The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has awarded two voluntary and community sector organisations in Bradford more than £250,000 in funding to support young people’s mental health.

Family Action Bradford will receive £166,722 and Sharing Voices £99,500, for initiatives targeted at people under the age of 25 who are at risk of developing mental health issues. The three NHS Bradford district and Craven clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) have also committed to matching the funding for both organisations as part of their strategy for improving mental health outcomes for children and young people – Future in Mind.

Family Action Bradford will be building on the success of three existing projects from Family Action’s Children’s Therapeutic Support, Relate Bradford, and Step 2. The funding will be used to support children aged four to 11 experiencing life-changing adverse childhood events as well as helping parents and professionals understand the impact of trauma. The project will also work with staff in schools.

Sharing Voices Bradford (SVB) will be developing their Young People’s Project for black and minority ethnic (BAME) groups. These groups help young people aged eight to 25 years with a range of issues that affect their mental health, including bullying, self-harm and abuse. The project will be extended to work with faith based organisations across Bradford and district to support young people who are in the youth justice system, asylum seekers, and people excluded from school or living in poverty.

Sarah Maruyama, Operational Manager, Family Action Bradford, said: “Life-changing adverse events can affect children’s mental health for the long term. Thanks to this funding from the Department of Health and Social Care, Family Action, working with respected partners Step 2 and Relate Bradford, will be able to offer much needed support to some of Bradford’s most vulnerable children and their families with our pioneering trauma informed approach to recovering from traumatic experiences. This innovative service will help improve the mental health of these young people at a critical time in their lives and help them thrive.”

Ishtiaq Ahmed, Strategic Business Manager, Sharing Voices, said: “Sharing Voices Bradford (SVB) are absolutely delighted to have received this funding. The proposed project for BAME children and young people will enable SVB and faith groups to work together to increase engagement, confidence, tackle stigma and to support emotional wellbeing in a faith context. We will be using faith and spirituality as assets rather than barriers to accessing excellent care and early support.

“Our aim is also to provide training, advice and guidance to faith leaders on how to support those experiencing emotional and mental health issues. We will also be promoting opportunities to access peer support, counselling services and ensuring faith organisations are aware of the support available to them. We aim to build connections between faith organisations, the wider voluntary and community sector, and public sector organisations in Bradford.”