A GENEROUS charity has given more than £100,000 to organisations across Colchester.

The Catalyst charity has given £25,000 to Colchester Age Concern to help meet the costs of refurbishing its new North Hill headquarters and more than £8,000 to Lexden Springs special school.

The money will help buy equipment for children with mobility issues walk around the school.

One of the largest grants given was £15,748 to the Youth Enquiry Service to boost the counselling support it gives young people aged between 11 and 19. Jane Blomeley, YES chief executive, said the grant will enable the organisation to assist an additional

50 youngsters who are not supported by the statutory services.

She said: “This generous grant by Catalyst will help children and young people, who face on-going struggles, to maintain their mental health through difficult situations.

“This includes children struggling from family breakdowns, domestic abuse, self-harming issues and suicidal thoughts.

“Unfortunately, due to staffing and diagnosis issues, right now, they can’t access either early intervention or the appropriate services.

“This lack of access to mental health support for this vulnerable group of people has been covered heavily in the news over the last few months, specifically in the recent Panorama programme.

“It reported that funding has not been getting through to front line mental health services.

“Research by the NSPCC also found nearly a third of children being referred to specialist mental health services by their schools are being denied treatment.”

YES also has plans to work more closely with Outhouse East in the future, which supports lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people ho desperately need counselling to cope with the psychological problems they face due to feeling excluded from their communities.

Catalyst has reserved £20,000 for Outhouse East to spend on refurbishing its building, which will include creating more counselling rooms to support at least 28 more people each year.

Other grants awarded include;

 £10,000 to the Farleigh Hospice for a new information bus

 £9,000 Citizens Advice Bureau Tendring for a new lift

Greenstead Community Centre £2,570 for a new youth club

Catalyst also gave £50,000 to Colchester Hospital’s new cancer centre.

Colchester Catalyst Charity was set up in 1990, after the sale of the former Colchester Oaks Hospital.

The charity devotes its income from the invested funds from the sale to supporting organisations working for the sick in north east Essex.

If you need a grant, contact Rodney Appleyard on 07784 425268.