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Spirit awards £200,000 to improve mental health support for young people from racialised communities

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Spirit awards £200,000 to improve mental health support for young people from racialised communities

Spirit of 2012 has today announced a £200,000 grant to The Diana Award towards a programme designed to reimagine mental health services for young people from racialised communities.

The Young Changemakers project aims to tackle the racial inequalities that exist in the access to, and quality of, mental health support for young people from all racialised communities, by placing them at the heart of reimagining and redesigning a mental health support service that is fit for purpose and culturally competent. The project is seeking to recruit 16–25-year-olds from racialised communities, upskilling them to develop proposals that improve wellbeing provision for their peers.

Young Changemakers is a three-year programme developed and delivered by UK Youth, the Centre for Mental Health and the Diana Award with majority funding from the People's Postcode Recovery Fund and Comic Relief Changemaker Fund.

The grant from Spirit of 2012 to The Diana Award will support a specific part of the programme focusing on embedding systems change. This will involve taking the outputs from the social action programme and disseminating them across the youth sector, formal education sector, clinical settings and policy arenas, using the reach and influence of the three national partners and amplifying the voices of young people who have the experience of the services and issues that affect them.

Ruth Hollis, CEO of Spirit of 2012 says: “The damage that the pandemic has had on the wellbeing of young people is widely recognised, and much has been said on the issue. For racialised communities who have already experienced years of systemic inequality in mental health provision, and their mental wellbeing hit disproportionately by the pandemic, the impact is immense. 

Spirit of 2012’s focus on inclusion for young people in racialised communities and learning and sharing what works in improving wellbeing aligns to the aims of Young Changemakers to bring about change. We are delighted to support The Diana Award in taking what they learn from the social action programme to influence the organisations responsible for mental wellbeing and embed change.

Tessy Ojo CBE, Chief Executive, The Diana Award, says: “The Diana Award is absolutely delighted to receive this grant to reimagine mental health services for young people from racialised communities.  We know young people are often closest to society’s problems with many at risk of poor mental health and low social mobility.  We will be putting young people at the very heart of this programme by empowering them to voice their experiences on the issues that affect them.  In the shadow of the pandemic, this programme is more urgent than ever."