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Pilot project awarded £50,000 to help Newham‘s young people

15:15 10 February 2014

A pilot project that aims to support young people with mental health problems has been awarded a £50,000 grant.

The ‘More than Mentors’, health initiative has been awarded a Guttmann Academic Partnership Grant of £50,000 to set up the project in Newham.

It aims to support young people to increase their chances of being employed, support them in further education and reduce their contact with youth justice, through mentoring.

The project will:

• Train older adolescents as near peer mentors to deliver structured mentoring to younger adolescents

• Deliver tailored mentoring in different settings and to adolescents of different backgrounds

• Target adolescents with low emotional resilience

Key to the initiative’s success will be the recruitment and training of a group of local young people to carry out peer research, to understand what motivates young people in Newham. This will allow mentoring to be tailored to meet their specific needs, ensuring that those most at risk of mental health problems come forward and participate.

Dr Lise Hertel, Mental Health Lead for NHS Newham CCG, said: “The grant for the ‘More than Mentors’ project is an amazing opportunity to offer evidence based mentoring skills to young people in Newham. We hope that the skills that they learn will be sustainable and help these young people with their future careers.”

Clive Furness, Executive Member for Health at Newham Council, said: “More than Mentors’ is one initiative in a wider resilience programme at Newham Council.

“Working with our partners on this project, we want to enable our young people to become more resilient ensuring that they have the opportunity to develop the skills they need to reach their full potential and take advantage of opportunities that come their way.”

The project has been developed in partnership with Newham Council, NHS Newham Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), the University of East London, the London Mental Health Strategic Clinical Network and Public Health England. It focuses on building emotional resilience, an individual’s ability to effectively manage life’s adversities, in young people, through peer to peer mentoring.

The Guttmann Academic Partnership is a recently established collaboration between academics and people who live and work in Newham, coordinated by UCLPartners.

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