In the run-up to Children in Need on Friday November 18, The Drop has spoken to a number of charities who have been able to change people’s lives thanks to the funding they have received. 

Last year, Children in Need (CiN) raised a grand total of £51m. 

The money raised helps charities and organisations up and down the country support disadvantaged children.

For Dorset Mind, the money has allowed them to better support children with their mental health.

According to Mind, the charity of which Dorset Mind is just a small part of, one in four people will experience a mental health problem at some point in their life.

Credit: BBC CiN

Dorset Mind 

Dorset Mind has been providing mental health care to people in Dorset for over 75 years.

The team’s goals are to educate people on mental health; challenge mental health stigma and inequality; and to encourage recovery and stability by empowering people to develop resilience.

The charity also delivers educational well-being programmes for schools and workplaces.

Why did Dorset Mind apply for the grant?

After the pandemic, Dorset Mind found an increasing number of children were struggling with their mental health and issues such as isolation, as well as new found challenges at home and in schools.

They wanted to create a service for children so they could speak to somebody outside their family or normal peer group.

Their aim was to set up a children and young person’s counselling service for designed for young people with more complex mental health needs, as well as a well-being check-in service.

Children who engage with the check-in service are phoned weekly or fortnightly for up to six months.

One of the people who has benefited from the service said: “Dorset Mind has really helped me – as I have had someone to talk to about my emotions”

A member of the team talks with them about the difficulties they’re experiencing, their emotions, and helps them to find solutions.

CEO of Dorset Mind, Linda O’Sullivan said: “In the last 12 months these services have helped 121 children and young people in the Dorset area. 

“We have had excellent results such as an 86% average increase in wellbeing scores from the ‘Counselling’ support, and an amazing 100% average increase from the ‘Wellbeing Check-in’ services offered.”

They believe early intervention is key – it makes more sense to help a child now, than to allow the issues to develop later in life.

How much money did they receive and who has it helped?

They received £29,901 from CiN, split into three annual payments, which started in 2021. 

Mrs O’Sullivan told The Drop: “The funding we received from BBC CiN has been absolutely vital in helping us run services for children and young people in Dorset on a one-to-one basis. 

“It’s allowed us to support young people to explore their emotions and mental health challenges in a safe space, reducing social isolation and anxiety and supporting the building of connections in the community. 

“Without it we would not be able to offer the services these communities desperately need.”

Click to read about how CiN has helped charities Winston’s Wish, and Aerobility.

You can find out everything you need to know about Children in Need here.