THE MEMBER of the Senedd for Preseli Pembrokeshire, Paul Davies, went along to see first-hand the impact of work funded through The National Lottery, to support young people and their families struggling with mental health and well-being.
Megan’s Starr Foundation was established by Nicola Harteveld, in memory of her 14-year-old daughter, Megan Evans. The Foundation concentrates on providing help, advice and support to young people and parents struggling with their mental health and well-being.
They work to promote a shared conversation and response to mental health, teen suicide and bullying in which everyone works together to create safe environments for young people.
Thanks to National Lottery players, last year Megan’s Starr Foundation was awarded a £94,998 grant from The National Lottery Community Fund to develop their Speakeasy Mobile Coffee Van. The van provides access to mental health support for young people based in remote and rural locations.
The funding is also providing greater opportunities for young people to gain barista skills, build self-confidence and experience customer service as well as reducing isolation and improving their mental well-being.
The Foundation also benefited from a £4,790 National Lottery grant in 2021, for their Together Old and Young (TOY) project. This intergenerational project brought together young and older people to enjoy different activities, promoted intergenerational learning, and created new possibilities for older adults and young people in the community to learn together and benefit from each other’s company.
Nicola Harteveld, Founder of Megan’s Starr Foundation, commented: “On behalf of everyone at Megan’s Starr, we would like to thank the National Lottery Community Fund for recognising and believing in our vision of bringing new and diverse mental health support to the young people in our community that would not otherwise have access to services. This funding has already been instrumental in changing young people’s lives for the better and that is something that we are extremely grateful for and very proud of.”
Paul Davies, The Member of The Senedd for Preseli Pembrokeshire, said: “Megan’s Starr Foundation is doing such a great job in the local community and so I was delighted to meet with the team and hear more about the impact that National Lottery funding has had on the charity. I was particularly interested to see their new mobile Coffee and Shake van, which is a great way of engaging with young people and providing support in the community, in a safe and comfortable environment.
“Thank you to Nicola Harteveld and Nicola Russell-Brooks from The National Lottery Community Fund for the warm welcome and I look forward to seeing Megan’s Starr Foundation continue to go from strength to strength in the future.”
John Rose, Wales Director of The National Lottery Community Fund, said: “We are proud to be the largest funder of community activity in the UK, supporting grassroots groups and charities doing amazing things like Megan’s Starr Foundation. This group play a vital role in supporting the mental health and well-being of young people and their families, in and around Pembrokeshire.”