Young people across East Yorkshire who are in desperate need of help and support will be able to access free counselling sessions thanks to a £5,000 grant from the Neil Hudgell Trust.
Time to Listen provides the sessions for children and young people who require specialist counselling and therapeutic services but are not eligible for statutory support.
This includes those suffering from abuse, dysfunctional family life or breakdown, undiagnosed anxiety or depression, bullying, financial worries and other problems.
The Trust grant will pay for 125 sessions, which cost £40 per hour, at the group’s city centre base, when young people need it most.
Gail Thornton, director of Time to Listen and senior accredited counsellor for children and young people, said the £5,000 grant, which is the most a single group can apply for from the Trust, is a huge boost.
She said: “We rely on securing funding to be able to provide these sessions and we are ecstatic to receive £5,000 from the Neil Hudgell Trust. Whoever read our application could see the need. There isn’t always funding to support these children and young people, so having this funding is marvellous.
“It’s going to make a huge difference, not only to children and young people in Hull and the East Riding, but also to us as an organisation because we can show other people that we have the backing of the Trust.”
The grant is for children and young people who cannot access support from anywhere else. Referrals are received from services such as the local authorities, schools and hostels, as well as parents, carers and the individuals themselves.
Gail said sessions are tailored to meet the individual needs of every young person they meet. Usually, around 10 sessions are required to help young people tackle the issues they face and make positive progress, but some need less, while others may require more.
Gail said: “It depends what the issue is. For example, if someone tells us they are suffering trauma because they were in a road accident two years ago and that they still have panic attacks when they see a certain colour of car, we would use specialist trauma therapy to stop the panic attacks.
“I set up Time to Listen because, otherwise, where would these children and young people go?
“We should be investing in the adults of tomorrow. It’s not so much that there is something wrong with the young people we help, but the environment they are in day to day may not be meeting their needs. We ask what we can help them with and build up from there.
“I have known children come to us and say they want to kill themselves because they think they will only get grade B in their exams but are predicated A*. Something has to be done.”
A total of £100,000 is available from the Neil Hudgell Trust over a 12-month period and groups and organisations making a positive contribution to their community can apply for grants of up to £5,000.
Some individuals can also be granted discretionary awards if their applications fall short of the Trust’s specific grant criteria, but the panel feel they are deserving of support.
Jo Hudgell, chair of the trust, said: “We can really see the value in a service like Time to Listen for children and young people in Hull and the East Riding. Growing up is sometimes a real challenge and young people can face all kinds of difficulties.
“Having someone to talk to through a service such as Time to Listen is something to be welcomed and we are pleased to award the £5,000 grant.”