Online Editions

5th Jul, 2022

Above and Beyond: Solihull pupil backs child mental health drive

Ross Crawford 18th Jun, 2021

A SOLIHULL schoolgirl is helping to front a campaign to raise £500,000 for Beyond to fund mental health support in the UK’s schools.

Ava-Lilly, aged just ten is a member of the youth board of mental health charity Beyond.

And she’s not alone, as there’s a host of big name supporters too, including Frankie Bridge, Stephen Fry, Sheridan Smith, Ben West and Kate Silverton all asking people to #BrakeTheSystem and donate to Beyond’s crowdfunder campaign.

Founded by Jonny Benjamin MBE in 2018, Beyond aims to improve the mental health and wellbeing of young people in the UK.

Also supporting them is internationally renowned photographer Rankin, who was introduced to Beyond’s youth board in April 2021 and agreed to shoot them at his studio in North London.

Speaking out: Ava Lilly from Solihull.

Ava-Lilly, from North Solihull, said: “I live with my mum, dad and my big brother Mason and my little sister Bella. I have a pet cat and it’s my dream to own a horse of my own and have a pet french bull dog.

“I was bullied and it made my brain go all weird, my mental health was very poorly because of the bullies and I don’t want other people to feel the same way I did.”

Beyond says the UK is on the precipice of a major mental health disaster – child and adolescent mental health services are stretched and schools overwhelmed.

It says teachers, key workers and the medical community are under-resourced and mental health support services for children and young people are struggling to meet the weight of demand due to a lack of funding and sustainable government strategy.

Louisa Rose, chief executive of Beyond, said: “With Summer holidays weeks away and students and teachers dealing with the fallout of the pandemic on their mental health, we are urgently raising £500 000 to fund immediate mental health support into schools and colleges that need it the most.

“If everyone reading this donated just £1 we would exceed our target. Share the campaign with your friends, your colleagues and on social. Help us #BrakeTheSystem!”

To donate to the crowdfunder, visit https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/now-and-beyond or to donate £5 text BEYOND 5 to 70085.

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