A Cornish charity is raising money to build a mental health facility for children and their families.

The Sowenna Appeal will provide high quality mental health care and support for young people and their families with a brand new 14-bed hospital for under 18s in Cornwall.

It will be the first facility of its kind in Cornwall and will provide accommodation for parents, sports facilities, a cafe and therapeutic gardens.

The charity is aiming to raise an additional £1.2m to fund the project.

Last week it kick-started its Sowenna Secret Santa campaign.

“We’re really excited to have launched the Sowenna Secret Santa campaign,” said Barbara Vann, chair of Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.

“We know from speaking to businesses that it can be a challenge to buy a suitable Secret Santa gift for a colleague; as well there are growing environmental concerns about buying something that may not be used.”

“We wanted to provide an opportunity for people to choose to support Sowenna through their Secret Santa gift. In that way they could help us achieve our aims to support children and young people in Cornwall.”

It is estimated that one in ten young people aged between five and 16 have a mental health illness.

Most can be treated in the community, however, some children need a more intensive programme of treatment and have had to travel to other parts of the UK to receive this.

Barbara added: “We’ve had examples of families travelling over 50,000 miles in a year to visit their children.”

“Our aim is to stop this and provide world-class facilities in Cornwall to improve recovery times.”

“We also want to provide the best support for their families, and the extra £1.2m will help give the people we’re supporting that opportunity.”

To become a Sowenna Secret Santa visit: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/sowennasecretsanta.