Dorset Mind is thrilled to announce that BBC Children in Need have awarded them a grant of £8,966 to fund befriending services for young people.

Dorset Mind’s Befriending Coordinator Claire Bridges said, Over the next year, funding will enable us to train volunteers to provide one-to-one practical and emotional support for young people in Poole who have become socially isolated and emotionally withdrawn due to a mental health issue.” 

“Each young person will be paired with a mentor based on their interests and experiences to ensure that the friendship gets off to a positive and trusting start.  The friendships made can really help support people in many positive ways.  We know this service model successfully works as we run befriending services for adults in Bournemouth and West Howe.

Befriending meetings take place out in community spaces where young people can practice accessing local resources for leisure, education, employment and training, or welfare whilst being fully supported.  By meeting with a positive, trustworthy and reliable befriender who can meet with them regularly, young people will feel less lonely, develop better resilience, and regain confidence to become self-sufficient again.

Speaking of the new funding Dr. Andrew Mayers, Principal Academic at Bournemouth University and Patron for Dorset Mind said, Thanks to this funding from BBC Children in Need, we will be able to give highly-vulnerable young people in Poole the opportunity to build meaningful friendships, and show them that they are not alone.”

“We are rolling out services to support young people across Dorset, but we need funds to do that.  One of the biggest challenges for local charities is to secure funding, so although this award is really great news, we still need more.”

You can help Dorset Mind fulfil their aim to provide young people’s mental health services by donating here.


–       You can find more information about Children in Need and how to apply for grants here.