BBC Children in Need hands charity £1m to improve children’s mental health

The Children’s Society has been handed £1m by BBC Children in Need following the funder’s largest open call for a single grant.

The money has been awarded through the funder’s A Million & Me Award and is to be used to scale up the charity’s mental health support for children as young as eight.

It is also being matched by the Children’s Society, which takes the total funding for this ramping up of support to £2m.

The Children’s Society, and its partners MACS Supporting Children & Young People and Children 1st, will provide targeted mental health support across all for UK nations, with a focus on helping young people from marginalised communities.

Face to face support for children as well as help for parents and carers to talk about mental health are included in the work. Funding will also be used to scale up online sessions and digital mindfulness tools.

“As the charity’s largest ever open call for a single grant, proposals were evaluated on their potential to contribute evidence towards the effectiveness of early intervention,” said BBC Children in Need.

“The Children’s Society shared a clear picture of how they would add to this learning and demonstrated their commitment to supporting children in an individualistic way.”

The Children’s Society’s chief executive Mark Russell said: “We are thrilled to win this fantastic £1 million award which will allow us to dramatically expand our mental health support services for children right across the UK.

“Far too many children are dealing with mental health challenges, often isolated and lacking the help they deserve. This funding is a game-changer that will turbo charge our efforts to reach more of those in need.

“This marks an exciting new chapter for us, and we can't wait to get to work and provide children with the tools and care they need to build resilience and thrive.”

BBC Children in Need director of impact and influence Fozia Irfan added: “From its inception, A Million & Me has always revolved around sustainable investment into children’s mental health and so I am excited to be working closely with The Children’s Society to continue this legacy, magnify their impact and define a brighter future for all.”

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