Quarriers have launched its ‘Bring Back Smiles’ appeal to support vulnerable young people and to help them to recover from the impact of the COVID 19 pandemic.

As a leading social care charity, Quarriers already provides vital support for children, families and young people and has launched the fundraising campaign to support over 1000 children across Scotland and to provide positive experiences and resources.

Dr Ron Culley, Chief Executive of Quarriers, said: “For many young people the changes brought by the pandemic have been overwhelming and the world has seemed a scary and unpredictable place.

“Every day our highly experienced staff are seeing children who have high levels of anxiety, low mood, lack of motivation and loss of confidence.

“As restrictions are relaxing, many of us are getting back to the activities that we enjoy. However, poverty, disability and disadvantage will make it too hard for many families to give their children positive experiences over the summer to support their mental health and that is why we have launched the ‘Bring Back Smiles’ appeal.”

Donations can be made at www.quarriers.org.uk/smiles and just £5 could support vulnerable youngsters in the following ways:

  • Boost independence – help to cover transport costs for teenagers in rural areas to meet up with friends over the summer
  • Build confidence – provide funding for a child to take part in an activity they have never done before such as paddle boarding
  • Lift spirits – help to fund safety equipment to help youngsters have fun, such as a bike helmet

Quarriers provide essential support across Scotland through their work with young carers, children with complex needs and young people who are in care or have experience of care, and families coping with poverty. Quarriers also provides mental health support through school-based services and they have first-hand experience of the help children need to move on from the difficulties of recent times.

Christine Dow, Project Worker, Quarriers Let’s Talk Service, said: “COVID has changed the experience our children have had of childhood, and we don’t know the long-term impact this will have on our youngster’s development.

“But what we do know is that we are seeing a huge effect on their mental health right now and we want to help them. Throughout the pandemic, Quarriers frontline workers have kept support going and by using video calls, telephone calls or sometimes just texting we have learned that many of the children we support are anxious.

“Some children can’t stop thinking about the dangers of the virus and some feel frightened of the outside world or find going outside stressful. Lockdown saw family routines break down, sleeping patterns disrupted and appetites affected. Some children have experienced low moods and lack of motivation whilst others have experienced panic attacks.

“We know mental health services have seen a huge increase in referrals and supporting our young people at this crucial time is vital. We hope to help as many youngsters as possible across Scotland through the Quarriers Children’s Fund.”

To help to ‘Bring Back Smiles’ please visit: www.quarriers.org.uk/smiles.