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Support grows for Changing Minds with Pick Up a Penny psychotherapy centre

Plans for a new centre to support children’s mental health are gaining support.

Sara Young has launched Changing Minds with Pick Up a Penny (CIC) to raise funds to deliver what she says will be pioneering psychotherapy.

Her plans include centres around the country that offer children and young people – who have experienced trauma – receive early intervention therapies.

One proposed site lies close to the Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital, in Cramlington, which Sara – a Forest Hall psychotherapist – says has received a positive response from Northumberland County Council.

And she has also received backing from business, with Stephen Harrison, founder of brick maker Forterra, offering free building materials for the centre, and Barclays Bank offering its network of North East banks as fundraising hubs.

“I am really delighted for the families and companies who are supporting the centre,” said Sara.

“The planned mental health centre, and highly skilled staff providing a multi-disciplinary approach, could alleviate pressure on our already overstretched mental health service and look to change it throughout the UK with a bottom-up approach.”

Sara’s work and influence has already had a positive impact on numerous people, including ten-year-old Grace Rowe, from Benton, and 17-year-old Chloe Cowley, from Longbenton.

Grace, who lives with spina bifida, said: “I felt bad, and I wasn’t sure why; but after talking to Sara this began to change; she gave me a safe place where I could express myself.”

Chloe, who lives with a disability that greatly impacts her joints and mobility, making her physically vulnerable and in need of a wheelchair for longer distances, added: “Sara has helped me realise I’m a typical teenager who happens to live with a long-term health condition.”