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Fundraising drive to help young people fly the mental health flag
16/08/2017

​A group of young people from Norfolk and Suffolk have launched a campaign to raise £10,000 to fund an educational trip to a conference in Dublin where they will fly the flag for youth participation in good mental healthcare.

The five-strong group from Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust’s (NSFT) Youth Council have arranged a series of events to help them raise £10,000 so they can attend the International Association for Youth Mental Health (IAYMH) conference in September.

They have made a good start to their fundraising, raising £125 at NSFT's Hellesdon Hospital fete in July by selling homemade treats and bric-a-brac.

The group is now looking for sponsorship from local businesses, prominent groups and other sources and asking people to consider donating raffle prizes, with the exception of alcohol.

They are also appealing to anyone who is selling second hand items to consider adding a pound or two to the price and then donating it, while also using cashback websites when purchasing new items and services, donating the extra money they receive to the fund.

The group, together with support staff from NSFT, hope to travel to Dublin on 24 September before attending the two-day conference and returning home on the 27th. It comes after the Youth Council gave a presentation about their own experiences of mental ill health at the last conference, in Canada in 2015, and attended the 2013 event in Brighton.

Ginnie Beacham-Hulvej, Youth Participation Lead with NSFT, said: “This is a really fantastic opportunity for these young people, who are keen to use the trip to promote some of the initiatives they are currently working on. It will also give them the chance to fly the flag for NSFT and youth participation, which is so important when designing high quality, responsive mental health services which meet people’s needs.

“The group will gain a lot from the experience, including improved confidence, communication skills and team working. We hope that the conference will inspire and motivate them while giving them some new ideas for further improving young people’s mental health and wellbeing which we could then bring home to Norfolk and Suffolk.

“We would be extremely grateful to anyone who can help us raise the money we need and help fund this important trip. Any excess or late donations will be used to fund other events to improve mental health services for young people – watch this space!”

Emma Reed, who represents West Norfolk on the Youth Council, said: “It is really exciting to be able to take our message of hope for young people to a worldwide audience. We are so thankful to all who help us achieve that goal.”

Anyone who would like to donate a raffle prize can leave it at:

• Hellesdon Hospital reception in Norwich – marked for the attention of Ginnie Beacham-Hulvej or Dawn Edwards
• Endeavour House reception in Ipswich – marked for the attention of Vikki Versey
• Thurlow House reception in King's Lynn – marked for the attention of Mark Brown
• 80 St Stephens reception in Norwich – marked for the attention of Victoria MacWilliams

Anyone who would like to donate a raffle prizes but cannot get to any of these venues should email ginnie.beacham-hulvej@nsft.nhs.uk.

To donate to the Youth Council’s fundraising, visit https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/ginniebeacham-hulvej1#.WWYoC_HiWBY

For all press enquiries, please contact nsft.communications@nsft.nhs.uk