Congleton local cause, Visyon, use Co-op funding to support their Open Access Service

Visyon is a mental health charity that supports local children and young people when they need it the most.

The local cause has received a share of £15m raised by Co-op Members for 4,500 projects across the UK. The Co-op Local Community Fund cause will be using this money to support their Open Access Service.

Visyon’s aim is to provide a safe, non-judgmental place for children, young people and their families to access the information and support they need to help them manage their own mental health and wellbeing.

Laura Whitaker, Head of Service Development & Deputy CEO of Visyon, said: "We want all children and young people to be able to talk openly about their mental health and emotional needs and have access to appropriate support locally when they need it.

"To achieve this, we provide tailored packages of support within the local community using a range of activities to enable young people to develop skills, confidence, empathy and social awareness to build appropriate relationships.

"Our services enable children to thrive and lead fulfilling and independent lives."

They also support parents/carers and schools, understanding that to fully support a child they must also support the community that surrounds them.

Visyon always welcomes volunteers and says that community support adds great value to their organisation.

Laura added: "They [volunteers] make such a difference. Whether it’s supporting our groups and sharing their knowledge, using their DIY skills to fix our buildings or fundraising and helping to share our message that it is ok to talk about mental health.

"Our volunteers amaze us with the commitment and enthusiasm they bring. They help ensure that we can go that extra mile when helping children and young people and that we have a safe and welcoming space in which to work."

Laura highlighted that being one of Co-op’s local causes had enabled them to promote their work to members of the community who may not have heard of them.

Laura continued: "The staff at the Co-op, in particular Louise at the Funeralcare store, have been amazing supporters. They helped promote our cause in-store and fundraised for us, it was a fantastic partnership and helped to ensure we connected better with the community as well as helping us raise much-needed funds."

Visyon have opted to use the payout from Co-op’s Local Community Fund for their Open Access Service, which is their first contact with a young person and where they can engage with young people and/or their families before their problems overwhelm them.

Laura concluded: "This early intervention service allows us to quickly identify and support young people in urgent need, referring them onwards into our wider services.

"From their first call into Visyon, we provide initial support and signposting, welcome young people into taster groups, and ensure they receive a face-to-face (or online) appointment within 10 days.

"Open Access is vital in helping us to identify children and young people who are at immediate risk of abuse, self-harm and suicide.

"It also allows us to start helping young people to identify their strengths and begin to build their self-care tool kits without delay."

For more information on Visyon, visit their website or you can find them on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

When Co-op Members buy own-brand products and services, 2p for every £1 spent goes to support local causes and community organisations. Download the Co-op app to get personalised offers every week and select your local cause. To download the Co-op app, search ‘Co-op’ in the App Store.

To find out more about the Co-op Membership, click here.

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