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BGF funds new project to help schoolchildren struggling with mental health issues

Date: 12 January 2018

Board gameA grant of £5,000 is being made from monies donated to the Bishop of Guildford’s Foundation to pilot a new scheme to help school children in Elmbridge whose performance is being held back by anxiety or mental health issues.

Elevate Life is a new initiative of the Refresh Church Trust in East Molesey. It will take the form of an after-school club providing support for young people who are struggling to engage with school. It will organise activities which build children’s resilience and social skills such as board-game design, gamification (the application of typical elements of game playing), mindfulness, talking therapy and sport. It will also help them with coping strategies and study skills, all in the context of supportive social interaction with experienced mentors. The scheme is supported by a member of the Refresh Church who is a GP and mental health adviser (co-chair of the London Mental Health Network) and an 11+ tutoring and educational business.

Anita Hill, the initiator of the Elevate Life project says: “I discovered when I started a tutoring business some 15 years ago that many children who are failing to engage at school do so because they have mental health issues. Some are suffering from anxiety or stress, often as a result of pressure to perform from school or family, while others have Asperger's or dyslexia, which isn’t always recognised. Schools and form teachers are not adequately equipped to deal with these, so there is a huge need out there.

“I am very grateful for the grant from the Bishop of Guildford’s Foundation; it will enable us to launch our pilot scheme in Elmbridge at the end of February. This has been my dream for many years and we hope that in time we will be able to roll the scheme out far and wide.”

Grant-making by the BGF is managed through the Community Foundation for Surrey (CFS), an independent trust which is part of the national network of community foundations. By making grants through CFS, the Foundation is able to keep its costs to a minimum. CFS can also, on occasions, find other sources of funding to support grant applicants.

Find out more about the work of the Bishop of Guildford’s Foundation. You can also donate to the Foundation online.​​

For more information about Elevate Life go to or

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  1. Mrs Caroline walker.St Andrews ,Farnham. | Mar 11, 2018
    I have been an Arts worker with people with mental Health issues for years. Often I would discover that many problems started in childhood, but went unnoticed for years, if they had been offered the help that you are able to give it would have prevented much misery, loss of self esteem and job prospects. What you are providing is good news and money well spent.

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