Make a difference to the 2020/21 chosen charities

Mental health is a major concern for young people in the UK so the Richmond upon Thames Voluntary Fund have selected the charities Off the Record and Richmond Borough Mind for 2020/21.

Chosen charities for the Voluntary Fund

The focused area for fundraising in 2020/21 will be charities providing support for young people’s mental health. They are:

Off the Record Twickenham

Off The Record Twickenham (OTR), registered charity (Number 1152097), is a unique organisation that dramatically improves outcomes for young people and their families, and saves lives.

OTR provides the only free drop-in counselling, information and sexual health service for young people aged 11–24 living, working or studying in the borough of Richmond.

They provide early help, preventing future suffering and cost. In 2018, they supported over 2,000 young people. Young people come with an increasing range of issues including relationship problems, difficulties at school, anxiety and panic attacks, suicidal ideation, abuse, depression, self-harm and eating disorders.

Feedback from young people overwhelmingly shows us that after counselling they have dramatically improved well-being, they feel less lonely or isolated and experience less anxiety or panic.

In making a donation you could provide the following help and support to young people:

  • £55 a young person could have a crisis counselling session
  • £500 a young person could have a full counselling programme with an experienced counsellor
  • £1,000 18 young people in crisis could have immediate support with an experienced counsellor

Richmond Borough Mind 

Richmond Borough Mind (RBMind) is a registered charity (Number 1146297), which provides a range of services to support people with low to moderate, through to severe and enduring mental health needs. Their aim is to ensure that all individuals impacted by mental ill health, and their carers, can live their best life possible, to promote hope and recovery for all.

RBMind have supported youth mental health, delivering successful wellbeing and resilience workshops across schools and youth settings (from age 8 upwards) to equip young people with the tools, skills and knowledge to look after their own, and others, emotional health. 

They reached over 2,000 young people last year, and their interventions made a significant improvement on attendees’ knowledge of wellbeing and mental health, as well as their awareness of how to seek support for themselves and others.  

Evidence shows that early intervention can prevent issues developing into mental ill health later in life, and there is more that can be done to support this locally. 

Through additional funding RB Mind aim to extend the available support for children and young people, to support individuals to develop healthy coping strategies, improve their relationships, and manage symptoms of anxiety or stress. 

In making a donation you could provide the following help and support to young people:

  • £29 could provide a weekly place on an after-school support programme
  • £105 could provide five 1:1 youth peer mentor sessions
  • £120 could provide a school assembly and year group workshops on mental health support.
  • £1,740 could provide a six-week, peer mentor led programme for ten young people

About mental illness

Mental health disorders are responsible for the largest burden of disease in England – 23% of the total burden, compared to 16% for cancer and 16% for heart disease (World Health Organisation (2008). Global burden of disease report - WHO). Richmond is not immune to this.

Mental illnesses, such as anxiety or depression, vary in their severity, but all have an impact on our ability to get on with life and in the worst cases can be life threatening.

Too often people are afraid to talk about mental health problems and our health system is already stretched. Only 1 in 3 people currently access professional help. We know that when mental health problems start at a young age, it can have lifetime consequences.

Young people's mental health in Richmond

Considering the latest information regarding the mental health of young people in Richmond, the Trustees for the Richmond upon Thames Voluntary Fund are particularly concerned about the increase in mental health and emotional disorders in younger residents: 

  • There are approximately 4,700 children and young people with mental ill-health in Richmond. (Mental Health of Children and Young People in England, 2017 [PAS], NHS Digital)
  • Last year 1,700 children and young people were referred to mental health services in our borough. (Children and Young People’s Needs Assessment, 2019, London Borough of Richmond upon Thames )
  • Children and young people are waiting up to 15 weeks for early treatment services and five weeks for a specialist treatment service (assessment to treatment). (Children and Young People’s Needs Assessment, 2019 (pdf, 1.6 MB), London Borough of Richmond upon Thames)
  • Since 2016 there has been a six-fold increase in the need for emergency mental health assessments in A&E, 125 assessments were carried out in 2017/18
  • Richmond has the second highest rate for hospital admissions as a result of self-harm in London. (Public Health Profiles, 2019, Public Health England)
  • 75% of all mental health problems are established by the time someone is 18.
  • 3 in 5 young people (59%) have either experienced a mental health problem themselves, or are close to someone who has

If you are concerned about a young person's mental health, you can find out more information on how to get support.

Updated: 9 March 2020