Delayed youth mental support project in Sidmouth prepares for September opening

Ben Feasey Picture: Philippa Davies

Ben Feasey Picture: Philippa Davies - Credit: Picture: Philippa Davies

A mental health support service for young people is to start in Sidmouth at the end of this month.

The Headlight project will offer people aged 13 to 24 a mix of virtual and face-to-face support, with sessions taking place at Sidmouth Youth Centre.

It had been due to begin in April, but was delayed by the coronavirus lockdown.

The Headlight service is managed by the charity Action East Devon and has been working in Axminster and Ottery St Mary for some time.

Funding to bring it to Sidmouth was secured by Sid Valley HELP and the Sid Valley Wellbeing and Health Action Team (WHAT).

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The chief executive officer of Action East Devon, Karen Kelly, said: “After the imposed pause on getting Headlight up and running, I am delighted that we are now ready to open the new service in Sidmouth.

“With the support of our colleagues from Sid Valley HELP and their tireless fundraising efforts, and partners on WHAT, we can now get this essential support service off the ground.

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“Due to our Covid-19 secure measures, it will be a little different to our original plans, but will still have the same ethos of helping young people experiencing mental health issues through one-to-one support and peer support sessions.

“I am exceptionally proud of our Headlight team, most of whom have worked throughout lockdown to support young people and who are looking forward to working in Sidmouth.”

Sidmouth Parish Church raised more than £6,000 towards the project.

Acting treasurer Fay Wilson-Rudd said: “It was unfortunate that the pandemic prevented this happening earlier in the year, but being able to proceed now is great.

“Many children and young people have experienced significant ups and downs in recent months, and as they return to school and college it is good to know additional support will be available for those who need it.”

Headlight’s manager Ben Feasey said: “Myself and the team are really looking forward to getting Headlight started in Sidmouth and helping as many young people as possible.

“It has been a long wait.”

Headlight Sidmouth is now taking referrals via an online form on the website

For more information email Ben Feasey on

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