New free mental health service to be pioneered in Bolton by Harmony Youth Project

A new mental health service is being developed in Bolton.

Charlie Barrett, the man behind the Harmony Youth Project in the town, created the idea after being concerned about the dwindling mental health in the area.

It will offer mentoring and counselling, as well as a food bank style service, for all those who need it.

'Amy', whose name has been changed to protect her, is living with poor mental health and has been helped by the Harmony Youth Project in the past.

She says the service is really important.

"There are some days I can't even get up out of bed, just because I don't want to face people," she says.

"There has been times where I just literally not wanted to be here, and made numerous attempts on my life.

"These kinds of mental health services are really important because it brings out the best in people and they have a place to go where they feel safe and it's a safe space."

Charlie Barrett is the founder of Harmony Youth Project and wants to use it to help all those in need across Bolton.

The service is an extension of the Harmony Youth Project, and will rely on volunteers and donations from the public to help it run.

The youth project was saved last year, just ahead of its 20th anniversary, after an appeal on ITV Granada Reports.

Charlie has also written a book of poems of which all proceeds will go to the new service.

Charlie is keen for everyone who can, to get involved: “If we’re waiting for the government to help the most needy in this crisis, I think we’ve got a long wait.

"So people have got to come together."

The project has been gifted an empty building to house its new mental health one stop shop.

The new mental health scheme will run from a unit on Bradshawgate, given free of charge to the charity, from Irwell Valley Homes who will also refurbish the unit.

Ceris Elpen, from Irwell Valley Homes, says: “We know that there’s some real need at the moment in this community for support for families whether that’s with mental wellbeing or employment or just the real basics of life.

"People are really struggling at the moment. We’re also bringing together lots of oursuppliers and contractors to transform the space and make it into something positive forthis community."

The service hopes to be up and running soon, and you can help here.