Posted by: Laura Hammond
Thu 2nd March 2023
Based in a small room at Alfreton House, Callum’s Voice is making a big impact on the lives of the children and young people it supports – and their families too.
The charity supports children and young people with autism and mental health conditions with the aim of empowering them to live happy, healthy and fulfilling lives.
It was founded in memory of Callum, who sadly died by suicide in April 2019 at just 18 years old.
His family formed Callum’s Voice, which began life as a Community Interest Company before becoming a registered charity in February 2020.
The charity started out with a fundraising shop on Chapel Walk in Alfreton. The shop opened at around the time that the Covid-19 pandemic began and the plan had been to develop a wellbeing hub on site too.
However, the charity decided to close the shop after about a year and continued offering support and raising money without a base in the town centre.
Fast forward to 2022 and the charity found a new home at Alfreton House, located on the town’s High Street.
The small office acts as a warm, welcoming and cosy space for the charity and it’s here that it hosts wellbeing and support sessions – Time Out Tuesdays and Home Ed Chill & Chat.
Time Out Tuesdays are open to everybody who is in need of a warm, safe space. Free tea, coffee, juice and biscuits are available, as well as the opportunity to find out more about the charity.
Home Ed Chill & Chat is a free session for families who are home educating their children.
Claire Hunter, trustee of Callum’s Voice, explains: “It can be quite isolating [home educating], there might be trauma from being in school so we felt there was a real need there for their families.
“We get about four children and they come with a parent or carer. The parents can have a drink and sit and chat, and the children can do something creative so they are expressing themselves. They’re forming friendships and there’s always that wellbeing slant there.”
In addition to running the drop-in sessions, the charity also funds private counselling for around 35 local children and young people.
Claire says: “We have been fundraising for that and we have been lucky enough to get a grant from the National Lottery to maintain that.
“We’re trying to bridge the gap. Most of the children who come to use might be on the waiting list for CAMHS.”
Callum’s Voice raises money to support its work via a Crowdfunder page. If you would like to make a donation, you can do so here.
It also a small range of items for sale at its wellbeing hub.
There are a number of ways that families can contact Callum’s Voice. You can pop into one of the Time Out Tuesday drop-in sessions, you can send a message via the charity’s Facebook page, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org or you can call 01773 688026 between 10am and 2pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
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