Twickenham MP, Munira Wilson, holding a medal

Twickenham MP raises more than £1,000 for young people’s mental health charities

Twickenham’s MP, Munira Wilson, ran 10 miles and raised more than £1,000 for two young people’s mental health charities last month. 

Wilson ran the Cabbage Patch 10, a yearly 10-mile road race through Twickenham in association with The Stragglers Running Club on 16 October.

The Liberal Democrat ran on behalf of The Purple Elephant Project and Off the Record, both based in her constituency.

And she raised £1285 in the process, surpassing her target of £1000 via a Give as you Live page.

Wilson said: “Children’s mental health has been one of my biggest priorities since becoming an MP. 

“Every week, I hear heart-breaking stories from schools, parents and pupils about how children and young people are suffering with their mental health.

“Having personally met some of the families in my constituency who’ve been helped by these two incredible organisations, I’m full of admiration for the caring and dedicated staff at both organisations, and am so grateful to them for all they do.”

There has been a drastic increase in children and young people’s mental health issues around the country.

According to YoungMinds, one in six children aged five to 16 were identified as having a probable health problem in July 2021. 

Furthermore, 83% of young people with mental health needs agreed that the coronavirus pandemic had made their mental health worse

Off the Record provides counselling, advice and information for 11-24 year old’s who live, work or study in the borough of Richmond upon Thames.

Additionally, they offer the only dedicated walk-in service in the borough for young people in crisis. 

The Purple Elephant Project, which opened its centre at the end of January 2020 provides therapeutic services to children and young people experiencing mental health distress. 

The Purple Elephant Project chief executive Jenny Haylock said: “We will use the money to directly support a child in need to access a therapeutic intervention they would otherwise not be able to access. 

“This may be either a 1:1 Art or Play Therapy intervention.

“We hope to be able to continue to expand so we can reach more children in need and offer advice and support their families. 

“We are starting to deliver more group work and also hope to expand our training services into schools, to support schools with advice and strategies in understanding children within the context of their life experiences.”

Wilson added: “I and my Liberal Democrat colleagues are also calling for a dedicated, qualified mental health professional in every school, who can provide the talking therapies or small group support.

“This is crucially important to help schools, who are doing their best but need more support.

“I will keep up the pressure to push the government to get a grip on this crisis.”

Wilson completed the race with an official time of 1:39:33.

The race started at 9.00 am from Church Street, crossed the Thames at Kingston and Richmond bridges, and then finished at York House.

Featured image credit: Munira Wilson

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