Published on 10th August 2020

Funding from Cheshire’s police and crime commissioner will enable a local group to host a 48 mile run in a bid to raise funds for young people to help them improve their mental health.

Bridge Foyer supports young people aged 16-25 years who are experiencing homelessness with foyers in Chester and Warrington. The group has received a £1,000 express grant from PCC David Keane’s Safer Communities Fund to enable them to host the event.

The grant will pay for running shoes for residents, refreshments and T-shirts which the group hopes will help raise awareness of the issues young people face and the barriers to support which are experienced. The group will run the distance between the Chester and Wigan to incorporate the foyer locations.

Bridge Foyer is part of the not-for-profit housing group, Your Housing and supports 69 young people from Cheshire in addition to Foyers in Wigan and St Helen’s. The funds raised will be used to provide vital counselling sessions and purchase activities and resources to improve the mental health of those currently residing in Chester and Warrington.

Robert Dean, manager at Bridge Foyer, Chester, said: “We are doing this to raise awareness and funds for young people who struggle with mental health issues. Mental health issues are currently highly underfunded and waiting times mean a young person can wait for up to 12 months for counselling.

“The referral time is a challenge and can result in many of our residents self-harming and attempting to take their own life. We want to ensure the young people gain the support they need when they need it most and feel we have a role to play in improving their lives.”

PCC David Keane added: “We know that poor mental health can have devastating impacts on individuals and their families. Ensuring young people have access to support and the opportunity to improve their mental health is vital.

“The lockdown restrictions as a result of Covid-19 have heightened feelings of loneliness, depression and increased the anxieties young people were already experiencing.

“Organisations like Bridge Foyer are able to make positive changes to the lives of young people and provide the support they need in a safe environment.

“I’m so pleased that I am able to provide grant support through my Safer Communities Fund to local organisations which help them to protect vulnerable people.”