emotional wellbeing of children, young people and families.
The grant funding of local voluntary organisations supports the work to deliver the priorities set out in Suffolk children and young people’s Emotional Wellbeing Transformation Plan which include the development of a new multi-agency Emotional Wellbeing Hub and a new pilot crisis service for young people which will be in place from Spring 2018.
The effectiveness of all 22 projects was then evaluated through a robust monitoring process by SCF and through an academic review by the University of Suffolk to assess how it had improved outcomes for young people
As a result, five of the projects have been told they will receive a further £100,000 between them for the next two years.
• Noise Solution, a 10-week music-based mentoring programme for young people in the west of the county
• Anglia Care Trust, which provides support for young people suffering from mental health and substance abuse issues and their families
• Fresh Start New Beginnings, which provides therapy for children and young people who have been the victims of sexual abuse
• Homestart (east), and
• Homestart (west), which both recruit volunteers to support new or expectant mothers suffering from mental health issues, post-natal or neo-natal depression, broken relationships or domestic abuse.
Simon Glenister, director of Noise Solution Ltd, said: “The funding we have received from the CCGs is a huge validation for the work we do with young people in very challenging circumstances.
“We pair musicians with young people to involve them in making any form of music they desire.
“At the same time we capture and share their musical journey on video and audio and using digital platforms to enable their families and keyworkers to engage with the process.
“This makes them feel competent in something they enjoy and enables them to share it with others in a way that impacts positively on their sense of wellbeing.
“We operate across the eastern region and currently have 14 tutors delivering more than 100 one-to-one sessions a month.
“We regularly see the positive benefits of our work in young people who were previously struggling to engage with services.
“This money enables us to continue to demonstrate that a different approach can be extremely effective where others have struggled.”
One parent whose son attended Noise Solution said: “This been the single most important experience he has undergone and helped towards his recovery.
“He has readily engaged with his tutors and turned up to every session, which is a great result.
“He’s obviously learned a lot about the music and recording side of things, but also about himself. It has been excellent for him. I am hugely grateful.”
A key worker at the children’s home where the boy is being cared for said attending Noise Solution had given him self-esteem and the confidence to return to mainstream schooling.
His social worker added: “Noise Solution has, without a doubt, contributed hugely to his massive increase in confidence.
“Not long ago he couldn’t leave his children’s home without a support worker to accompany him.
“He now leaves regularly, is driving again, is in a new relationship and has signed up to a college course. His confidence has dramatically increased in all areas of his life.”
SCF consulted with representatives from the CCGs, Suffolk County Council, Suffolk Parent Carer Network and the Young Persons Health Ambassador before selecting projects for grant funding.
In addition to the five schemes awarded ongoing funding a further £200,000 in grants have just been awarded to 17 further voluntary sector projects focused on early intervention and prevention.
Wendy Herber, Head of Partnerships at SCF, said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with the CCGs to deliver this programme.
“The partnership of the public sector, the community foundation and our local charities shows what we can achieve when we work together.
“In addition to the public funding made available, our private donors have also stepped up to support this work and increase the impact for young people in Suffolk.
“The charities have also brought additional funding to deliver projects, and together they have recruited over 240 volunteers.
“They are also working with teachers, youth groups and young people themselves to ensure that this programme makes a difference that lasts a lifetime.
“The grants programme has been a real call to action and allows everyone to get involved and the response from groups across Suffolk has been exceptional.”