Burnham-On-Sea mental health suport charity In Charley’s Memory has taken the ‘heartbreaking’ decision to suspend its service in order to protect the safety of its volunteers during the Coronavirus outbreak.
The charity was set up in memory of Burnham-On-Sea teenager Charley Marks who sadly took his own life. It offers mental health support to young people and has recently begun a new extra ‘wing’ offering support to older people.
Talking to Burnham-On-Sea.com this week, Dawn Carey, In Charley’s Memory (ICM) Operations Manager, said: “Following government guidelines & safe distancing, we have made the decision to temporarily close ICM.”
“It has not been an easy decision to make, although we feel it is the right one to keep all of our staff and clients safe.”
If you need any support during this time, contact Samaritans on 116123 or Young Minds text service on 85258. Also, you can see: https://www.nhs.uk/oneyou/
“We just didnt feel we could put alternatives in place to protect everyone at speed.”
Dawn adds: “We guessed a lockdown was coming and we made the decision rather than rush and try to put things in place that potentially wouldn’t work. We know it was the right decision but certainly not an easy one.”
“Now, a few days in, we are all working hard behind the scenes to get things into place so we can continue to offer counselling in a safe way to everyone involved.”
“Obviously we adhere to government advice but we would like to be open again within the next few weeks offering alternatives to face-to-face counselling.”
“Again, like so many others, we have had every single fundraising event cancelled for the foreseeable future, but we look forward to to a busy few months when this is all over.”
“This is not an easy time, so be kind to each other, take it one day at a time and share your feelings with your friends and family in a safe way. It really is good to talk and many of us are feeling anxious about the situation.”
Pictured: Archive photo of the team at In Charley’s Memory in Burnham