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How Congleton-based charity Visyon supports young people in Cheshire

PUBLISHED: 00:00 20 April 2017

TV presenter Yvette Fielding and her daughter Mary Beattie, with Visyon's CEO Gervase McGrath at a recent fund-raising event for the charity

TV presenter Yvette Fielding and her daughter Mary Beattie, with Visyon's CEO Gervase McGrath at a recent fund-raising event for the charity

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As the 2017 Cheshire Life Food and Drink Awards approaches we reveal which charity will benefit.

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The Cheshire Life Food and Drink Awards on July 10th get ever closer and this month we can reveal our very special charity partner.

As well as honouring our food heroes at the luxury Carden Park Hotel in Chester, the event will also be raising funds and awareness for a very worthy Congleton-based charity Visyon.

The charity was set up to offer support to youngsters facing mental and emotional problems and each year receives referrals for more than 1,500 young people in Cheshire and North Staffordshire.

As well as offering therapy sessions, Visyon has an impressive programme of creative activities to help build self-esteem and confidence, everything from singing and sculpture to painting and photography.

Elizabeth and Richard Forester set up the charity in memory of their daughter, Lucy who, in 1994,at the age of 16 killed herself. There had been two similar deaths in the Congleton area and the couple questioned the lack of help that had been available.

Visyon is now 23 years old and while Richard passed away in 2013, Elizabeth, who lives in Chester, is the charity’s president and still very much involved.

Sandi Marshall, Business Development Officer, explained that last year they held 5,025 therapy sessions for young people costing £35-£40 each, funded through statutory sources like the local NHS and East Cheshire Council, grants and fundraising events. This year’s big occasions include a race night at Wychwood Park in Crewe, on June 24th and The Promise Gala Event at Mottram Hall on November 11th.

‘We are particularly interested in raising awareness of what we do at Visyon, so we are absolutely thrilled to be associated with the Cheshire Life Food and Drink Awards,’ says Sandi.

‘We are trying to build our support base right across Cheshire at a time when cuts in funding are affecting the statutory mental health providers. As a result, we are finding that more and more young people are coming to us.’

For more details about the work of the charity please visit www.visyon.org.uk

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