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Literature Wales teams up with Newport Mind and Community House, Maindee Youth Project on a Comic Relief funded project

Published Wed 27 May 2020 - By Literature Wales
Newport Mind is the only Welsh organisation out of the 9 organisations in the UK to receive funding from Comic Relief to deliver a four-year project supporting families and young people with mental health issues in Newport.

Bridging the Gaps is a partnership project between Newport Mind, Literature Wales and Community House, Maindee Youth Project. The partnership will support families and young people with mental health issues and will focus on:

  • individuals from low income backgrounds,
  • individuals from Black, Asian, and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds
  • lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (or questioning) LGBTQ individuals.

The aim will be to address trauma and reduce the impact of poor mental health by sharing experiences through creative activities such as spoken word poetry, digital stories, and creative writing.

David Bland, CEO of Newport Mind said: “We are privileged and excited to be the only organisation in Wales to receive this significant level of funding from Comic Relief. We are committed with Literature Wales and Community House, Maindee Youth Project to making as much of a positive difference as we can to the mental health and wellbeing of children, young people and families from the most disadvantaged and excluded communities of Newport.”

By working together, the partners and project will:

  • improve mental health in young people
  • increase options for early intervention, and longer-term support for young people and their families
  • reduce waiting times for families to access support
  • positively change attitudes within the community, reduce stigma and increase referrals from marginalised groups
  • influence change to legislation and policy to improve services.

Ffion aged 16, said: “This project will allow young people and their families not to dwell on their difficult past experiences. It will reduce the tension within the family around the emotional event, removing the ‘elephant in the room’ and encouraging open communication. Working with young people alongside their families in this way will help them feel more understood and supported going forward by those around them.

“Honesty and communication is key within families, especially after such events, and this project will aid this. It will mean young people don’t hide their feelings from their families as much, therefore not letting difficult emotions bottle up. It’s important for everyone to know there’s a way forward. Learning ways to move on through this project is also important for the future and building resilience.”

 

Comic Relief received a total of 396 applications worldwide for the funding scheme and the project was one of only 9 projects which were awarded funding in the UK. The other organisations include: Gendered Intelligence, YCSA, The Rock Trust the Resurgam Community Development Trust Ltd., Tuntum Housing Association, and partners, Audtioactive, Interlink Foundation and Mind in Harrow.

 

Lleucu Siencyn, Chief Executive of Literature Wales said: “We are delighted to be working with Newport Mind and Community House, Maindee Youth Project on this important initiative. We believe that literature has the power to improve and transform lives. ‘Bridging the Gap’ will provide a platform for young people and their families to express themselves and have their voices heard, as well as helping to positively change the futures of our communities through creativity.”

 

Ingrid Wilson, Acting Chair of Trustees, Community House Eton Road for Maindee Youth Project added: “We are delighted to be a partner with both Newport Mind and Literature Wales in this very impressive and much-needed project, ‘Bridging the Gap’.  Community House has a long and proud tradition of working with people who might be particularly vulnerable because of their situation, so we welcome this opportunity for our Maindee Youth Project to contribute to building strong, caring and resilient community together.”

Further information about this project will be published here on the Literature Wales website in due course.