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If U Care Share nets grant from Cestria Community Housing

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If U Care Share nets grant from Cestria Community Housing

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Published by Kelly Elliott for Cestria Community Housing in Housing and also in Care and Support, Communities, Health

Back l-r Sandra Emery (Foundation Operations Manager), Shirley Smith (Matthew and Ben’s mother). Front l-r brothers Matthew Smith (18) and Ben Smith (13), pictured with the scanner they have bought with the grant from Cestria. Back l-r Sandra Emery (Foundation Operations Manager), Shirley Smith (Matthew and Ben’s mother). Front l-r brothers Matthew Smith (18) and Ben Smith (13), pictured with the scanner they have bought with the grant from Cestria.

A Chester-le-Street charity, set up to help prevent suicide and to support those affected by it, has been given a cash boost thanks to local landlord Cestria Community Housing.

The If U Care Share Foundation was created in memory of 19-year-old Daniel O’Hare who took his own life in 2005. His devastated family vowed to help prevent future tragedies, with Daniel’s younger brothers setting up the ‘If U Care Share’ campaign. The campaign aimed to raise awareness by selling wristbands with the message “If u care share” and raised nearly £50,000 to support the Samaritans.

Two years ago a charitable foundation was set up to carry out dedicated suicide prevention and support work across the North East.

Now the If U Care Share Foundation has been awarded £700 from Cestria’s Community Housing Community Benefit Fund, which supports local projects that meet important needs in the areas it operates.

The cash will help the foundation’s staff and volunteers to deliver awareness raising workshops in schools and sports clubs across the North East.

Daniel’s brother Matthew, now aged 18 said: “This grant will help us provide vital workshops to young people in the region, promoting awareness of emotional and mental health and where and how to access support.

“There remains a stigma around mental health issues, especially among young men. There’s a tendency to bottle problems up but we want to show that there is another way.

“Talking about and sharing your problems can make a huge difference and it’s essential to spread the message about seeking help before young people reach crisis point. To this day we don’t know why Daniel took his own life but through the work of the Foundation we are trying to prevent other families going through what we have been through.”

The cash grant will pay for room hire costs and will also help pay for a scanner to help staff scan in feedback forms completed by young people taking part in the workshops.

Cestria’s head of corporate services Christine Scott said: “The If U Care Share campaign has played a vital role in raising awareness around suicide which is now one of the main causes of premature death among young men aged 15-25.

“It quickly established a national profile which helped to break down some of the stigmas around young people’s mental health. Now with the establishment of the Foundation it is taking this campaign out to where it is needed most in our region.

“The Foundation’s interactive and informative workshops are helping to get young men talking about emotional and mental health and Cestria is delighted to be able to support its work through the Community Benefits Fund.

“Grants from the fund make all the difference to organisations like the foundation - helping them pay for the day to day running and equipment costs which they have to meet if they are to continue their vital work. We hope it helps the Foundation to reach more young people and support more families across the region.”

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