Clinical Commissioning Groups award £90,000 to local mental health charities

Clinical Commissioning Groups award £90,000 to local mental health charities providing youth counselling services across Bracknell, Windsor, Ascot, Maidenhead and Slough areas.

Supporting children and young people with mental health needs is a priority for the East Berkshire Clinical Commissioning Groups. Our Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service Transformation Plan sets out the ways we are tackling this area by increasing investment and supporting the development of new services, including a specialist eating disorder service for young people. Funding was only agreed late in the year so we had the opportunity to invest some unallocated funds in counselling services, provided by not-for-profit organisations.

A number of studies have been conducted including a recent survey by the Association of School and College Leaders[1] all highlighting the challenges faced by schools in helping children with a range of mental health problems including anxiety, depression, self-harm and eating disorders.

Dr Katie Simpson, GP Lead for Mental Health, commented that “Bracknell and Ascot CCG, Slough CCG and Windsor, Ascot and Maidenhead CCG have awarded funding to three local organisations that were successful in a bidding process to provide additional counselling and support to children and young people. This money will enable the three organisations to expand their services and increase access to talking therapies which we know are a real help to children and young people with mental health needs. In total, £90,000 has been awarded to these organisations and their work will feed in to our wider efforts to address the mental health needs of children and young people.”

The three successful bidders are:

“Youthline” – covering the Bracknell area;

“Family Friends Windsor” covering Windsor and

“Windsor and Maidenhead Counselling” covering Windsor, Maidenhead and Slough.

Martin Gocke, Chair of Trustees at Youthline commented that: “The Youthline team welcomes our inclusion in this important project. The grant will enable us to strengthen our services, equipping our counsellors to offer face to face support to more young people across Bracknell Forest and Ascot.

“Youthline has been providing face to face counselling for young people for nearly 30 years. It is a well-established local charity supported by local councils, other charitable organisations, corporate sponsorship and voluntary donations. Counselling is offered on a one to one basis to young people between the ages of 12 and 25 at our main base at The Lodge at Coopers Hill. Clients live, attend school and work in Bracknell Forest and Ascot.  Contact can be made through

Shula Tajima, Counselling Co-ordinator at Windsor and Maidenhead Counselling (Youthtalk and Number 22) said “we are so pleased to have received this funding from the CCG, it will help us enormously to carry on the work we are doing when tackling this painful issue.  It will also help us to grow and expand, reducing the waiting times before seeing a counsellor, which is such a crucial issue for us to address. Further information on our services can be found at ”

Asma Aziz, Public Relations and Fundraising Executive at Family Friends in Windsor and Maidenhead commended that “we are delighted to have received a grant from NHS Windsor, Ascot and Maidenhead CCG.  This grant will enable us to support children aged 7 – 13 years experiencing difficulties that result in feeling insecure, lonely and self-blaming, which can lead to self-harm and eating disorders and putting themselves at risk.  The grant will enable us to prevent declining mental health and promote positive emotional well-being through the provision of group and one to one support to children affected by domestic abuse, anxiety and mental health issues.”

“Family Friends aim to use part of the grant to train members of staff, volunteers and parents on Self Harm Awareness training so that self-harm issues can be recognised in children and intervened before it becomes severe.  We would like to thank CCG for providing Family Friends with the opportunity to support local children in need.  For more information about what we do please visit ”
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Notes to editors:

Footnote 1: As featured on the BBC website,

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