The memory of a teenager continues to shine brightly as the charity set up in his name donates £100,000 to support the young people at Sowenna – Cornwall’s first adolescent mental health unit.
The family of Ben Cowburn set up the charity Invictus Trust, to raise funds and awareness for teenage mental health in Cornwall, after the teenager took his life back in 2010.
At the beginning of February, Invictus Trust donated nearly a further £30,000 to the Sowenna Appeal, taking their total contributions to a whopping £100,000.
The charity has supported the development of a mental health unit specifically for adolescents in Cornwall since the very beginning and been the driving force behind making that dream a reality.
Barbara Vann, Chair at Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust commented: “We are delighted to have received a substantial amount of money from the Invictus Trust. Their support throughout this whole journey has been vital in helping to achieve our fundraising goal, and giving the young people in our care the very best support. Thank you to all of the people in Cornwall who have contributed to the Invictus fundraising and those who continue to support Sowenna.”
Steve Cowburn, Invictus Trust Trustee said: “The Invictus Trust is proud to have donated £100,000 to Sowenna, to help add the ‘icing on the cake’ and to help ensure that this world class facility for the young people of Cornwall and their families can continuously improve.
“Following the death of our 18-year-old son in 2010, our family founded the Invictus Trust, campaigning both for the reduction in stigma for adolescent mental health issues and the improvement of services in Cornwall. Since we founded the Anchor Fund, we have financially supported over 20 families a year whose children have been cared for out of Cornwall and often many hundreds of miles away. Now after nine years campaigning with CFT, which has resulted in the opening of Sowenna, we hope that will be the exception and not the norm.
“Our funds have provided a minibus, equipped the café, helped start a virtual reality project, paid for sculpting lessons and equipment, and will now support the music room and offer funds for the ward manager to buy the little extras that will make the young people’s stay more enjoyable. These projects add value over and above the excellent work the staff are doing in a wonderful new building with so many attractive features not found elsewhere in the country – it is truly world class.”
Sculptor, Richard Austin, said: “The discussions we have in each sculpting session show great emotional intelligence, understanding and compassion. This is much more than just playing with clay.”
“We are very proud to have contributed and will continue to do so with our campaign now to extend the care offered to be from 13-25 years in line with the NHS Plan and hopefully to be the first in the country to achieve it,” Steve Cowburn continued.
“We would like to thank our amazing supporters who have raised the funds and the staff and Sowenna Appeal Board for their incredible work and openness to working together for the good of all.”
The £11 million Sowenna, which means ‘success and welfare’ in Cornish, unit opened in September 2019. Sowenna has 14 beds and offers specialist in-patient mental health support for children and adolescents between 13 and 18 years old.