Over the last few months, the Clockwork team have been working hard to grow and develop the support structures we have in place for young people in our community, both in and out of school. We are extending our counselling offer, and partnering with Mental Health First Aid England to run a series of wellbeing seminars for staff and students at Oxted School.
In our last update, we announced the launch of our counselling service, in partnership with Heads Together. This service is free to users and offers one-to-one counselling, with qualified counsellors, for young people aged 14-24 living in the local area, for an initial block of eight weekly sessions.
We have since begun accepting our first counselling referrals. Due to Covid-19 we are still currently only offering this service online, but we hope to be able to offer the option of face-to-face counselling in the near future.
We do still have a very limited amount of capacity available, so if you, a friend or a family member could use some help, or would just like someone to talk to about whatever they might be going through, then please get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Full details of the counselling service are available on our website at clockwork.org.uk/counselling
Further to our partnership with Heads Together, providing for 14-24 year olds, we are now in a position to offer counselling provision for those who fall below the age limit of this service. We have been clear that we want to be able to offer support to younger children and their families, and so are pleased to announce that we have established a referral arrangement with Kate Kirk, an experienced counsellor based in Warlingham, who is qualified to work with children from age 5 upwards.
As with our arrangement with Heads Together, Clockwork will refer potential counselling cases to Kate, who will carry out an initial assessment session. If she decides that she can help, and that counselling is appropriate for the child in question, Clockwork will commit to funding, initially, eight weekly sessions. For now, we will be referring children to Kate who fall below the Heads Together age range (i.e. 5 to 13 year olds) but this may extend to older children too if we reach full capacity with the Heads Together service, as Kate works with young people up to the age of 25. If you would like your child to be referred to Kate, then, again, please email us at email@example.com
One of the first significant financial commitments made by Clockwork was to fund an additional day of counselling at Oxted School, provided by Relate, in the summer of 2018. This took the number of days of counselling available per week from three to four, and Clockwork have committed to fund this again for the forthcoming academic year.
Further to this, as part of our commitment to supporting and promoting wellbeing at Oxted School, we organised and funded a Youth Mental Health First Aid Awareness course for nineteen members of staff. The half-day online course was administered by Christine Moran of Mental Health First Aid England. The feedback from those who attended was hugely positive, and a big thank you from us to Christine for running such an insightful, engaging session.
Looking forward, Clockwork are planning to provide three seminars on mental health and wellbeing – for years 7, 11 and 13 respectively – to take place during the autumn term. Pupils will explore mental health issues, with a view to improving awareness and understanding of their own wellbeing and that of their peers. It is our intention to run further seminars for other year groups later in the academic year, and for this to become part of an annually delivered wellbeing programme at the school.
Clockwork wants to be part of a community that addresses mental health issues in young people. We are just one part of a network of local and national charities and organisations that are working towards better mental health provision and information. Our aim is getting the best help for young people, whether that comes through us or another organisation. This is why on our website we have a section dedicated to signposting organisations and charities that work in many different areas of mental health, with descriptions of what they focus on and how people can get in touch with them.
As part of our attempts to engage with the wider community, our Development Officer Dom Damesick recently spoke about Clockwork and the work we are doing at a meeting of the Oxted Health Centre Patient Participation Group (PPG), titled ‘Wellbeing and Stress Management’, organised by Dorking Health Centre (DHC) Talking Therapies. DHC are an NHS organisation that work throughout Surrey, and provide a range of talking therapies to help people (aged 18 and upwards) with their mental health. For more details on DHC and the services they offer, as well as other charities and organisations providing mental health information and support, please visit clockwork.org.uk/services
The PPG meeting took place on Zoom, and was ‘attended’ by well over 50 members of the PPG. It was a really good opportunity to share examples and details of the services available to our local community, as well as to share some tips on how to look after our own wellbeing.
Finally, as most of our supporters probably already know, we rely on fundraising and donations to support our work: we receive no grants or other public sector funding. We have been hugely moved and motivated by the generous and enthusiastic response of the local community to Clockwork over the past months and years. In order to repay and renew this support, we will continue to work hard to provide help and information to young people, alongside developing and expanding what services and support we can offer.
We want to make it as easy as possible for anyone who feels able to make a donation to support what we are doing. We have set up a fundraising account with the Charities Aid Foundation, which allows you to donate quickly and easily online, and to apply Gift Aid to your donation. You can find the link to donate on our homepage at clockwork.org.uk. As always, we are very grateful for and appreciative of any and all donations.
We are still a registered good cause with the Tandridge Together Lottery. It’s very quick and easy to sign up and 50p of your weekly £1 tickets goes to your chosen good cause, with a further 10p going to other local causes. Thanks to all those who have already chosen Clockwork we are on course to raise about £300 from the Lottery this year. To sign up, just visit tandridgelottery.co.uk.
In July, the St Mary’s School Fun Run went ahead, with a few Covid imposed amendments. Pupils organised their own runs from home, and were sponsored by friends and family, while the staff organised their own event at the school. We were very grateful to be chosen as the nominated charity for the 2020 event, and a huge, heartfelt thank you to all staff, pupils and parents for their amazing efforts, which saw over £1,000 raised in sponsorship.
During lockdown, Randy & The Rockets have been live-streaming gigs every Saturday night to keep us all entertained. The guys from the band very kindly donated various items – including a signed guitar, a band t-shirt, a high-end snare drum, a print of a painting by guitarist Martin Mickels and a large teddy! – for an online auction during one of their gigs, which raised £700. Thank you to Randy & The Rockets, and to everyone who took part in the auction.
Also running during lockdown was “Jukebox Lockdown”, created by local musician Becky ‘Bee’ Ounsworth, which brought together some of Oxted’s extremely talented musical community to perform songs of people’s choice for a donation –a human jukebox if you will! Clockwork was one of the charities chosen by Jukebox Lockdown to benefit from this brilliant idea, and we received over £300. Thank you to all who donated to Jukebox Lockdown and supported such a great community initiative, and thank you to Bee for all her hard work in making it such a huge success.
Thank you to Oxted Classic Cars for their ongoing support; to The Oxted Horticultural Society for choosing Clockwork as their nominated charity for membership donations this summer; and to Sam Creep, Vicki Green, Karen Burrows and Mary Davidson for their generous donations.
Finally, a very special thank you to Brigitte Nicholson and her two sons, who set up a GoFundMe page in March to raise money in memory of their Dad, and Brigitte’s husband, Steve Nicholson. The family chose Clockwork as one of the charities they would support, and in July made an incredible donation of £2,500. Our deepest, heartfelt thanks to the Nicholson family for choosing Clockwork; and thank you to all who supported their GoFundMe page in memory of Steve.
That’s all for now! It remains a strange and worrying time out there, so take care of yourselves and each other.
For the latest on what we’re up to, give us a follow on Facebook @clockworkcharity, Instagram @clockworkoxted. Plus, we now also have a Twitter account @clockworkoxted. And you can always get in touch with us via email firstname.lastname@example.org.