On Monday (22nd May), Joel James MS was proud to present a cheque from the National Lottery Community Fund to the ‘Eye to Eye Young People’s Counselling Service’ at Bryn Celynnog Comprehensive School.
Eye to Eye is a counselling service in the Rhondda Cynon Taff dedicated to helping and supporting children and young people with their mental health. Founded 28 years ago, the service has gone from strength to strength, expanding its scope and helping as many young people in the region as they possibly can. During his visit to ‘Eye to Eye’ in Bryn Celynnog, it was clear to Joel that everyone involved in the service shares the same ambition and vision. To improve and maintain the mental health of children.
At the visit, Joel met with Rhun Dafydd – External Affairs Officer for the National Lottery Community Fund and Alison Theaker- head of Services for Eye to Eye, to learn more about the services that 'Eye to Eye' provides and how their new funding will be used to benefit local communities. Joel was informed that the £443, 337 funding, over three years will be used to increase the capacity of counsellors in the area and develop a specialist training programme, to ensure sustainability of support.
Joel was informed by Alison and other members of ‘Eye to Eye’ staff including Louise Howell – Community and Finance Officer, Christine Binding – Senior Manager and Emily Evans – Response Team Specialist, how instances of mental health are increasing amongst the younger generation and their families with the impact of COVID-19 and lockdowns being a significant factor.
After the visit, Joel said:
“It was a privilege to present ‘Eye to Eye’ with their cheque this morning and hear just how vital this service is to many people in our community. When I was in school at Bryn Celynnog, ‘Eye to Eye’ was still a very new organisation. To hear how it has developed in recent years is inspiring and emphasises how important support systems are, especially for our young people. The funding they have received will benefit over 950 individuals throughout RCT, making a real impact.
It was also brilliant to meet with pupils; Lucy, Lexi and Evie and hear their views on the service and ambitions for the future. I wish them the best of luck.”
The National Lottery Community Fund is the largest funder of community activity in Wales and aims to help people and communities thrive. Over the last 5 years, South Wales Central has received £60.1 million in funding from the Community Fund and has benefited 1,038 projects.