(Exclusive) Massive near £400,000 mental health boost to help hundreds of young people

By Jill Dando News

A charity creaking under the weight of a mental health pandemic has received a whopping £389,000 National Lottery boost to quadruple its capacity to 400 young people.

In Charley’s Memory will be able to help 400 young people instead of 100 after a National Lottery bid was successful.

The money will initially be used to build and furnish eight new counselling rooms at their base in Highbridge, Somerset.

Charity bosses stressed the constant need for community to support to continue to cover the ongoing care costs for counselling young people.

Mental Health Pandemic

Britain is in the grip of a mental health pandemic that was already there before COVID-19 – but has accelerated massively ever since.

CAMHS cannot cope under the sheer volume of referrals being received for young people in Somerset and across the country with charities such as ICM left creaking by picking up the pieces with no funding.

Operations Director Dawn Carey said: “We are absolutely over the moon to receive the support of the Nation Lottery.

“Over the last seven years we have had to move office several times due to reaching capacity. This is a massive lifeline.

“This really is a mental health pandemic. Worse than most people will ever realise. We really need the outstanding community support that we have had to continue to be able to help all the growing numbers of young people in need.”

In recent years ICM has been helping hundreds of young people in Burnham and Highbridge, Weston-super-Mare and Bridgwater.

ICM has worked with The King Alfred School Academy, part of The Priory Learning Trust, for many years after the tragic death of former student Charley after battling mental health issues. 

Mum Jo set up the charity in 2015 and since then it has gone on to aid countless numbers of people as numbers needing their services rocketed. 

Dawn added: “Since the day Jo founded In Charleys Memory we have always had the support of the community and its that support that has helped get to the position we are in today. 

“We are and always will be a grassroots organisation. 

“The National Lottery recognising our achievements is also a credit to the wonderful community that believes in the work we do.

“Today more than ever young people are struggling with their mental health and knowing In Charley’s Memory is now able to offer more young people help than ever is truly remarkable.”

To access ICM’s affordable counselling, people can email counselling@incharleysmemory.co.uk or call  01278 557490.