Buxton charity helping young people busier than ever after pandemic

A Buxton charity helping young people with counselling sessions and outdoor activities says it is busier than ever coming out of the pandemic.

Sunday, 17th April 2022, 9:28 am

The Thomas Theyer Foundation works to support children and young people with additional needs, their families and carers.

Since launching a counselling service in 2020, the charity has provided over 600 funded sessions, benefiting over 50 children, as well as providing additional sessions for parents.

The foundation was set up by Alan, Chris and Aimee Theyer in memory of 18-year-old Thomas, a Buxton Athletic Club member from Chapel-en-le-Frith, who died suddenly in July 2013.

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Chris Theyer of the Thomas Theyer Foundation

Thomas’ mum Chris said: “Our counselling service supports children and young people with anxiety, stress and bereavement.

"Children are overloaded with pressures at school and with friends and since covid we have seen more young people who are struggling to cope with their mental health.

"We are here to help young people and I’m so proud of what the team has achieved in such a short time and I know we are making a difference to so many people’s lives.”

The charity has a shop on London Road in Buxton and the counselling sessions are run from offices on the Market Place.

Thomas Theyer taking part in the Buxton Carnival Road Race in July 2013

Matthew Howarth, fundraising and events manager for the foundation, said: “In recent years I think we have all become more aware of mental health and covid has made us more aware of our feelings.

"The fact there is a counselling service just for young people is a great step in the right direction to help more people.

"We are going into schools and letting pupils and teachers know about our services so we can get the message out to the people who may need us the most.”

The Thomas Theyer Foundation offers a free counselling service for children and young people with special educational needs or who are experiencing difficult life circumstances as well as a donation based service for the parents and/or carers of those children.

A group recently took part in a charity skydive to raise money for the Thomas Theyer Foundation

It also supports children and young people with their physical health and in the last three years has funded outdoor activities for over 300 children.

This is all done to honour Thomas, who had dyspraxia and attention deficit disorder, and who was passionate about exercise.

In June 2013, Thomas completed his first and only fell race, the Whaley Waltz, and he also participated in the Buxton Carnival 4 road race in July 2013.

The foundation was established by Thomas’ family and became a registered charity in June 2015. It is currently raising funds to build a lodge at White Hall Education Centre.

One of the charity’s aims is to provide access to outdoor activities and respite accommodation for children and young people with additional needs. This includes children living with difficult life circumstances, such as young carers or those who have lost a parent or sibling.

It costs between £80,000 and £90,000 for the charity to operate each year and like many organisations, it has been feeling the financial pinch in recent months.

Chris said: “Sadly everything comes down to funding and we haven’t as yet secured any funding for our 2022/2023 outdoor activities."

To help support the good work the foundation does staff at the Seasons bar in Buxton recently did a sponsored skydive raising more than £2,000.

Matthew said: “We also have a great new event happening next month.

"We have teamed up with Thornbridge Hall and will be putting on our first fun run.”

Registration has now opened for the 5km and 10km races along the Monsal Trail at www.thornbridgehall.co.uk/funrun. Runners must pay a entrance fee and get sponsorship which will be split between the Thomas Theyer Foundation and the newly formed Thornbridge Foundation.

Matthew said: “We are really excited about this new fundraiser.

"Thomas loved running so it’s great we can honour him and put on a fun run. We want this to become an annual event and are really looking forward to seeing everyone taking on the challenge.”

The foundation is once again asking people to take part in the Spring into Action campaign to further raise money.

Matthew explained: “Not everyone is a runner, some people might enjoy swimming or cycling or walking the dog so this challenge allows more people to do something they enjoy while raising money for a good cause.”

People have from April 1 to September 30 to take part in the new campaign.

For more information on the services offered by the foundation visit https://thomastheyerfoundation.org.uk/.

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