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Thatcham town councillors support charity Thatcham Youth in mental health provision following rise in anxiety among young people in lockdown



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Thatcham town councillors have shown support for charity Thatcham Youth, which has been providing mental health workshops throughout lockdown.

In a recent Thatcham Town Council finances meeting, the charity received a £7,000 grant to fund its major projects, including recently established support group, Thatcham Youth Together.

Organiser Dan Carter said that the pandemic has caused “low level anxiety” among young people who have not been out.

Around thirty young people in the youth club. .Ref: 45-2521. (52943470)
Around thirty young people in the youth club. .Ref: 45-2521. (52943470)

He said: “Out of the pandemic we had a mind to do a survey and got data from Thatcham’s young people.

“Eighty per cent of them said lockdown and the pandemic had a negative impact on their mental health.”

Mike Cole (Lib Dem, Thatcham North East) said: “Mental health and anxiety levels have been off the scale, over the last few months, this would be of value.”

Young people in Thatcham spending their Monday night indoors with friends..Ref: 45-2521. (52943464)
Young people in Thatcham spending their Monday night indoors with friends..Ref: 45-2521. (52943464)

Richard Crumly (Con, Thatcham Central) questioned whether social media was a cause of the anxiety.

Mr Cole said: “There has been a lack of structure about grandparents, or siblings who may have learning difficulties.

“There’s been a lack of order, it is disruptive for them.”

Within groups and programmes held by the charity, young people are able to take part in sports activities as well as arts and crafts and music.

Young people taking part in activities at Thatcham Youth Club .Ref: 45-2521. (52943469)
Young people taking part in activities at Thatcham Youth Club .Ref: 45-2521. (52943469)

As well as holding online “virtual youth clubs” the team got out on the street to carry out detached youth work.

Mr Carter said that while waiting times for mental health provision could be up to four to five years, Thatcham Youth programmes offer more “immediate” availability for young people.

He added: “We talk about coping mechanisms, equip them with skills that give them a better understanding of their feelings.

“It’s important because it gives resiliency skills for young people talking about anxiety and depression.

“It was quite successful, the feedback was really positive.”



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