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STV Children’s Appeal raises over £150,000 for projects supporting youth mental health

© STVA host of stars backed the campaign
A host of stars backed the campaign

Mental health and wellbeing projects across the country have benefitted from a share of £152,000 raised by the STV Children’s Appeal.

The charity campaign was launched in May in response to concerns over the impact the pandemic was having on young minds, which has especially been felt by the one in four children living in poverty.

46 projects have received awards to the value of £2,000, which will be used to provide children and young people with opportunities to improve their mental health through counselling sessions, peer support groups and leisure activities.

The remaining four projects – based in Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Greenock and Perth – all focus specifically on child counselling and have received special funding awards to the value of £15,000 each.

The campaign was backed by TV and social media advertising, highlighting the impact of a year of lockdowns on youth mental health, encouraging donations from viewers.

The campaign received celebrity backing from a number of famous Scots including James McAvoy, Lorraine Kelly and Gail Porter.

Shuggie Bain author Douglas Stuart recorded a video message in which he recounted his own experience as a child living in poverty in Scotland.

Simon Pitts, Chief Executive of STV and STV Children’s Appeal Trustee, said: “Now more than ever, it’s crucial that Scotland’s young people are provided with opportunities to feel engaged, connected and, most importantly, hopeful.

“Many of our charity partners find that, even when the opportunities exist, some children still face barriers to accessing them. That’s what we hope to change with these grants and I’m delighted that every penny donated by our generous viewers has already been distributed to charities across the length and breadth of the country.”

Sandra Boyle, Director of Mind Mosaic Child and Family Therapies in Greenock, which has received a £15k grant, said: “We’re extremely grateful to the STV Children’s Appeal for this fantastic donation. The money will provide much-needed mental health support to a growing number of children and young people in Inverclyde affected during lockdown by anxiety, trauma, self-harming, suicidal thoughts, grief and loss, poor self-esteem, domestic violence, and the challenges of being a young carer.

“Our specialist play therapy and young people’s counselling will help them make sense of their world, and heal and recover as they make their way back to an improved daily life and wellbeing.”