Trafford residents are set to benefit from four new initiatives created to help support mental health and wellbeing throughout COVID-19.
Thanks to a £20,000 funding grant from Trafford Housing Trust’s Social Investment Fund (SIF), the programs are providing essential support and advice for communities throughout the borough, which is increasingly important with lockdown restrictions tightening and uncertainty growing.
The four groups include Gorse Hill Studios, who are offering online mentoring and youth work sessions for the most vulnerable, and Sharon Youth Association, who create music projects with disadvantaged young people.
Another funding recipient, Hero Group, has created a new pilot project specifically tailored to the Trust’s customers who are struggling with mental health challenges. The fourth group, Starling, offers weekly groups called ‘Creative Minds,’ providing one-to-one support for neurodiverse young people.
Larry Gold, CEO at Trafford Housing Trust, said: “These initiatives couldn’t have come at a more vital time, as we are seeing increasing numbers of people suffering with mental health issues as the coronavirus pandemic continues. Providing help and advice can make an individual more resilient, and we feel that these initiatives will give Trafford residents the tools they need to support their mental strength and wellbeing as we head into the winter.”
Caroline Gleaves, Chief Officer at Gorse Hill Studios, said: “The positive feedback we have received to-date has told us that we need to carry on developing our online services, especially as the future is still so uncertain. It is going to take a long time for us to feel that we can safely and confidently deliver face to face and group services.
“If the past seven months have taught us anything it’s the importance of keeping connections going and adapting to new ways of working so we don’t lose the trusted relationships we have built. With young people, it far too easy to become isolated and disaffected.”
Sam Fentem, Chair of Sharon Youth Association, said: “The grant has allowed us to employ a part time sound engineer to work in our studio, recording and developing music with the young people, many of whom are from disadvantaged backgrounds. Our hope is that on completion of the pilot, we will be able to offer this programme on a more permanent basis.”
Katie Charlton, Director at Starling said: “We are so excited to be rolling out our creative project in Trafford. We have had lots of interest from parents, carers and young people and we are enjoying creating some brilliant artwork and creative pieces with our participants. Sadly, we know that many neurodivergent young people have particularly suffered the impact of isolation during the pandemic, so we are really thrilled to have been given the opportunity to develop young people’s wellbeing through our sessions and move forward on our road to recovery.’”
Founder of Hero Group, Andrew Hankin said: “We are delighted to be working with Trafford Housing Trust to be able to deliver the Hero Blueprint to those who need it at this challenging time, which is exactly the reason that Hero Group C.I.C. was set up in the first place .”
For further information on Trafford Housing Trust’s Social Investment Fund, visit www.socialinvestment.traffordhousingtrust.co.uk
For further information on the initiatives mentioned above can be found via the below:
Gorse Hill Studios: https://www.gorsehillstudios.co.uk/
Hero Group CIC: https://herocic.org/