Young Minds Matter concert this Saturday in support of mental health charities

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Young Minds Matters performers tune up in readiness for their concert at Holy Trinity Church in Stratford. Grace Duff, left, pictured in full voice with, from left, Suzanne Winter, organiser, Sue Roberts, founder of YMM, Taha Elamin, Yasmin Corbett and Lexy Laurens. Photo: Mark Williamson H9/2/19/4992

Shocking figures released by the NHS recently revealed that one in eight under-19s have suffered mental health issues — and it’s a growing problem.

A Stratford organisation, Young Minds Matter, is doing their bit to highlight the problems faced by young people and help raise money for charities offering essential help and support.

Its next event is a musical extravaganza, the Young Minds Matter charity concert, which takes place on 9th March at Holy Trinity Church at 7pm.

Sixty young musicians are taking part, including students from Stratford High, Stratford Girls’ Grammar, Stratford Rock School, Tudor Hall School and Warwick School. There will also be guest speakers, an auction and raffle.

As well as raising awareness for the issues surrounding young people’s mental health, money will be raised for local charity Lifespace Trust and Young Minds, the national organisation concerned with children’s wellbeing and mental health.

Local parent Sue Roberts founded Young Minds Matter (YMM) following personal experience. Mum to two daughters now at university, Sue tells Herald arts: “After witnessing and supporting young people through some serious, lengthy and quite scary episodes of mental illness I decided I needed to do something to not only reduce the huge taboo surrounding mental illness but also raise awareness and much-needed funds for the mental health needs of young people.”

The first YMM concert took place at Warwick Hall last year and raised an incredible £37,000. Sue says the concert at Holy Trinity will be an opportunity for local people to hear some great music and lend their support.

She explains: “The event will be predominantly supporting Lifespace Trust who provide one-to-one mentors in local schools for children experiencing distress — they help to build resilience and confidence. They do such good work locally and it will be great to give them something back.

“The Young Minds Matter music events are a way of bringing together young people in the community to help their peers. YMM offers a positive and inspiring platform for young people to talk openly about their experiences of mental illness and to be inspired by other people’s stories, especially those who have made complete recoveries.

Sue adds: “There was a real buzz from the audience after the first event – many commented that they had not experienced an event that focused on mental illness in such a positive, lively and uplifting way.”

YMM is supported by local organisations, including sponsors MV Kelly Ltd Building Contractors, and Wasps Rugby Football Club, who are offering an auction prize of an executive box for 12 people with a two-course buffet, and are offering two free tickets for every concert ticket sold to their game against Worcester on 6th April.

Dèirdre Fitzhugh, Director of the Wasps Community Foundation says: “The mental and physical wellbeing of young people is of vital importance and features in a great deal of our community work. Young Minds Matter is a great organisation, and we are delighted to support what should be a great event.”

Tickets are £20 and available through www.eventbrite.co.uk by searching for ‘Young Minds Matter’.