Lottery windfall to help vulnerable young people

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Lottery funding has been granted to a Bedford charity helping vulnerable young people.

Bedford Open Door, an independent mental health support charity, has been awarded a three-year grant of £150,000 from the Big Lottery Fund to expand its work with children and young people in the town and surrounding area.

Based in Tavistock Street, they offer free and confidential counselling services for those aged 13 to 25.

Project manager Gerry Bentley said: “Poor mental health of children and young people is a really important issue and we are here to address the problem in Bedford. Big Lottery funding will enable us to develop and expand.

“We supported more than 200 local young people in 2015 but were unable to keep up with a sharp rise in demand. Thanks to the Lottery we will be able to increase capacity and develop our partnership work. I would like to say a big thank you to our trustees, staff, volunteers, partners and funders who have helped make the service such a success. This is an extremely exciting time with the end result being that fewer young people in our community will suffer and more will reach their true potential.”

Lynne Gound, deputy chair of trustees, said: “The Big Lottery funding is for a new project to extend the work of Bedford Open Door to reach more vulnerable young people. The funding begins in September 2016 and is phased in over a three-year period. At the end of the three years the total amount of lottery money awarded is £150,000. The current work of Bedford Open door will still need to be funded by donations from individuals, foundations, trusts and the NHS.

Visit www.bedfordopendoor.co.uk call 01234 360388 or email counselling@bedfordopendoor.co.uk