A HIGHBRIDGE mental health charity is expanding its services to offer counselling to people over the age of 26.

In Charley’s Memory (ICM) was founded by Jo Clement in 2014 to help young people with mental health problems after her son, Charley, took his own life at the age of 18.

The charity, which is based in Brue Way, currently offers counselling and mental health support for young people between the ages of 11 and 25 but is now offering support to people over the age of 26 after an increase in demand.

Dawn Carey, operations manager for In Charley's Memory, said: "We are now offering affordable counselling to people over the age of 26 as we had a lot of demand from people who needed support.

"We were getting calls every week from people who were asking for support and we knew we wanted to do something to help them.

"It seemed like a natural progression to take this step but it doesn't impact on the support we give to the under 25's.

"ICM is the charity which is providing support for young people. The key is early intervention, getting to the kids before they get to crisis.

"If you are over 26 and suffering with mental health issues it is likely that you are off work or struggling financially.

"That is why we are making our services for over 26's affordable with assessments costing £10 and an hour of counselling costing £20.

"Most other services charge £35 or more for an hour of counselling so it was really important that it was accessible."

The charity has been working with The King Alfred School Academy, Robert Blake Science College and YMCA Dulverton to help educate people on mental health and now has 20 counsellors who work to support young people across Somerset.

Dawn said she hopes ICM will continue to go from strength to strength and is looking forward to events the charity is hosting this year.

"We are really excited for what 2020 will bring for ICM," Dawn said.

"On March 28 we will be attending the Mayor's Charity Ball in Weston-super-Mare where they are kindly raising money for us.

"On May 9 me and five other ICM staff will be walking up Snowdon to raise funds for the charity. It is very exciting but I am a bit nervous.

"And on May 10 we will be joining students and staff from The Priory Learning Trust for a ten mile walk with all proceeds going to ICM.

"We are also planning to get some more members on our youth council and we will be employing a new counsellor who will work for nine hours a week."