A 16-year-old from Fleetwood has been given funding for a project that will raise awareness of mental health issues among local young people.

Shaun Martin applied for funding from the O2 Think Big initiative in order to set up a Young People Hearing Voices Group, one of very few such groups in the country. The O2 initiative helps young people to launch ideas and programmes that will benefit their local community.

Shaun’s project will hold open days across the Fylde coast where he will spread the message among his age group that mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of, nor is talking about it. The aim is to make communities more aware of the stress that young people encounter in daily life and the effect some of these pressures can have on their mental health. NHS Fylde and Wyre Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is backing Shaun’s project and has helped him in his funding bid, offering advice and knowledge to get his innovative idea off the ground.

Shaun, who lives with mental health problems himself, said: “I am really passionate about young people’s mental health as I go through it myself on a daily basis. I put my application in for the Think Big initiative and then had a phone call to discuss all the steps that would happen at one of these events. I thought nothing of this; I even thought I would be unsuccessful, but I wasn’t. I got an email from them and they said I had been successful with my project!”

Dr Tony Naughton, a GP and clinical chief officer of NHS Fylde and Wyre CCG, said: “We are delighted that Shaun has received funding to support him in setting up a Young People Hearing Voices group, which will be one of very few such groups in the country.

“The CCG supported Shaun in his funding bid and will continue to offer guidance in setting up the group and in reaching young people locally to take advantage of the peer support the group will offer. We wish him every success in this innovative venture.”

You can contact the Young People Hearing Voices group via email:yphvg@outlook.com.