Mental Health Nursing student starts up talking therapy service following success of trial during lockdown

A third-year Mental Health Nursing student, who set up his own check in and chat service last year to support elderly and vulnerable people, has now received investor backing and support to continue his talking therapy services after he finishes his degree.  

Alex Richardson has set up Keep Talking, a talking therapy service, which aims to help support people who are struggling with mental health issues and who are placed in residential care.  

Leighs Foundation helped Alex with funding for posters, banners, and printed t-shirts, while Red Zebra Community Solution provided training to Alex and his team with grants and policy implementation, information on the infrastructure of charities and will be providing extra support around social prescribing. 

Alex looks after a team of 14 students, who study on Christ Church’s health programmes, and who volunteer to mentor and support people using the service.   

“The reason Keep Talking Services was started was because I could not sit back and watch loneliness cripple our community. The project initially started as a way of helping individuals during the pandemic and the response was overwhelming.

“Loneliness has long existed before the pandemic and having proof my project is working has given me the motivation to continue to do this even after the pandemic is over. I want this to be a national scheme and I believe with the people I have around me invested in my project, one day we will achieve that.” Alex Richardson, student and Founder of Talking Therapy Services.

Alex is also looking to certify his business as a fully registered charity later this year. 

Leigh’s Foundation, who have funded Alex’s business, said: “Through my foundation, I try to use the principles of effective giving to maximise the effect the money I donate can have. Generally speaking, I’m keen to provide funding to young, ambitious, capable social entrepreneurs who have a strong plan in place to improve people’s quality of life, during a time when we need it the most. 

Alex Richardson talking to other students about his business Talking Therapies Service
Alex Richardson talking to other students about his business Talking Therapies Service

“Alex I believe offers exactly this, and soon after we started talking I knew ‘Keep Talking Services’ was a project I wanted to throw as much support behind as possible, and quickly committed to providing funds.

“During the last year I believe we have all felt the impact of being socially detached, and we have felt the impact this can have on everyone’s sense of wellbeing. Alex has a plan to address that in a way where everyone benefits. He has been a pleasure to deal with so far, and I’m excited to see this project scale.” 

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