Join our 55 for 55 Campaign!

We are launching a new campaign to celebrate our 55th Anniversary and raise money to support young people’s mental health.

This year marks our 55th year of supporting babies, children and young people across Sussex. Since we were established by Dr Trevor Mann in 1967, we have supported over 1m children and their families with all aspects of their care from medical equipment to toys, wellbeing projects to counselling.

Children and young people continue to need our support, and at the moment one area which particularly needs our attention is their mental health and wellbeing.

A recent study undertaken by the BBC showed that between April and October 2021, the number of children needing care for serious mental health issues increased by 77%. This figure may not mean much on its own, but when you realise that this equates to 5 children in a normal class of 30 being affected, it suddenly becomes a lot more worrying.

In addition, 50% of all mental health issues start by the age of 14 and in the last three years, the likelihood of young people having a mental health problem has increased by 50%. And this is just a snapshot of how the mental health crisis is affecting young people.

So, for the first project of our 55th year, we want to help tackle this issue, which is where you come in!

Our ask is simple: could you pledge to do some fundraising between now and the end of June related to the number 55?

A 55 cake made by Roedean school

It’s our 55 for 55 campaign!

Perhaps you could organise a cake sale and bake 55 cakes? Or pledge to get 55 people to donate £1 between now and the end of June?

If you would prefer to join with a group of friends or colleagues, you might be able to walk 55 miles between you? Or cycle 550km?

Your class could be sponsored to undertake 55 acts of kindness over the next three months, or your school sports team could challenge themselves to score 55 goals in a row?

Whatever you can do, every penny of your support will be going towards helping children and young people who are in real crisis with their mental health.

55 for 55 projects

As well as funding projects in The Alex that help paediatric services support children presenting in A&E with serious mental health problems, we are also helping children who are trying to manage long term and chronic health conditions.

We are aiming to help children and young people by funding 5 different projects:

  1. A new Youth Worker at the Alex
  2. Sea swimming sessions
  3. Art therapy
  4. Woodland Wellbeing days
  5. Chalkhill Child and Adolescent Mental Health Unit

The youth worker will be based in the A&E department at the Alex and their role will be to work in a holistic way with young people presenting to the department in crisis.

They will be able to spend the time helping young people who feel adrift, undervalued or alone and who don’t feel they are armed with the ability to cope with the pressures that life has thrown at them.

You will also be helping us provide wellbeing projects such as art therapy, sea swimming and woodland wellbeing days for children and teenagers with long-term physical health conditions like cancer, diabetes and cystic fibrosis who have really struggled with their mental health over the last two years.

These projects aim to help children feel better able to manage their conditions, normalise their experiences, feel less anxious but above all, have some fun. Take a look at how these projects will help here:

And we are also continuing to raise funds for Chalkhill, a specialist in-patient mental health unit in Haywards Heath that offers mental health treatment and support for young people who are experiencing acute mental health and emotional difficulties, such as depression, eating disorders and psychosis.

So, why not get involved and have some fun?

Now it’s your turn! We’re sure you can come up with some brilliant ideas related to our 55th year. As long as you do it sometime within the next three months, anything goes.

You can fundraise and donate on our ’55 for 55’ Just Giving page here.

Or you can set up your own team on this page where you can fundraise in a group.

Don’t forget

Let us know how you’re getting on with your fundraising. Make sure you tag us across any social media posts and include the #55for55 hashtag in your post so we can see what you’re getting up to and cheer you on!

You can also download your very own 55 for 55 Poster to include in your social media posts.

And if you need any help organising your fundraising or setting up your team Just Giving page, just get in touch: or 01273 330044.

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