Funding boost for Suffolk firm tackling mental health

East Anglian Daily Times: Debbie Watson is launching Wednesdays Child to help those struggling with mental health. Photo: Warren Page.Debbie Watson is launching Wednesdays Child to help those struggling with mental health. Photo: Warren Page. (Image: Archant)

A Suffolk social entrepreneur has received a funding boost to help support her battle against devastating eating disorders and promote positive mental health.

In May, Debbie Watson launched Wednesday's Child - a social enterprise which allows those concerned about friends and family going through mental health struggles to send a carefully curated gift box.

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The simple idea has caught on.

And now Ms Watson is set to receive a £4,600 grant from UnLtd to make a change through other exciting and innovative ventures.

The grant will enable Wednesday's Child to accelerate its delivery potential, in courses, events and learning materials for schools, healthcare professionals and those directly affected by the mental health disorder.

"Being accepted by UnLtd is a great boost for Wednesday's Child, and a marker of how impressed the assessors clearly were by what we're setting out to deliver," said Ms Watson.

"This funding stream receives a huge amount of applications every year from across the UK, and is specifically allocated to individual social entrepreneurs looking to have high impact in an area of need, so I'm really pleased that the Wednesday's Child concept has been applauded in this way."

Wednesday's Child will also be using some of its newly accessed funding to increase distribution of its kindness boxes.

The enterprise also said a number of Suffolk businesses have expressed interest in the wellbeing gift boxes as part of employee wellness support led by HR teams.

Roy Laming, award manager for UnLtd in the East of England, added: "UnLtd is delighted to support Debbie on her innovative approach to dealing with the challenging social issue.

"We anticipate that with this award she will be able to extend and scale up her work to help and support individuals right across the country to improve their quality of life."

Wednesday's Child recently launched its first 'Heal Kitchen' events in Suffolk. The initiative sees friendship lunches and supportive suppers put on in a specially chosen venue.

Those experiencing an eating disorder, or caring for someone, can attend the sensitively led occasion, at which up to 12 guests share a light meal, hear from a speaker, and participate in a demonstration activity.