Biggleswade boy raises £1.3k for Young Minds to help children with anxiety
A determined Biggleswade schoolboy has raised more than £1,300 to say a big thank you to Young Minds for helping him to manage his anxiety.
Harrison Smith, nine, completed a 20-mile walk in February to encourage parents and children to talk about mental health and know that the charity is there to help them. At the age of three, Harrison started to have panic attacks, and over the years Young Minds has given him some brilliant advice on how to manage his anxiety.
Harrison said: “Throughout the lockdown, lots of children got anxiety, and a lot of people with anxiety like me already suffer enough.
“I thought that if I got lots of donations then it could go to them and they could get a smile on their face.”
Harrison along with his mum, Amie-Jo, 29, brother Eden, seven, and ‘Nanny Jo’, who is in their childcare bubble, walked around Biggleswade come rain, snow or sunshine, completing 20 miles from February 17-22. Amie-Jo, and the boys’ dad, Kevin Smith, are both very proud.
Harrison added: “I enjoyed being able to see everything again and it’s a good way to let yourself go.”
Offering advice about anxiety, he said: “Go to a quiet place and breathe, do a couple of breathing exercises, and go somewhere that makes you happy. You could go - in your head - to where you went on holiday or go up to your bedroom to calm you down.”
As well as the advice about breathing, Young Minds provided Harrison with additional tools to manage his anxiety, such as a stuffed, plush ‘Worry Monster’ and advice about how to create a worry box.
Children can write their worries on paper and put it in the toy’s mouth, which their parents can read before the monster ‘eats’ it, while they can also create a box filled with their favourite items or photos to help them feel calm.
Amie-Jo said: “Thank you to Young Minds for giving him his childhood back. I’m so proud my heart just bursts. His target was £100 and he has so far reached £1,310.
“But this is not just about raising money, it’s about raising awareness. He used to feel alone in this, but then he noticed other children were developing symptoms and he could relate. Help is available.”