Strictly star supports mental health projects for Comic Relief

Tyler west sitting next to a k f c bucket on a table

Strictly Come Dancing star Tyler West has teamed up with Comic Relief and The KFC Foundation to break the stigma surrounding mental health.

The KFC Foundation has raised a staggering £3m for Comic Relief since 2019 to support young people struggling with their wellbeing.

Research shows the GenZ generation are more likely to suffer in silence instead of reaching out for help.

Seven in 10 believe there is a stigma attached to mental health, abuse, unemployment and homelessness.

One in 10 have never shared their emotions, a percentage of those who did waited more than five months until seeking professional support in fear of being a ‘burden’ or being judged.

West, from Blackpool, has experience working with young people struggling with their mental health, he is planning to make a documentary to encourage others to reach out for help.

“The work of organisations funded by KFC Foundation’s partnership with Comic relief, like Streetlife in Blackpool, is incredible,” he said.

“I can relate to needing support and being too afraid to ask for it, but I also know how much impact that support can have on a young person’s life.

“That is why funding from Comic Relief is so important. It translates into real life benefits for real people when they need it most.”

Just six percent of young people said they would speak to a local mental health charity, 53% know someone going through a crisis and 42% admitted it took them months until they asked for help.

Kaitlyn, 19, Streetlife beneficiary, said: “I’ve been with Streetlife since November 2021 and have pretty much been with the project every day for the past year!

“We build bonds between people, and everyone gets to know each other, so it’s something I’m grateful for.

“I believe that if more people spoke out about their experience and what they’ve been through, it would help make it easier for other people.”

Leading up to Red Nose Day KFC has donated £1 for every Sharing Bucket sold at one of their restaurants across the country.

Louise Norris, KFC Foundation Manager said: “The work that local projects do in communities is invaluable and the KFC Foundation’s role in supporting them is something we take really seriously.

“The impact that our partnership has had on the lives of thousands of people is great to see, but there is always more work to be done and we look forward to working with grassroots organisations, charities, and non-profits well into the future to help young people fulfil their potential.”

[ Comic Relief 2023 is on BBC One tonight, Friday 17 March, from 7pm available afterwards on BBC iPlayer ]

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