Voluntary Fund smashes £100k for local youth mental health charities

Release Date: 30 June 2020

The Richmond upon Thames Voluntary Fund, aimed at raising money for two local youth mental health charities, has so far raised £100k and it is not too late to donate!

The Fund is a charitable trust that was launched in February to collect donations from residents for specific vulnerable groups, where there is a need for additional funding for help and support.  

Every year the Voluntary Fund will select which vulnerable group it intends to support. Residents will then be invited to donate towards local charities that work hard to offer support in this area of need. The 2020 beneficiaries are Twickenham based charity Off The Record and Richmond Borough Mind.

Since the launch, thanks to the generosity of local people, over £100k has so far been raised (including Gift Aid) and it is not too late to donate.

This funding will be more vital than ever to the charities, as their services will be needed now more than ever, as the borough responds with the ongoing impact of the Coronavirus pandemic on its communities.

Off The Record has worked incredibly hard to move their counselling service online during lockdown, so that all young people who wanted to, could continue to see their counsellor. They are also offering counselling to clients on their waiting list, and to any new young people who are in need.

Richmond Borough Mind has been offering workshops online, focusing on the anxieties young people face going back to school or moving to new schools following the lockdown period. They have also been working to provide peer mentoring to young carers as an extension to peer mentoring offered in schools and youth groups.

Residents can make a donation throughout the year online or by cheque, and every donation counts. Just £55 could help provide a crisis counselling session for a young person, or £105 could provide five 1:1 youth peer mentor sessions.

Cllr Robin Brown, Trustee for the Richmond Voluntary Fund, said:

“This is a phenomenal amount of money. It is tremendous that local people understand the importance of mental health support for our younger residents. Since the pandemic the mental wellbeing of our communities has been a huge concern to us. Young people having to deal with the additional pressures of being away from school, their friends, having to learn at home and some sadly having to cope with bereavement.

“I would like to thank all the residents who have made such generous donations so far. 100% of all donations will go to the two charities and will make a huge difference to the valuable work that they deliver.

“I would also like to thank Off The Record and Richmond Borough Mind, as well as all the other voluntary sector organisations in the borough, that have done so much to help support our families through this difficult time.”

Find out more or make a donation

Off The Record 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. In making a donation to the Richmond Voluntary Fund, you could provide the following help and support to Off The Record:

  • £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 is a registered charity (No. 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.

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

Notes for editors

If you are a journalist and would like further information about this press release, contact Elinor Firth on 020 8487 5159.

Reference: P257/20

Updated: 30 June 2020