Surrey Mental Health Fund

9th August 2018

Our Mental Health Fund for Surrey launched to help improve mental health amongst children and young people.

Having identified the need for a dedicated fund for Mental Health in Surrey, we have worked with partners in the statutory and voluntary sector to develop the priorities for the fund, based on emerging needs and gaps in support across the county. After consulting with these partners, it became clear that there is a need to support the mental health of children of primary school age and during the transition into secondary school, when mental health problems can start to occur. The Mental Health Foundation notes that approximately 70% of people with a mental health problem have not had support at a sufficiently early age, and that 50% of mental health problems are established by the time a child reaches 14.

Therefore, grants are made to early intervention projects helping children and young people aged 8-13 develop emotional resilience and self-esteem. Consideration is also given to innovative new ideas and pilot projects as well as existing work.

Areas of particular interest include:

  • Encouraging healthier use of Social Media amongst children and young people
  • Self Harm prevention and support
  • Projects led by young people, including activities which raise awareness of youth mental health issues

Grants will typically be between £5,000-£10,000, however smaller projects are welcome to apply.


Grants Awarded

We are delighted to have awarded £112,414 in grants since opening the Fund at the beginning of 2019. Please see below a list of some of the projects supported to date:

  • Discovery Church Trust –  £9,000 funding for an after-school club which supports vulnerable young people of primary school age in Chertsey
  • Matrix Trust – £9,998 funding for transition support for vulnerable pupils moving from Year 6 to Year 7 in Guildford
  • SparkFish – £6,000 awarded for Child Centred Therapy programmes using art and drawing in Reigate and Banstead
  • North Downs Schools Partnership – £4,000 awarded for workshops and debates for young people in schools about social media and mental ill health.
  • University of West London – £10,150.00 awarded for early intervention clubs for young people at risk of mental ill-health in Elmbridge
  • Peer Productions – ‘Hidden’, a performance raising awareness of self-harm, performed at schools across Surrey
  • George Abbott School – ‘Space for Young Minds’ – a series of wellbeing projects developed by student wellbeing Ambassadors
  • Surrey Minority Ethnic Forum – ‘Being Ourselves’, a pilot project exploring issues which affect mental health of BAME young people
  • YMCA East Surrey – Early intervention mental health workshops in schools in East Surrey
  • 40 Degreez Centre – ‘Health Hub’ project, offering dedicated 1:1 and group support sessions for young people
  • Momentum – Specialist counselling for young people who are living with cancer
  • Prospero Theatre – Multi phase project to support the wellbeing of boys at Sunnydown School


Mental Health Facts

The Mental Health Foundation estimate that 1 in 10 children and young people have poor mental health –equating to an estimated 14,500 individuals between the ages of 5 and 15 in Surrey – and, furthermore, that ‘70% of children and young people who experience a mental health problem have not had appropriate interventions at a sufficiently early age’. The Foundation also notes that 50% of mental health problems are established by age 14, highlighting the need for early intervention projects such as those we are aiming to fund.

In August 2018, The Children’s Society published a report which revealed that 22% of 14 year old girls in the UK had self-harmed during the previous year. Based on the figures, the Children’s Society estimates that 109,000 young people self harmed during a 12 month period when the data was collected in 2015.

During Children’s Mental Health Week 2019 (Feb 4th-8th), the Princes Trust released new research which revealed that half of young people surveyed said that looking at social media makes them feel inadequate.

Also during Children’s Mental Health Week, Place2Be unveiled new data showing that 56% of children worry about something all the time.

We are continuing to grow the balance available to the Mental Health Fund, and are actively seeking individuals, businesses and trusts who may be interested in becoming a donor.