A GREENOCK charity is expanding the support it offers children and young people with mental health problems after receiving almost £250,000 of new funding.

Mind Mosaic, which provides counselling and therapy services, received £248,702 from the Big Lottery.

It will use the cash to deliver its two-year ‘Play It Out’ project, which offers play therapy for children, young people, parents and carers facing challenging circumstances.

Sandra Boyle, director of child and family therapy services at the charity, said: "This funding will make a massive difference to the Inverclyde community because it allows us to expand the service and to be able to offer more employment to other play therapists and sessional workers as well.

"It's quite a unique service as we are the only provider of play therapy in Inverclyde.

"We have over 100 children on the waiting list and we are inundated with referrals.

"This money is going to offer us a huge opportunity to make a dent in the waiting list and be able to provide the service that children need when they are affected by mental health and emotional issues."

Sandra says the charity charity provides a lifeline for young people struggling to cope.

She added: "Young children are really affected by anxiety.

"We have children as young as six that are referred by GPs, other health providers and schools because there are anxiety issues.

"We also see children as young as three.

"There are so many pressures on young people, such as peer pressure at school and worries about exam stress - that's a big thing.

"Social media is massive, it's how they communicate but it can cause cyber bullying.

"We see a number of teenagers coming through here with anxiety and self harm is a big one."

Holly Stevenson, who is on placement with the charity while studying for a degree in play therapy, says play therapy is very effective.

She said: "We can work with children for a long time before they speak.

"We pick things up through play.

"Some children can't articulate their feelings in words.

"With play therapy we can pick up their feelings."

Sandra added: "We are providing that secure base so they start to feel that they are in a safe place and can open up."

also provides support to parents and cares and is also going out to local schools.

Sandra Boyle


Mind Mosaic

Child & Family Therapies

MindMosaic Counselling and


Inverclyde £248,702 This group will use the funding to deliver their two year ‘Play It Out’ project. The project will provide play therapy for children,

young people, parents and carers who have experienced or are experiencing challenging circumstances. The project aims to

build the resilience of young people and help parents to cope better enabling them to lead happier healthier lives. Individual and

group work will be utilised to address specific issues such as anger management, child bereavement or self-esteem building.