Shefford teen part of award-winning duo who set up mental health group

Sammi Wall and Krystal Boast have won the People of the Year award for setting up mental health supp

Sammi Wall and Krystal Boast have won the People of the Year award for setting up mental health support group Constellations. Picture courtesy of Sean Delaney. - Credit: Archant

Two Bedfordshire teenagers have won an award in recognition of their work setting up a support group for people with mental health problems.

Shefford’s Krystal Boast and Maulden’s Sammi Wall were receving help and treatment from the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services when they decided to set up the support group Constellations.

It is a performing arts group aimed at helping young people in Bedfordshire struggling with mental health issues to express their feelings and experiences through a series of workshops and meetings.

The East and North London NHS Foundation Trust, which provides mental health services in Bedfordshire, has awarded the teenagers the Young People of the Year title at its People Participation Awards.

Now in its third year, the awards celebrate the achievements of the NHS trust’s service users, families and carers – and this year more than 60 people and group projects were nominated.

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Krystal, 18, and Sammi, 17, were commended for their hard work and dedication setting up and running Constellations, which is overseen by Bedford CAMHS.

Krystal, who writes poetry, said: “Before we started up Constellations we had been attending meetings at CAMHS and the people there helped give us the confidence to carry on.

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“We wanted to involve others in something we knew would be really good.”

Sammi, a singer and musician, added: “Receiving the award feels really great.

“It is great to get recognition for something that has really helped me to help others.”

Bedford CAMHS lead Niki Scott said: “These two young women have done incredible things. Not only have they worked hard to overcome their own challenges by honing their amazing talent, they have gone on to inspire and guide other young people going through similar experiences.

“Their resilience and courage has been awe-inspiring.”

Paul Binfield, head of people participation for the Trust, said: “We invite 100 people to attend the event every year, and it just gets better and better.

“Service users, their families and carers attend and share their stories of courage and endurance, and we feel honoured to have had Sammi and Krystal as part of that.”

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