A mental health champion from Honiton has been named the 2021 Devon winner of the Prince of Wales Award.
Sarah-Lou Glover, founder of Parental Minds, helping families struggling with mental health issues, was nominated for the award by Steve Craddock, from Honiton Health Matters.
Sarah, a long-term mental health carer, will be presented with her award on the opening day of the Devon County Show, handed over by Alistair Martin on behalf of the Duchy of Cornwall.
She said: ‘I feel truly humbled and honoured to have won. There has been such a wealth of worthy projects that have supported people during this pandemic so I’m enormously grateful to have been singled out, along with all the wonderful volunteers and community that support our group in Honiton.”
Sarah said she plans to spend the £1,000 prize money developing additional parent support hubs across East Devon, including working with baby groups and new mums and dads, to raise early-stage mental health awareness.
Parental Minds was set up in September 2019, with the first support hub being held in February 2020, shortly before the UK went into the first Covid-19 lockdown.
“Being a parent or caregiver during the pandemic left many feeling isolated and lonely, with some feeling great anguish for their children, family and friends, who were struggling with their mental health,” said Sarah.
“Parental Minds was able to provide a safe virtual space where parents and caregivers could come together, share ideas, gain comfort from each other and learn new strategies for better supporting themselves and those around them.”
Lady Arran, one of the Prince of Wales Award judges, said: “We were grateful to applicants for the Prince of Wales Award during a very difficult fifteen months.
“We reached a semi-final of three very deserving organisations and talked to them on Zoom.
“Our decision was to give this prestigious award to Parental Minds – Honiton who are giving vital support with wrap around care for parents and carers who have family members affected by mental health issues.
“Many of the seventy-five families in the area benefitting from their support have suffered so much during the lockdowns and the plan is to develop these services into other towns.
“We wish great success to them.”