Northumberland Pride awarded £75,000 for youth mental health support

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A charity has been awarded £75,000 to provide mental health support to children and young people in Northumberland and beyond

The funding for Northumberland Pride is being provided by the UK Youth Fund – Thriving Minds, a new programme being delivered by leading national youth work charity UK Youth.

Support for the Ashington-based Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Plus (LGBT+) organisation includes a dedicated mental health and wellbeing worker, who will set up and support new thematically based groups, 1-2-1 support and continues access to counselling.

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Isolation is a key problem for young people across Northumberland, and the organisation hopes to bridge a gap between existing provision whilst bringing expert support for our communities.

Crowds at Northumberland Pride at Alnwick Rugby Club in 2018.Crowds at Northumberland Pride at Alnwick Rugby Club in 2018.
Crowds at Northumberland Pride at Alnwick Rugby Club in 2018.

In July 2020, the prevalence of mental health problems in 5-22 year olds went up to one in six, up from one in nine in 2017. This comes at a time when support for young people is suffering.

Children are waiting up to three years for access to mental health care in some parts of the UK.

In the last decade more than 4,500 youth work jobs and 760 youth centres have closed, as over £1bn funding has been cut from the sector.

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Ndidi Okezie, chief executive of UK Youth said: "Youth workers can spot the signs that a young person is experiencing difficulties and can support them to open up, talk through what they are going through and seek help if they need it.

"With a youth support system already on its knees post pandemic we know the numbers of young people that need support from a youth worker are only going to rise as we face the biggest cost of living crisis in a generation.

"UK Youth are delighted to be able to help fund Northumberland Pride, one of almost 100 organisations across the UK improving support for young people over the next three years through their incredible work with young people."

Laura Collinson-Knapp, a trustee from Northumberland Pride said: "We are delighted to have secured support from the UK Youth Fund – Thriving Minds.

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"As an organisation supporting young people, we have seen first-hand the impact of the pandemic and other issues on the mental health of children and young people.

"More and more LGBT+ young people are reaching crisis point and turning to us for support.

"This funding will allow us to help them at an integral point in their journey with targeted support based on their needs.”

Earlier this year UK Youth, working in partnership with the Julia and Hans Rausing Trust, launched Thriving Minds, an ambitious fund for projects to improve mental health support and provision for young people through youth work.

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Organisations will be supported for three years, both with funds and a tailored package of extra support including workshops, training and by building communities of best practice.

The initial £10m pot provided by Julia and Hans Rausing has been boosted by an additional £1m from the Westminster Foundation.

For more information about UK Youth Fund - Thriving Minds visit