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22nd May 2020
BBC One’s Strictly Come Dancing head judge Shirley Ballas is leading a major fundraising drive that will transform the way mental health services are delivered to children and young people.
Highlighting that 70% of young people with a mental health issue are currently missing out on vital mental health interventions at a sufficiently early age*, Shirley is backing Alder Hey Children’s Charity’s ‘7 in 10 Children’s Mental Health Appeal’. The Appeal is aiming to raise vital funds to enhance inpatient and Community mental health services at Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, enabling more children to access treatment at the time they need it.
Long term supporter of Alder Hey Children’s Charity, Shirley Ballas was keen to back the campaign saying: “Alder Hey means so much to me; it’s a world class place and the work they do there is inspiring and pioneering. To be asked to be part of the new £3m ‘7 in 10 Children’s Mental Health Appeal’ is an honour.”
“I know from my own personal experience how important this work is. There is a very real need for children to have access to appropriate care and treatment as soon as possible. This Appeal is a chance for everyone to help shape the future of mental healthcare for children and young people across the whole country.”
As part of wider plans to create a unique dedicated children’s and young people’s healthcare campus, Alder Hey is set to soon begin building a new ‘Clinical Hub’ which will include new mental health outpatient facilities and a brand new twelve bed specialist inpatient mental health Unit, alongside other cross dependent community health services. Located right next door to its state-of-the art specialist hospital and within a modern, child-friendly building, the enhanced provision of mental health services will increase current available inpatient bed capacity and enable more children and young people to be seen and treated quickly by experienced, specialist clinicians.
The ‘7in10 Children’s Mental Health Appeal’ is aiming to raise £3m to ensure that the building itself is designed to the highest standards, creating the best possible child friendly environment for young patients.
To kick off the campaign, family retailer Matalan has announced that £500,000 will be donated immediately following the successful ‘Together For Alder Hey PJs Campaign’ in 2019. Matalan’s highly anticipated 2020 annual pyjama campaign for Alder Hey due to be revealed in September will also raise much needed funds for the Appeal.
Jason Hargreaves, CEO of Matalan said: “I am immensely proud that Matalan are able to support Alder Hey Children’s Charity and the invaluable work they do. Having worked with the charity for over six years and raising over £3.2 million, I have been lucky to meet some of the families who have received vital care from Alder Hey and it fills me with great pride that we can and will continue to support. I’m thrilled to be part of the ‘7 in 10’ appeal and that we are able to kick it off with a £500,000 donation from our #TogetherForAlderHey campaign. I am excited for what’s to come, and looking forward to raising even more money with our 2020 campaign and over the years to come.”
Alder Hey’s new mental health facilities have been designed with the help of past and present service users who have had their say on how services should be delivered and what the new building should look like. The Group will also be involved in naming the building once it’s completed.
19 year old Lydia is one of the young people who has used Alder Hey’s Mental Health Services said: “I’m extremely grateful to all the staff at Alder Hey who have supported me in my darkest times. I have learnt to live and accept that my illness will always be with me; but I have been able to find ways to cope and can now look forward to the future - something that was not possible only a year ago. I’m really excited about the ‘7 in 10 Children’s Mental Health Appeal’. This is a brilliant opportunity to help many other children and young people get the urgent lifesaving support they need.”
Fiona Ashcroft, Chief Executive of Alder Hey Children’s Charity said: “We believe that no child or young person should ever go without help and the ‘7 in 10 Children’s Mental Health Appeal’ will greatly enhance the delivery of mental healthcare and the number of children and young people diagnosed and treated by the service. The money raised will help us create treatment facilities that our most vulnerable patients need and deserve.”
Donations can be made to the appeal by going to https://www.alderheycharity.org/donate-now/
*Source – Mental Health Foundation - https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/statistics/mental-health-statistics-children-and-young-people
Alder Hey Children's Charity