Pirate FM News

Heartfelt appeal to kit out Cornwall's first young mental health unit

sowenna entrance

Published by Emma Carton at 7:34am 10th October 2018. (Updated at 8:02am 10th October 2018)

An appeal has been launched to kit out Cornwall's first mental health unit for children and young people.

It got the green light in 2017 and work on the new building at Bodmin should be completed within two years.

It will stop 13 to 18-year-olds having to be moved hundreds of miles away from home for care and treatment.

However, Sowenna still hopes to raise more than £1 million for things like a gym, a cafe and rooms for parents.

Scroll down to read how you can help, including a special flash mob in Truro to raise awareness.

sowenna east view
An appeal has been launched to help kit out Cornwall's first mental health unit for children and young people

Jane, who lives near Truro, had told Pirate FM it would have made the world of difference to her young child.

Her daughter Chloe, who is now known to his friends and family as Matthew, is back in Cornwall.

However, when he was younger, Matthew spent time as far away as Kent and Birmingham.

"I'm sure it delayed his recovery immensely and we could only see him once every three weeks when he was so far away because it was a whole weekend's travel.

"If you leave and he's a bit upset, you've got all those weeks before you can catch up again; it really isn't nice".

sowenna chloe
The appeal is backed by the family of Chloe, now known as Matthew, who had to travel hundreds of miles for treatment

Jane is encouraging everyone to donate to the Sowenna Appeal, saying every penny will make a big difference.

"If they just imagine how they might feel if a young member of their family was suddenly sent hundreds of miles away and was feeling very isolated an lonely.

"And how If they could donate even five pounds, that money could be used for all those young people in Cornwall".

sowenna north view
The appeal hopes to raise over £1 million to kit out the unit with everything from a gym and cafe to overnight rooms for parents

Sowenna: The Building

A new 24 hour assessment and treatment mental health unit for children and adolescent patients.

The service will deliver day care and educational services to both day service users and inpatients.

The unit will provide a total of 14 beds in on suite single room accommodation (two of which are for high dependency care) within bed clusters and associated inpatient accommodation, together with clinical space for inpatients and day service users to attend for therapy services and to meet their educational needs.

The principle of the layout is to create three separate smaller scale living clusters. There are two gender specific clusters comprising of six bedrooms each and designated living area with access to an external courtyard. The education block and the main entrance block complete the accommodation around the main central courtyard.

The built environment, both internal and external, can have a significant effect on the well-being of service users, staff and visitors alike.

The design of mental health service buildings can greatly assist in the therapeutic care of the service users, giving a positive experience for those who live and, as importantly, work within them.

sowenna west view
A Just Giving page that is part of the Sowenna Appeal has already raised over £50,000 of its £1.1 million target

What does the Sowenna Appeal need?

It is estimated that one in 10 young people aged between five and 16-years-old has a mental disorder. Most can be treated within the community, but some require a more intensive programme of treatment and care.

Currently some of our most ill and vulnerable young people are travelling hundreds of miles away from their family and friends to hospitals in Birmingham, Essex, Kent and Cheshire to access psychiatric treatment.

We are delighted that we will soon be in a position to support these young people much closer to home through 'Sowenna' - Cornwall's first adolescent mental health unit which is currently being built on the Bodmin Hospital site.

To ensure Cornwall has a leading-edge facility, the Sowenna Appeal has been launched to fund some of the items which will really make a difference to young peoples’ recovery, health and wellbeing:

  • A sports barn, gym, plus fitness and sports equipment
  • Parental accommodation, to allow families to stay over and make admission less unsettling
  • A café area to allow visits with family and friends to happen in a friendly space
  • Therapeutic gardens
  • Equipment for music, arts and cooking
sowenna south view
On Wednesday 10th October, a flash mob is being held in Truro to help raise awareness of the Sowenna Appeal and appeal for donations

How can I help?

Pirate FM will be involved in a flash mob in Truro on Wednesday, to help raise awareness about the appeal.

It starts at 1pm on Lemon Quay, supported by former Britain's Got Talent star, Josh Curnow.

You can tweet your support for the flash mob - #sunshineonarainyday #sowennaappeal #singingforsowenna

A Just Giving appeal has been launched as part of the overall Sowenna Appeal and has already raised over £51,000.

You can read more at the link above or check the other ways to donate on the Sowenna Appeal's website or its Facebook page.

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