NAHT president Andy Mellor is cycling from his home town of Blackpool to London to raise money and awareness for mental health charity Place2Be.
Setting off from Blackpool Tower on Sunday 7 April, he and his team will cycle a total of 420km (261 miles) over four days, and are hoping to raise £10,000 for NAHT’s charity partner Place2Be.
He is joined by Jamie Peacock MBE, ex England and Great Britain rugby league captain.
The team are due to arrive at Westminster on Wednesday 10 April, with a letter for Theresa May asking for more support for a mental health system 'in crisis'.
The full text of the letter is available below.
One in 10 children in the UK under the age of 16 suffers from a diagnosable mental health disorder, such as anxiety or depression. That’s an average of three in every classroom.
That is why Place2Be’s work is so important. They provide in-school mental health support to children so that they can address mental health issues early on, build their resilience, and therefore have the best chance at going on to be happy, healthy and successful adults. As the support is provided in the school, it removes the stigma associated with a child being away from class to see a counsellor.
Andy needs your help! Please donate what you can afford – see www.justgiving.com/fundraising/nahtbikeride2019.
Andy says: “The thing that drives me is the injustice in the lack of mental health funding for all, especially children, who seem to be at the back of the queue when we know that early intervention is key. Without help early on, vulnerable children find it difficult, often impossible, to catch up later, even with additional help. In fact, a recent study showed that for every £1 invested in early years counselling, £6.20 was saved further down the line.
“Head teachers I talk to tell me that the mental health of the children in their schools has deteriorated over recent years and for schools to fully address the learning needs of their children, the mental health needs of their children need to be met. Place2Be offers a level of expertise and support for schools which does just that. It addresses the mental health needs of the child so that as schools we can address learning needs.”
You can read more about Place2Be here.
First published 09 April 2019