Talking therapies project started in lockdown gains charity status

Image of Alex Richardson, Mental Health Nursing graduate

A talking therapies project started by students to support local people during lockdown has received registered charity status.

Alex Richardson, now a Mental Health Nursing graduate, is the Chief Executive of Keep Talking Services. The charity started as a ‘check-in and chat’ service to support elderly and vulnerable people, after Alex noticed the isolation of customers when working at his mum’s gardening centre during the first Covid-19 lockdown.

This proved to be much-needed support for local people and has grown rapidly. He now successfully recruits students to volunteer at the charity and is working with partner agencies across Kent to help local service users.

Keep Talking Services has received investor funding from Leigh’s Foundation as well as the Lottery Fund, and the team plans to expand the business on a national level.

Alex hopes the service will be recognised throughout universities in the UK, and aims to support and educate many more students around mental illness.

“Keep Talking Services started off as an idea, a belief that we could make a difference, fast forward to today and we’re now a registered charity,” he said.

“We are now able to access more services as a registered charity and we’re now recognised throughout several universities, with many outside of Kent. It is a dream come true and I want students reading this to know that they can achieve great things while they study. I have always spoken about the need to change and now I am doing more than speaking.”

Find out more about how to volunteer as a student here.