A SUFFOLK social entrepreneur is to receive money from a national grant-maker, in recognition of her innovative business approach to mental health and social change.
Debbie Watson has been recognised by the UK-wide organisation UnLtd, which funds and supports social entrepreneurs seeking to make a change and deliver impact through exciting and innovative ventures.
As the founder of Wednesday’s Child, a social enterprise changing the way eating disorders are recognised, treated and supported, Debbie is to receive an award of grant funding and business development support, valued at £4,600. This includes access to mentoring support, workshops, and makes Debbie part of a community of 16,500 funded social entrepreneurs.
The funding will be used to enable Wednesday’s Child to accelerate its delivery potential, in courses, events and learning materials for schools, healthcare professionals and those directly affected by the mental health disorder.
“Being accepted by UnLtd is a great boost for Wednesday’s Child, and a marker of how impressed the assessors clearly were by what we’re setting out to deliver,” said Debbie.
“This funding stream receives a huge amount of applications every year from across the UK, and is specifically allocated to individual social entrepreneurs looking to have high impact in an area of need, so I’m really pleased that the Wednesday’s Child concept has been applauded in this way.”
As a provider of carefully curated wellbeing boxes, Wednesday’s Child will also be using some of its newly accessed funding to increase distribution of these. The boxes take into account individuals who may be experiencing a mental health journey – like an eating disorder – but are also suitable as gifts for any individual or corporate organisation to purchase.
A number of Suffolk businesses have already expressed interest in the wellbeing gift boxes being created by Wednesday’s Child, particularly as part of employee wellness support, led by HR teams.
Roy Laming, Award Manager for UnLtd in the East of England, said:
“UnLtd is delighted to support Debbie on her innovative approach to dealing with the challenging social issue.
“We anticipate that with this award she will be able to extend and scale up her work to help and support individuals right across the country to improve their quality of life.”
Wednesday’s Child recently launched its first ‘Heal Kitchen’ events in Suffolk. The initiative sees friendship lunches and supportive suppers put on in a specially chosen venue.
Those experiencing an eating disorder, or caring for someone, can attend the sensitively led occasion, at which up to 12 guests share a light meal, hear from a speaker, and participate in a demonstration activity.
A provider of training for schools and businesses, Wednesday’s Child has a number of protocols, educational resources and workshop models available, and is also able to work with other organisations and charities to help them embed more understanding around the challenging world of eating disorders.