Learn about the important work of our new partners.
Last week, we announced our Charity of the Year partnership with Friends of CHUMS - a fantastic, locally based charity who help bereaved children and families as well as many other important projects. The Club are now meeting regularly to work on ways of promoting their important work, raise awareness and where possible, help to raise money. Here's some more information about CHUMS:
“I am absolutely delighted that ‘Friends of CHUMS’ has been chosen by LTFC as their first Club Charity of the Year. It is a fantastic boost to us as a children’s mental health and emotional wellbeing service. We very much look forward to working alongside LTFC to improve the lives of vulnerable children and young people across Luton and Bedfordshire who struggle with compromised mental health.” – Dawn Hewitt, CHUMS CEO
From our first meeting, we have been blown away by the sheer enthusiasm of the Club to support our children and young people. Luton Town were already supporting us with match tickets for those young people who completed our Recreational Therapeutic Programmes last year and they have now generously offered more tickets to service users across our other services with immediate effect. So many of the children we see, do not have access to such experiences and benefit enormously from it.
CHUMS receives more than 2,500 referrals each year and delivers 11 different services supporting children and young people with a variety of issues. These children may have been bereaved, have experienced trauma such as sexual abuse or domestic violence, have depression or anxiety. They may self-harm or have become a young carer due to compromised mental or physical health in a parent or sibling or they may be finding engagement with school or services difficult due to any number of difficult life experiences.
The year ahead is all about interacting with the Club and its substantial networks to raise awareness of the importance of positive mental health and emotional wellbeing in children and young people for the good of our whole community. One in 10 children and young people aged 5-16 suffer from a diagnosable mental health problem – which is around 3 children in every class. Rates of mental health problems among children also increase as they approach adolescence. CHUMS focusses particularly on early intervention to help prevent the development of mental health difficulties in children and young people living in our community. We help to develop resiliency and give them hope for a better future.
We offer individual support, group workshops, drop ins, residential weekends, family days and a remembrance service for bereaved families. CHUMS also supports the wider family by offering support to parents/carers during group sessions and by directly supporting families where a baby has died or the family has been affected by suicide. We are supported by a fantastic, committed team of staff and volunteers and we actively recruit volunteers for mentoring, group work, fundraising, administration and driving children to our activities.
We are really looking forward to the opportunity that this year will bring, not only in raising awareness of the issues children and young people face but by being creative in finding ways that the club and the supporters of Luton Town can help us in our quest to ensure that ALL children and young people who require our service can access it. Children and young people deserve the best we can give; they are a precious resource within our community. By working together as a community we can find lasting solutions to improve the lives of those who face appalling obstacles through no fault of their own as they grow up.