New fundraising initiative launched in Harrogate to support children's mental health
The owners of a popular Harrogate shop have come up with a fashionable and practical way of raising funds and awareness about children's mental health.
Anna Lockwood and Georgie Simpson, who own children's store Tiger Fifty 7 on Cold Bath Road, have designed and produced a colourful range of cotton t-shirts to support Harrogate based mental health charity Wellspring Therapy and Training.
Since their unisex 'HG Kids' t-shirts - aimed at all ages from three to 93 - went on sale in their shop, the pair have already managed to raise more than £300 for the Starbeck counselling and training centre, with t-shirts being sent to customers all over the world, including Australia and America.
Best friends Anna and Georgie, mums to four young children between them, came up with the idea for the 'HG Kids' t-shirts at the height of the Coronavirus pandemic last year.
Georgie said: "We are surrounded by children - our own children, friends' children and, running a kids' shop, customers' children too.
"Throughout last year when we were open, we chatted with lots of mums and listened to them talk about their young people and how they have struggled with all aspects of the pandemic, the home-schooling and the isolation.
"My own daughter has struggled as well with anxiety and panic attacks, so one day I had a light bulb moment and thought that we could, and should, do something to help by creating a t-shirt to raise awareness about the issue. and raise money to help as well."
Business partners Anna and Georgie wanted any money raised from their venture to be spent locally, on local children dealing with mental health issues, so when they came across Wellspring Therapy and Training, it was time to turn their idea into reality.
Ten pounds from each t-shirt sold goes directly to the charity to support its counselling work with children and young people, who support youngsters from the age of four and upwards.
The pair, who opened Tiger Fifty 7 back in March 2019, sourced t-shirts, designed the 'HG Kids' logo, got them printed locally and have been stocking them on the shelves alongside their own ranges of clothing, accessories, books, games and toys over the past few weeks.
Anna said: "We are really pleased with how well the t-shirts have been received.
"Customers coming into Tiger Fifty 7 comment on what a great idea they are, and what a worthwhile cause they help highlight and support.
"We know personally what a dramatic effect the pandemic has had on children's mental health so we are hoping to raise as much money as possible from the t-shirt sales to support Wellspring, and raise awareness about the issue."
Wellspring Therapy and Training, set up in 2003, supported more than 700 children and young people last year, either through long-term counselling, group work for teenagers, support in schools or mental health training.
The end of lockdown saw the number of referrals rise, leading to a temporary closure of waiting lists to prevent the charity from becoming overwhelmed.
Sarah James, Therapeutic Lead at Wellspring Therapy and Training, said: "The number one issue for children and young people is anxiety.
"We help young people to understand their responses to stressful events and assist them in developing good coping strategies through one-to-one counselling, group work and school work.
"Our waiting lists are now open again and we hope to be able to continue to meet the current level of demand."
Laura Brett, Head of Fundraising and Promotion at Wellspring said the charity is delighted to be working in partnership with Tiger Fifty 7.
"A generous £10 from every product sold goes towards our mental heath services in providing professional, affordable, and long-term counselling for children and young people aged four and upwards.
"The monies raised from the sales of the HG Kids merchandise will help to sustain our counselling services for children and young people through our affordable service."
The full range of HG Kids t-shirts can be found on the Tiger Fifty 7 website by visiting: www.tigerfiftyseven.co.uk or pop into their store at 57 Cold Bath Road, Harrogate.
The shop is open seven days a week - check their website for opening and closing times.
For more information about Wellspring Therapy and Training and the services the charity offers, visit: www.wellspringtherapy.co.uk