Trust charity funds activities for young people

Posted: 22/04/20

Children and young people at Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear’s NHS Foundation Trust will benefit from a range of activities thanks to funding from the Trust’s dedicated charity.

The SHINE Fund has allowed young people from Alnwood Unit to access activities from a number of community providers including dance, song writing, animal visits and inflatables.

The Alnwood Unit provides secure inpatient assessment and treatment for young people up to 18 years who have complex mental health needs. Many of the young people at Alnwood are there for up to 18 months so a structure of education and activities is really important.

The activities project aims to improve the skills and opportunities for young people during their stay immediately from admission. This allows the young people to take ownership of something and increases their confidence and self-esteem.

Geoff Cottrell, Education Activity Coordinator, said: “We wanted to find something that would complement the service users’ timetables by bringing in people from the community with different skills and expertise.

“Having something like dance or song writing helps young people maintain existing skills and learn new ones.

“I think life can be hard for a young person at Alnwood. Our service users have varied backgrounds and needs and many are far away from their families. If we can offer something that gives them a sense of routine and identity then that’s great.”

All the activities are chosen based on the young people’s interests. In ‘Time to Talk’ meetings, they expressed a desire to continue the activities which have been successful in increasing levels of engagement and participation.

Geoff added: “The Shine fund has been extremely generous over the years. Without them we wouldn’t have been able to provide such a great range of activities for our young people and for that we will always be grateful.”

The SHINE Fund (UK registered charity 1165788) makes a huge difference to the experience of people who are cared for in our hospital sites and community services across the North East and Cumbria. It has supported our patients with everything from horse-riding outings to gardening tools, and even Christmas decorations to brighten up our wards.

We are not currently fundraising for medical supplies or PPE; instead, donations to the fund are used to provide the ‘little extras’ that would not be possible with the funding we receive from central government alone, but that make a big difference to peoples’ recovery and wellbeing.

With all of our wards currently closed to visitors, and many people having to self-isolate or not access their usual social activities, the SHINE fund is more important than ever for the wellbeing of people being cared for by our services. SHINE are hoping to use donations to supply wards with craft materials, music equipment, games and more.

You can donate securely online using JustGiving, where you can make a one-off or regular contribution using a credit or debit card. Visit our JustGiving page.

Your support will help enhance the experience of people receiving care from CNTW’s mental health and disability services across the North East and North Cumbria. Read more about the SHINE fund here.