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Headlight at Action East Devon

Ottery St Mary Town Council are delighted to welcome Action East Devon (AED) as new tenants at the Station Community Hub in Ottery.  AED are a leading local charity focused on the mental health and wellbeing of young people and their families. AED provide a range of services across East Devon for young people aged 13 – 25. The focus of the service is peer support and 1-2-1 sessions delivered in a holistic and person-centred way, responding to local need and delivering lasting change and benefit. 

They have meetings in Ottery St Mary, Axminster and Seaton, and offer 1-2-1 support in Sidmouth Community College, Honiton Community College and Axe Valley Academy. 

Headlight is a peer support group that provides early intervention, non-clinical, support to young people with mental health concerns, such as anxiety, eating disorders, depression, self-harm, suicidal feelings, abuse, autism, ADD and ADHD. Many young people come to Headlight at key transition points in their lives: moving schools, transitioning to adult mental health services or at point of discharge or when something has triggered mental health problems. 

Headlight’s peer-support model enables young people to meet others experiencing similar issues in a welcoming, non-judgmental space and enables them to build healthy relationships with peers, support network, family and community. Young people have the opportunity to speak up, share, give and receive support. 

Young people are referred into Headlight by parents, GP and teachers, and they can also refer themselves. They will meet a mental health support worker who will assess their need and identify the best pathway for them.   

The Headlight service in Ottery has recently received a significant grant from Ottery St Mary Town Council. The Council were advised by AED that the Headlight service was in danger of being suspended due to funding shortfalls and the finance committee met with AED and agreed that the Council should support this valuable service for young people. The Council awarded a grant of £12,500 to enable the Headlight service to continue until the end of March 2024. The Council is aiming to develop its youth services and will continue to work with AED to achieve this and find a sustainable finance model for the Headlight service in Ottery. 

Action East Devon are keen to hear from young Ottery residents who would be interested in becoming a volunteer and join the “Youth Voice” panel to influence and develop their services. 

Adult volunteers are also sought to help with activities.  No qualifications or experience are required, other than a desire to help and support the young people. All training, mentoring, supervision and support will be provided. 

Cllr John Green has been involved with working with Action East Devon on the project and said, “The Council recognise the great work undertaken by the Headlight team supporting young people in Ottery.”   John added “We provided the significant grant to maintain the service until the end of March 2024 and look forward to working with AED to investigate a sustainable funding model going forward”. 

More information is available at www.actioneastdevon.org.uk 

Published
2 January 2024
Last Updated
2 January 2024
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