The Charles Russell Speechlys Community Fund has made its largest single donation to date – a grant of £3,816 to youth homelessness charity, Step by Step to support the charity’s counselling service. The grant will provide 90 free mental health and wellbeing sessions for young people in Surrey.

The Charles Russell Speechlys Community Fund, administered by The Community Foundation for Surrey, supports projects in and around Guildford with a focus on employment, training and skills initiatives. Grants are chosen by a panel of volunteers from across the law firm’s Guildford office.

Richard Honey, Associate at Charles Russell Speechlys in Guildford said, “Our panel of volunteers voted unanimously to support this initiative. With 50% of all mental health issues established by the age of 14, and 75% by the age of 24, the charity conducts vital work in terms of early intervention in preventing more serious, longer-term mental health problems. Step by Step provides essential counselling services for young people which can make a significant difference to their lives. We are delighted to be able to provide them with much needed funding.”

Debbie Moreton, Head of Young People’s Services at Step by Step added, “We are very grateful for this grant from the Charles Russell Speechlys Community Fund. We believe that a young person needs more than just a roof over their heads if they are to break the cycle of homelessness. Our counselling service is integral in getting young people back on track and giving them the chance of a positive future. It’s fantastic that Charles Russell Speechlys recognises the importance of mental health provision in supporting young people.”

Step by Step’s counselling service is not just available for those experiencing homelessness. It accepts referrals from doctors and mental health professionals for young people in the community aged 11-25. Last year, Step by Step delivered 1,788 counselling sessions, with 85% of young people showing an improvement in mental wellbeing.