Life-saving message on a bottle

Published Thursday, 12 August 2021

A Mental Health Charity that aims to raise awareness about suicide prevention and offers help to younger people with mental health issues, has joined with Coventry City Council to test out a pilot scheme with rough sleepers.

Picture left to right: Cllr David Welsh, John Toman, Rough Sleeping Co-ordinator Coventry City Council, Evan and Carol Grant, and Kerrie Pritchard – Senior Rough Sleeping Outreach Worker.
Pictured left to right: Cllr David Welsh, John Toman, Rough Sleeping Co-ordinator Coventry City Council, Evan and Carol Grant, and Kerrie Pritchard – Senior Rough Sleeping Outreach Worker.

The Cameron Grant Memorial Trust was set up to mark Cameron’s life, after he tragically took his own life in November 2014 – aged just 21.

The Charity hopes they can make a difference in the numbers of young people suffering with mental health issues and improve outcomes for all sufferers.

The Trust is providing dozens of refillable water bottles which also include on one side a list of mental health support services in the city. The bottles are being given out to rough sleepers in Coventry by the Outreach Team on Outreach walks and at the Steps for Change drop-in centre and through other service providers such as Turnaround, Kairos, Langar Aid and ARC.

Evan Grant, Chair of Trustees and Cameron’s father, said: “We believe there is always someone you can talk to and our goal is to direct those in mental distress to support. We chose water bottles as our ‘signpost’ for rough sleepers to help combat dehydration and worked through Coventry City Council with partner organisations to agree the services most important for those sleeping rough in Coventry city centre.”

Carol Grant added: “It is great to learn at Steps for Change that the water bottles have been so well received and to hear that people are bringing them back regularly to be refilled. We are delighted to be working on this project with Coventry City Council and look forward to repeating it in other towns and cities around the country. Please get in touch if you know any community that would like to work with us.”

About ¾ of suicides are male and it is the biggest cause of death in the UK for boys and men under 50.  

Cllr David Welsh, Cabinet Member for Housing and Communities at Coventry City Council, said: “We are delighted to be able to support Carol and Evan and the Cameron Grant Memorial Trust. Despite the difficulties they have been through it is to their credit that they are putting so much energy and time into the wellbeing of others.

“Many rough sleepers experience complex health issues, and the Council’s outreach team are very aware of the need to engage and talk sympathetically with them. That’s why mental health support is so important. The charity is providing an excellent way to highlight how working together we can help people access the right agencies.    

“During past 18 months Coventry’s housing and homelessness team has accommodated more than 300 people found rough in the city.

“Both Council staff and agencies working with rough sleepers are dedicated to providing the right support at the right time and I’m sure that the water bottles will offer a lifeline for some of the most vulnerable people in the city.

“Our outreach team have been spending time face-to-face with rough sleepers on a daily basis throughout the pandemic, working hard to encourage them into accommodation.

“Not only that but we have successfully moved on 260 people in permanent accommodation.

The bottles were designed and produced for CGMT by Graphic Arts Group in Coventry.

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