w/c 27th Nov


VOYC Member 'The Project' reaches £15,000 crowdfunding target

The Project’s #Support4September crowdfunding campaign was a huge success, raising just over £15,000. The money was needed to close a funding shortfall which had put some of The Project’s peer support groups, for young people with mental health problems, at risk of closure. Reaching their target has ensured that The Project can continue all of their services for another year.

The achievement was made possible through the kindness and generosity of The Project’s many and varied supporters. In particular, they are very grateful to the local community groups and organisations which have pledged donations over the past month: Chardstock Street Fayre, Honiton Lions Club, Axminster Freemasons, Axpedition, the Heroes and Villains Disco and Hawkchurch Village Fete. Crowdfunder also deserve a special thank you, for adding offline donations to the campaign’s total – which meant The Project was eligible to receive £7,500 in match funding from the Santander Changemaker Fund.

The Project’s founder, Debbie Humberstone, says “Once again we are hugely grateful to so many people who helped to make this campaign a success. We had no idea whether crowdfunding would work, so we’re over the moon that we reached our target! Because so many people got behind our campaign, Santander Changemaker Fund agree to match all our donations, and this made a huge difference to us achieving our goal. It just shows how many people value and support what we are doing! The most important thing is that we can now continue all our services for young people, many of whom receive no other help to overcome the challenges they face.

“This campaign was part of The Project’s 4th birthday celebrations during September and its success means we know we can continue until our 5th birthday – and hopefully beyond!”

Hayley Jones, volunteer at The Project who masterminded the crowdfunding campaign, added, “Everyone who has supported the #Support4September campaign, through donating, giving rewards and raising awareness, has contributed to its success. The Project would like to thank everyone involved and hopes that in addition to raising vital funds, the campaign has increased awareness of our work and youth mental health.”

Mental health support is much needed, but underfunded both locally and nationally. The Project’s peer support groups are free to attend, inclusive and accessible to all. Young people aged 13-24 can be referred and they don’t need to have been diagnosed with a mental illness. The mental health issues experienced by young people in The Project’s groups include anxiety, bereavement, bullying, depression, eating disorders, low confidence and exam stress. Group sessions focus on activities which help young people develop life skills and coping strategies, enabling them to manage their mental health in the long term, and to feel less isolated by their issues.

Recognising the ongoing challenge of funding their service, and the vital part it plays in supporting local young people, The Project will be setting up a Fundraising Committee in the new year, and are interested in hearing from anyone who has fundraising experience, or is enthusiastic about getting involved to support this work. For more information about The Project and its services, and to get involved, please visit http://www.theprojectyp.org.uk or email info@theprojectyp.org.uk