Rachel Maclean, MP for Redditch County, has praised the work of Redditch Youth and Community Enterprise’s (RYCE) brand-new project which aims to boost the confidence of children who have communication and mental health difficulties.

During a visit to RYCE at the REDI Centre on Thursday (April 12th), Rachel found out more about their new Bond Enrich Nurture Support (BENS) project.

Back in October RYCE were awarded £49,304 from the People’s Health Trust to fund the two-year project which will provide weekly peer support sessions for children who have communication and mental health services.

Kelly Ordish is the brains behind the project and she spoke to Rachel about how she came up with the idea. BENS, unlike other peer support groups, gets the children to be responsible for making decisions and planning the sessions so they can make the experience their own. Parents also set the agenda by getting together through meetings.

It’s hoped that the various activities, from music and singing, to peer to peer support and communication games, will help children build their confidence and form new friendships with other children taking part in the project.

Rachel said: “I’m a big supporter of everything RYCE does for young people in our town.

“The centre provides so much support for young people and parents and it’s great to see they’ve been awarded an amazing amount of money to launch a brand-new project.

“It was inspiring to hear from Kelly to find out more about her Bond Enrich Nurture Support project and how she’s determined to improve the lives of children who have communication and mental health difficulties.”

Ray Groves, Chairman of RYCE, said: “It was Kelly’s idea, she came up with it, and she used to be involved in the education world. She put the bid together and obviously we were successful and it is the second highest single grant we have received.

“This project fits in nicely with what we do. The reason I backed her idea is when you can see what Kelly is doing and the target youngsters who come through the door you can see how vital her work is.

“It was very good to have Rachel visit us. To have someone like Rachel visit us does give us real support. Rachel represents Redditch, so regardless of your political views, it doesn’t matter, she is our MP and she should be supported.”