The Sowenna Appeal
The Sowenna Appeal is raising money for the first mental health hospital for children and young people in Cornwall and beyond. There has never been a mental health facility in Cornwall for children and young people so Cornish children are regularly sent to facilities far away. Sowenna was named by young people, meaning ‘Success’ and ‘Welfare’ in Cornish.
Why do we need Sowenna?
Data published by the NHS estimates that 1 in 9 young people aged between 5 and 16 have a mental disorder and ¾ of all mental illnesses begin in childhood. Evidence shows that early intervention can reduce the likelihood of poor mental health as an adult. Sowenna will provide a safe space where young people will be supported to recover from severe mental illness. Sending vulnerable children far from home requiring parents to travel long distances can have a devastating impact on the children and their families. Sowenna will support approximately 116 young people each year either in hospital or as an outpatient, and we will be offering each patient a personalised programme of care. Jane Ninnis, a parent explains her first hand experience of this.
We are raising money to make Sowenna the very best it. The Sowenna Appeal is raising funds to provide facilities and equipment that go above and beyond the build and hospital beds funded by the NHS. Icing on the cake items and specialist areas that will really make a difference to young peoples’ recovery, health and wellbeing, and will transform Cornwall’s first child and adolescent mental health unit from a high quality centre, to the best in the country.
- a multipurpose activity barn for team sports and performance arts
- parental accommodation, to allow families to stay over and make admission less unsettling
- a café area to allow visits with family and friends to happen in a friendly space
- a gym; plus fitness, yoga and sports equipment
- therapeutic and sensory gardens
- equipment for music, art and cooking
“Sowenna enables a collaboration of medical support with the holistic needs of a person whether it be social, physical or environmental, which is fundamental for the success of regaining balance of an individual’s mental health and therefore more likely to aid long term success.”
Laura Penhaul, Founder of Adaptive Performance.
Grow Outdoors is an important project at Sowenna, raising money to build outdoor raised beds, help to fund some of the sensory gardens and provide equipment such as chalk for the outdoor blackboard and gardening packs for the young people.
The gardens will include sensory planting, raised beds for therapeutic horticulture, decorative floral and sensory planters and a giant outdoor blackboard wall for outdoor art expression and therapy. Some of the young people who need our services will have conditions which manifest in violent or aggressive behaviour towards themselves or others. We would like for the medication and talking therapies provided at Sowenna to be delivered within sensory environments, both indoors and outdoors which help to diffuse violent or aggressive outbursts. These spaces are important as they help young people who are experiencing severe mental distress to calm themselves and regain control more quickly.
The raised beds will be part of an individuals therapeutic journey whilst they stay at Sowenna. They will be able to plant, nuture and sow herbs, flowers, fruit and vegetables. These can then be used for making, art and cookery.
Young people are at the heart of Sowenna and the modern, inherently fun design has been created in consultation with young people. Walls will be bright and colourful with artwork which reflects the beauty of Cornwall. The sports and activity facilities reflect hobbies that young people enjoy or would like to try. Our ultimate goal is to avoid a clinical feel in the hospital, ensure young people maintain essential links with their friends, families and local communities and to offer a holistic and innovative approach to mental health care.
Every penny we raise will make a difference to the young people in our care at Sowenna. Thank you for your support.