Place2Be currently provides embedded mental health services in 450 UK schools - Credit: Place2Be

Over £1 million pledged to transform children’s mental health in Devon

Joseph Bulmer

A new fund, launched in memory of Juliet Garmoyle, aims to transform children’s mental health support in Devon and the South West of England.

The Juliet Garmoyle Fund was launched in March at her memorial service held at Holy Trinity Church, Sloane Square, attended by over 600 people. The Fund will enable leading children’s mental health charity Place2Be to extend its vital school-based support into the South West of England for the first time.

Hugh, Juliet’s husband, has already pledged £1 million to help establish the fund. An additional 136 donors have already increased the total donated and pledged to The Juliet Garmoyle Fund to in excess of £1.25m.  The goal is to increase the size of the Juliet Garmoyle Fund substantially over the coming months and years with a particular focus attracting support from individuals and organisations based or interested in the South West of England.

Place2Be currently provides embedded mental health services in 450 UK schools and has over 25 years’ experience working with pupils, families and school staff. The Juliet Garmoyle Fund will initially focus on providing support in schools on the North Devon coast, with a view to expanding to reach more schools across the region over time.

In 2019, 46% of the 20,000 children and young people in need of mental health treatment in Devon had to wait more than 12 weeks to receive help. In addition, the uncertainty and disruption caused by the pandemic over the past two years has placed additional stress and anxiety on young people. As referrals for specialist NHS support reach record highs across the country, there has never been a more important time to ensure that children can get the help they desperately need.

Place2Be’s one-to-one therapeutic support is proven to help children and young people to achieve their potential, academically, socially and emotionally. This additional funding will also enable school staff to access online training to help their understanding of children’s mental health. The fund will create a sustainable model which will have a lasting impact on whole communities in the South West.

Catherine Roche, Chief Executive of Place2Be, said: “The South West is the only region of the UK where there is no existing in-school Place2Be service and where we know there is a real need for such support. We want to change this. The Juliet Garmoyle Fund will help transform the mental health landscape in the South West. It will fund support for children, parents and staff, in a region that had particular significance for Julie. Together, in Julie’s name, we can leave a legacy of improved mental health for future generations of children and young people.”

Viscount Garmoyle, Juliet’s husband, said: “Julie believed passionately that the provision of high-quality mental health support within a school environment was a key factor in enabling children, particularly those from deprived backgrounds, to achieve their true potential.

“This is why we are setting up the Juliet Garmoyle Fund, partnering with Place2Be, as an important part of Julie’s legacy. This fund will enable Place2Be to roll out its pioneering, and much needed, service to schools in the South West of England for the first time.”

Schools in Devon can register their interest in Place2Be’s mental health services by emailing schools@place2be.org.uk.

For those interested in supporting the fund, please get in touch with philanthropy@place2be.org.uk, or visit www.julietgarmoylefund.org.uk.

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