Local BBC Radio to champion volunteering with organisations that support children’s mental health

The pandemic has been a difficult experience for many but particularly for children and young people.

Today (19th May) across local BBC radio, stations are promoting opportunities to volunteer with organisations through the ‘Make a Difference Happy Heads’ campaign, to support children and young people’s mental health and well-being.

Capitalising on the community spirit that has emerged during the pandemic, all 39 local BBC radio stations will be promoting these roles on air and online and encouraging audiences to volunteer via the BBC Make a Difference website – bbc.co.uk/makeadifference.

During the pandemic, some of the challenges children have faced and may still face, include isolation from friends, learning from home and worries that family or friends might get sick.

Recent data published by BBC Children in Need found that more than two-thirds of children and young people (68%) aged 11-18 believe that young people’s mental health in general has got worse as a result of the pandemic, with one in three (34%) not feeling comfortable to ask for help if they needed it.

BBC Children in Need is partnering with BBC England’s Make a Difference Happy Heads campaign to provide links to local charities and organisations that can offer support.

BBC regional television will also be sharing stories of the children, young people, families and projects that are supported by BBC Children in Need. They will be sharing their experiences as well as the work being undertaken to provide mental health and emotional wellbeing support to children and young people across the country.

Head of Audio and Digital for BBC England, Chris Burns said: “The pandemic has been a difficult time for many and children have particularly been affected. We hope that this initiative being run across Local BBC Radio as part of Make a Difference  will go some way to helping those who need support.”

BBC Children in Need’s Chief Executive, Simon Antrobus added: “We are proud to be partnering with BBC England’s Make a Difference Happy Heads campaign and look forward to sharing some of the stories from those that we support in the coming weeks. The pandemic has had an impact on everyone and especially for small charities helping children, families and communities with their wellbeing, so it’s fantastic that the BBC is encouraging those who can to volunteer and lend a hand to those that need it.”

Tune into your local BBC radio station or listen in via the BBC Sounds app to hear about the ‘Make a Difference – Happy Heads’ campaign from Wednesday 19th May.