The Matthew Elvidge Trust aims to increase the understanding and awareness of anxiety and depression as an illness and encourage people to spot the symptoms and ask for the right professional help
The Matthew Elvidge Trust is a local charity, which raises funds, campaigns and provides grants to other organisations to raise awareness and provide support for people experiencing anxiety and depression, both locally and nationally.
The Matthew Elvidge Trust was founded in 2010 by Hamish Elvidge after his son, Matthew, took his own life in 2009 after a short period of anxiety and depression.
The aim of the Trust is to tackle depression in young people and believes that students keeping healthy (physically, mentally and emotionally) should be a top priority for schools, colleges and universities. They achieve this by:
1. Increasing awareness of depression
Mental health affects everyone with changes occurring quickly or over longer periods of time. When times are tough having the skills to cope and seeking help can make all the difference.
The Trust campaigns to raise awareness of depression and identify and promote sources of support for those affected and their families.
2. Helping people to identify those at risk
The Matthew Elvidge Trust has identified a number of signs that can be an indication of anxiety or depression, particularly in combination. Many parents and students have told The Trust that being aware of these signs has made a huge difference.
The Trust also supports universities and colleges to raise awareness and provide support for anxiety and depression.
3. Promoting professional help to young sufferers
The Trust provides support for specific charities including:
121 Youth Counselling managed by Hart Voluntary Action to support young people aged 11-18 in the district of Hart.
Student Minds, Nightline and Students against Depression. In addition the Trust supports the Alliance for Student Led Wellbeing bringing together 12 organisations involved in supporting student mental health.
The Beachy Head Chaplaincy Team, who patrol the cliffs and save hundreds of lives every year.
The Suicide Bereavement Support Partnership, bringing together all organisations providing support to those bereaved or affected by suicide in the UK.
The Trust also contributes to national steering groups and advisory boards to help the Government develop effective prevention policies.
4. Raising the profile of the ‘health continuum’
The Matthew Elvidge Trust is working to raise awareness and encourage discussion of mental health as a continuum, which affects us all – sometimes we are flourishing and sometimes we need support. The Matthew Elvidge Trust campaigns for these issues to be discussed openly and for people to understand how to keep healthy; to learn the skills to cope when times are tough and know when to seek help.
As part of the Schools for Wellbeing Partnership, The Matthew Elvidge Trust works to encourage and support schools to place wellbeing at the heart of their ethos, culture and activities. They recommend taking a ‘whole school’ approach to emotional wellbeing and mental health, which delivers improvements in pupils’ social and emotional skills, as well as academic performance.
The Matthew Elvidge Trust also supports the work done in universities to help students understand how to stay mentally well and have access to support when they need it.
At thebestof Fleet we are proud to support the Matthew Elvidge Trust as our partner charity.
The work of the Matthew Elvidge trust can only take place due to the generous supporters, who raise c£50,000 each year. Over £250,000 has been raised so far and 100% of the money raised is used directly to support projects and activities.
The main annual fundraising event is sponsorship in the Fleet Half Marathon, but there are many other ways to get involved including making a donation via the Matthew Elvidge Trust Virgin Money giving page.