Manx Lottery Trust, which has been delegated to distribute National Lottery money from The National Lottery Community Fund, granted The Children’s Centre more than £47,000 to help fund the project as part of its Community Awards Programme.
As part of the scheme, children aged eight and under who are offered charitable support and services by The Children’s Centre, are provided a weekly opportunity to work with a play worker. The aim is to help the young people to form friendships, develop resilience and problem-solving skills, increase self-value and build confidence. Play therapy and a dedicated Family Support Worker are also available.
Children over the age of eight are also being supported by an outreach worker, with the aim to increase a young person’s self-value, provide coping strategies for managing emotions, offer support within the school day and help them understand themselves and their behaviours. Many of the therapeutic activities and sessions are based at the organisation’s Community Farm.
Joff Whitten, Head of The Children’s Centre, said: ‘We are very grateful for the support and encouragement from the Manx Lottery Trust for this project, which we believe will lay invaluable foundations for young people’s futures.
‘For the first time in recent history, children have a lower life expectancy than their parents and various studies indicate a sharp decline in childhood wellbeing. Poor mental health and behavioural issues have all increased over the past decade and it’s been proven that 50 per cent of lifetime mental health problems start by the age of 14.
‘There is also mounting evidence on our Island of school-aged children with mental health disorders. This scheme has two elements, specific to younger children and over eights, but both are exciting and challenging. Having consulted with families, young people, mental health professionals and schools, the message is consistent, support is needed for children at an earlier stage which is why this project is so important.
Manx Lottery Trust Chairman, Sarah Kelly added: ‘The Children’s Centre has been working with children and families in the Island for 15 years and we are pleased to offer our support to this invaluable project.’
Manx Lottery Trust’s Community Awards Programme helps to improve communities and the lives of people most in need in the Isle of Man, offering fundraising between £2,501 and £50,000. It funds a wide range of community projects aimed at developing skills, improving health, revitalising the local environment and enabling people to become more active citizens.
More information about Community Awards grants and how to apply can be found on the Manx Lottery Trust website by visiting: www.mlt.org.im/grant-programmes/