9 July 2021
YOUTH MENTAL HEALTH CHAMPIONED AT WIMBLEDON FINALS
Two London youth charities will take centre stage at the Ladies’ and Gentlemen’s Singles Finals after being nominated for the pre-match coin toss ceremony.
Providence House and Off The Record were nominated by the Wimbledon Foundation, the charity of The All England Lawn Tennis Club and The Championships, in recognition of the outstanding support the charities have provided to young people during COVID-19.
Britley Fenning (15) will perform the coin toss on Centre Court on Saturday 10 July, in front of an estimated worldwide audience of 1.2 billion, representing Providence House, a youth centre which aims to improve the lives and outcomes of young people aged 5-25 years living in Battersea, southwest London.
Esther Clevely, Senior Youth Worker at Providence House, said: “Britley experienced two bereavements shortly before Covid and then like many young people found lockdown very challenging. Through the activities we run at Providence House we have helped Britley to remain connected and be part of the community and it’s been amazing to watch her grow and persevere.”
Sean Seresinhe (13) will take part in the ceremony at the Gentlemen’s Singles Final on Sunday 11 July, representing Off The Record, a youth mental health charity which provides free, professional support to young people aged 11-25 years in Merton, Croydon and Sutton.
In January 2019, Off The Record was awarded a three-year grant from the Wimbledon Foundation to provide face-to-face and online counselling and a weekly mental health drop-in for 18-25-year-olds in Merton, tackling a gap in mental health services provision.
Geoff Jones, Assistant Director at Off The Record, said: “Many young people that come to us are feeling vulnerable or lost. Sean reached out to Off The Record during lockdown as he was feeling alone and lacking motivation. Through speaking to a counsellor, Sean has grown in confidence and rediscovered his motivation for things he previously enjoyed. Sometimes all young people need is a little bit of support to feel back in the water.”
On being chosen Sean said, “My friends were really, really ecstatic and proud of me for talking about mental health. We couldn’t hug, but we really wanted to.”
Bruce Weatherill, Chairman of the Wimbledon Foundation, said: “Inspiring the next generation, and creating opportunities for young people is central to the Wimbledon Foundation’s work. Providence House and Off the Record provide invaluable support to so many young people, particularly during the challenging circumstances presented by COVID-19. We are delighted to showcase the work of these two organisations and to be able to give Britley and Sean this once-in-a lifetime opportunity.”
Britley and Sean will enjoy lunch at the All England Club before the match. They will be assisted in their on-court duties by Gerry Armstrong, Championships Referee.
The Wimbledon Foundation is the official charity of The All England Lawn Tennis Club and The Championships. Its mission is to champion opportunity for all using the collective strength of Wimbledon to make a positive difference to people’s lives. The Wimbledon Foundation is a registered charity (1156996) and a company limited by guarantee (8559364). www.wimbledon.com/foundation
Providence House was established in 1969 with the aim of improving the lives and outcomes for young people who predominantly come from the Winstanley Estate in Battersea. Providence House aims is to provide a sense of community and identity for each of the young people; offering an alternative to anti-social behaviour and social isolation through a weekly programme of social, recreational, sporting and educational activities for young people aged 5-25 years. Providence House Youth Club is a registered charity (303282). www.providence-house.org
Off The Record
Off the Record was founded in 1994 to provide free, independent and professional counselling for 14-25-year-olds in the Croydon area. Since then the charity has expanded to include further areas of work including BME mental health work; a young carers service offering support to young people under 26 who are caring for a parent or sibling; a specialist counselling service for young refugees; online counselling and workshops; and a young people's counselling service in the boroughs of Sutton and Merton. Off The Record is a registered charity (1051144) and a company limited by guarantee (2987817). www.talkofftherecord.org
For further information please contact:
Rachel Swithinbank, Wimbledon Foundation E: firstname.lastname@example.org M: 07584 127029
Imogen Gaunt, AELTC Communications email@example.com M: 07890 696085
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