New funding to improve mental health and support young people struggling in mainstream education

A Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) organisation which supports young people struggling in mainstream education has launched a new initiative thanks to funding from Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire  Integrated Care Board (BSW ICB).

The Platform Project has been awarded a grant to scale-up its therapeutic mentoring service, helping more young people across the region to improve their mental health.

The organisation based in Swindon is an innovative not-for-profit social enterprise that works closely with local authorities, education institutions and local employers to bridge the gap between education and employment.

In recent years, The Platform Project has seen an increasing number of young people experiencing significant mental health challenges preventing them from attending education, having the confidence to apply for employment, or in some cases even leaving their bedrooms.

Through the programme, eligible students are paired with therapeutically trained and qualified mentors providing one-to-one support. The aim is to provide young people with the tools they need for sustainable and resilient futures, where they can thrive in educational settings and set off on a path to a successful and fulfilling career.

Sadie Sharp, CEO at The Platform Project, said, “We have seen so many young people who desperately wanted to be like their peers and just go to school, have a social life or get a job, but were experiencing such emotional distress that they were being pushed into ‘fight or flight’ behaviours. They were asking for help, but the thought of talking to a stranger about their inner thoughts and fears was just too intimidating.”

Steve Maddern, Director of Public Health at Swindon Borough Council said: “Providing children and young people with the support and care needed to have a sense of belonging, enjoy healthy lifestyles, do well in learning and have opportunities to truly thrive are key priorities for the BSW Integrated Care Board.

Supporting the Platform Project’s work to help more young people in improve their mental health, overcome challenges and develop the tools they need for success will enable us to work towards these priorities and help build a brighter future for our communities.”

For further information on the service, to apply for a role as a Therapeutic Mentor, or to make a referral, please visit or email