Axminster woman honoured with mental health hero award

PUBLISHED: 07:00 13 February 2015

Debbie Humberstone (centre), pictured here with Sarah Higgins and Kerry Cable, all of The Project, has been named one of the regions mental health heroes.

Debbie Humberstone (centre), pictured here with Sarah Higgins and Kerry Cable, all of The Project, has been named one of the regions mental health heroes.


Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has honoured an Axminster woman as the South West’s mental health hero.

Debbie Humberstone, founder of The Project, was named as one of nine regional winners on Thursday.

The scheme was set up in 2013 and was inspired by the help her daughter Jess received to overcome severe depression.

It was Jess’s nomination that impressed a panel of experts to name Debbie in their final list.

Debbie said: “She did warn me about it [the nomination]. I found out that other people nominated me. Hers was the one that clinched it for me – they found it very moving.

“It is extra special to have won it because of her.”

The Project helps young people aged 13 to 24 across East Devon, West Dorset and South Somerset. They also provide emotional support for parents and carers.

Last month Debbie announced plans to expand into Honiton and hopes that the recognition will help the scheme raise much needed funds.

Debbie said: “It means a huge amount to have The Project recognised in this way, and I hope that winning this award will help highlight the importance of the work we are doing and generally make people more aware of the issues around young people’s mental health.”

The Project has also been short listed for the Mental Health Champion Award by Mental Health First Aid. The winner will be announced at the House of Lords, later this month.

Debbie said: “I am inspired daily by the young people I work with, who show such courage and determination in overcoming their mental health issues.

“They are the ones who really deserve the award.”

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