The Mayor of Camden officially launches the Centre as her Charity of the Year

22nd July 2016 By: Conrad Colson

Yesterday evening at a drinks reception at Camden Town Hall, the Mayor of Camden, Councillor Nadia Shah, officially launched Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families, as her Charity of the Year.

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The speakers: the Centre's Trustee John Cape, the Mayor Nadia Shah, and Maisy, a member of the Centre's Youth Panel.

This new partnership will see the Mayor of Camden promoting the Centre and raising funds for our work throughout the next year. We will also be working together to promote wider-reaching conversation around, and involvement with, mental health support and services for children and young people.

Speaking about our relationship, Peter Fonagy, Chief Executive of the Centre said:

“Families in Camden and London are at the heart of much of our work. To be in the heart of the Mayor of Camden is the greatest place for us to find ourselves. We are extraordinarily proud of being the Mayor’s Charity of the Year.”

In attendance were a range of local businesses, charitable foundations, Councillors, and staff from the Centre. Explaining her decision to support the Centre, the Mayor urged that more had to be done to challenge the startling statistics around mental health and improve the support available for families struggling with mental health issues. She said:

“My experience of working closely with the community has given me a deep insight into the struggles which normal people face in their lives and the support they need to flourish.  Worries about money, jobs and benefits can make it harder for people to cope.  The Centre provides vital services to disadvantaged children and their families and encourages the community to be more aware and to talk about mental health”.

The Centre’s Trustee, Professor John Cape, went on to express the Centre’s gratitude to the Mayor, emphasizing how important her support was for families within Camden struggling with mental health issues.

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Maisy, age 19, spoke at the event, sharing her her own history of mental health challenges and how she's now using her those experiences for good. She has been working as a Young Advisor at the Centre helping to steer decision-making. She now volunteers as a member on the Centre’s new Youth Panel, which aims to empower young people to have a stronger voice in mental health services. 

On the benefits of working as a Young Advisor, she said: “My newfound confidence has seeped into every opportunity and relationship I have. My Mum has noticed the change in me: I speak confidently and assertively, I question everything and rant about the benefits of participation to everyone I meet”.

You can support the Mayor of Camden’s fundraising for the Centre here: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/CamdenMayorNadiaShah