Pennant Walters donate £9,000 to Ogmore Valley Suicide Awareness
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A mental health and wellbeing support organisation in the Ogmore Valley has received funding of just over £9,000 which will be put towards vital training to provide an in-house counsellor who will be available to those in urgent need of its services.

With a current waiting time of 14 to 16 weeks for a referral to mental health counselling services, Ogmore Valley Suicide Awareness, which is run purely on a volunteer basis, has been a lifeline for many people across the local area. Now that it’s received our funding, it is hopeful that it can provide further vital support to help prevent further suicides within the local community.

One of the directors of Ogmore Valley Suicide Awareness, Gareth Burridge, explains: Timely intervention is everything and, as a group of 14 volunteers, we are doing all that we can to bridge an identified gap to support those in immediate need. This funding is allowing us to go that one step further to ensure that we have an in-house facility to provide support by investing in training for one of our colleagues.”

Pennant Walters has provided the funding from a fund linked to the construction of the new, but standalone, Pant y Wal Wind Extension Farm, adjacent to Ogwr Valley.

The funding will allow one volunteer to formally gain a diploma in Therapeutic Counselling, whilst also helping the Community Interest Company with its running costs.

The Ogmore Valley Suicide Awareness Group has been established since early 2021 owing to the community sadly experiencing several suicides within a short time. This led to the families of those bereaved by suicide, and the wider community, wishing to establish a community-based support group. The Group aims to increase awareness of the risk of suicide and provide a volunteer network of support locally. All volunteers have completed ASIST (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training).

Gareth continued: “As well as working to help people who reach out to us in an emergency, we continue to work in the local community to help increase awareness of suicide prevention, by encouraging people to talk about mental wellbeing."

“This funding allows us to continue to carry out that work and to enable the ongoing counselling qualification. We are grateful to Pennant Walters for its support. As a group, we volunteer our time to provide intervention at a time when people need help the most and so many local people will feel this funding.”

Ogmore Valley Suicide Awareness is currently working towards providing a 24-hour contact service as well as regular drop-in sessions at Ogmore Valley Bowls Club. Information will be published as soon as it is available.

Pennant Walters Managing Director, Dale Hart, commented:

“The group is working so hard to prevent suicide and open up conversation to improve people’s mental health and we are proud to support their vital efforts.

“Our wind energy project community fund exists to make a difference to the local communities where we work, and we know the impact will be felt across the valley.”

Ogmore Valley Ogmore Valley Suicide Awareness volunteers with Pennant Walters Harry Llewellyn

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