“Children with mental health conditions will be given help and support thanks to Kent Freemasons.”

Picture of Richard Dixy, a visiting volunteer standing next to the MCF banner

Children with mental health conditions will be given help and support thanks to Kent Freemasons

A hundred children and young people aged 16-19 with mental health conditions will be given help to improve their health and wellbeing with support from Involve Kent, thanks to a grant from Kent Freemasons.

The £41,492 grant will support Involve’s ‘Links!’ project, which will support young people to create friendships through fun activities. The activities will be designed with the young people and will be both online and in person.

Involve’s Youth Project Coordinator will meet with each young person at home or in the community to increase their confidence, reduce anxiety and build an understanding of what they enjoy and what matters most to them.

Peter Rhodes standing, gets involved in amking his box

The aim is that young people work together to develop the project and create connections through shared interests and experiences which will help them to develop their social skills and reduce isolation.

Links! will demonstrate that early intervention (often prior to a formal diagnosis) can improve a young person’s outlook and transform their aspirations and their future. One in seven of all young people have a probable or diagnosed mental health condition and increasingly Involve is working with children and young people where the mental health condition is more severe, and where other factors exacerbate issues, such as poverty or parental ill health.

Sitting round a table making the boxes, members from Involve Kent, the Childrena dn members of Kent Freemasons

Links will provide personalised 1-2-1 support to 100 young people and their families. 40 intense 1:1 support (home visits, frequent contact, lots of support to attend a group, longer term support – up to the full year) & 60 lighter touch support i.e. newsletter, phone calls when needed, attends some activities but not all and doesn’t need much support to attend.
This is a strategic project which meets an immediate need for young people improving their mental health but also is part of a broader change, called ‘Transformation of community mental health services’. This is a national agenda led by the NHS. Our intention is to test this approach, gather feedback, insight and evidence, and use it to influence transformation plans so that it becomes ‘business as usual’ for mental health services in future.

Everyone showing their boxes that were made during the visit

Amelia Kury from Involve Kent, said:
“We’re very grateful to Kent Freemasons for their generous grant. Our Links! programme is designed to improve a young person’s outlook in terms of the way they relate to other
people and can transform their future. Thanks to the Freemasons, we’ll be able to help 100
children and their families.”

WBro Mark Bassant APGM from Kent Freemasons said:
“I’m really pleased we’ve been able to help Involve Kent with their hugely important project to
help young people with mental health conditions to overcome the loneliness that is so often
part of their lives.

Improving their social skills does a great deal to improve their quality of life in childhood as well as giving them the need to make the most of their education and later in the workplace.”

Involve Kent

About Involve Kent
Involve Kent’s vision is ‘Healthy, connected people and communities’. We improve health, empowering people and communities to live well and tackling the root causes of ill health including isolation, loneliness, disadvantage and frailty. We are a charity established in 1975 to develop volunteering and communities, we are now leaders in social prescribing and other innovative approaches to improve wellbeing in communities.

We are ambitious about the impact we can have on health, and seek parity of esteem between social and clinical interventions. We believe age is not a barrier to good health, and we work to the World Health Organisation definition of health as “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”

One of our partner commissioners says: “Involve Kent have an excellent knowledge of our client group and are professional and empathetic when it comes to meeting their needs. They understand the importance of a holistic approach and are able to sign post on to other services that may be beneficial to patients when appropriate this includes effectively understanding safeguarding and the importance of this within their work parameters.”

The Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF)

About the Masonic Charitable Foundation

The Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF) is one of the largest grant-making charities in the country. Funded entirely through the generosity of Freemasons and their families, the MCF awards millions of pounds each year to local and national charities that help vulnerable people, advance medical research and provide opportunities for young people. The MCF also helps to fund vital services such as hospices and air ambulances and regularly contributes to worldwide appeals for disaster relief.  In total, MCF support helps to improve the lives of thousands of people every year in England, Wales and internationally. As well as providing grants to charities, the MCF supports Freemasons and their families with a financial, health or family need. Visit www.mcf.org.uk

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