Our 7in10 Appeal is ensuring children get the treatment they need as early as possible.



BBC One’s Strictly Come Dancing head judge Shirley Ballas is leading a major fundraising drive that will transform the way mental health services are delivered to children and young people.

Highlighting that 7 out of  10 children and young people who experience a mental health condition in the UK  have not had appropriate interventions at a sufficiently early age, Shirley is backing Alder Hey Children’s Charity’s ‘7 in 10 Children’s Mental Health Appeal’. The Appeal is aiming to raise vital funds to enhance inpatient and Community mental health services at Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, enabling more children to access the treatment they need at the time they need it.

Long term supporter of Alder Hey Children’s Charity, Shirley Ballas was keen to back the campaign and become the Appeal Ambassador: “Alder Hey means so much to me; it’s a world class place and the work they do there is inspiring and pioneering. To be asked to be part of the new £3m ‘7 in 10 Children’s Mental Health Appeal’ is an honour.”

“I know from my own personal experience how important this work is. There is a very real need for children to have access to appropriate care and treatment as soon as possible. This Appeal is a chance for everyone to help shape the future of mental healthcare for children and young people across the whole country.”

As part of wider plans to create a unique dedicated children’s and young people’s healthcare campus, the new development  will include a new mental health outpatient facilities and a brand new twelve bed specialist inpatient mental health Unit, Sunflower House, alongside other cross dependent community health services.

Located right next door to its state-of-the art specialist hospital and within a modern, child-friendly building, the enhanced provision of mental health services will increase current available inpatient bed capacity and enable more children and young people to be seen and treated quickly by experienced, specialist clinicians.

Patients and their families will be able to receive rapid and early access to co-ordinated multi-disciplinary care, benefitting from the most up to date assessment and diagnosis facilities. The development will also enable Alder Hey’s community services to link more closely with its specialist hospital services, enhancing care for children with long term conditions such as neurology, cardiology and infectious diseases.

Closer shared working across teams will also enable more responsive, coordinated health assessments for Alder Hey’s most vulnerable children and their families.

The ‘7in10 Children’s Mental Health Appeal’ is very close to having raised the  £3m required to ensure that the building itself is designed to the highest standards, creating the best possible child friendly environment for our young patients.


Alder Hey’s new mental health facilities have been designed with the help of past and present service users who have had their say on how services should be delivered and what the new building should look like. The Group will also be involved in naming the building once it’s completed.

Fiona Ashcroft, Chief Executive of Alder Hey Children’s Charity said: “We believe that no child or young person should ever go without help and the ‘7 in 10 Children’s Mental Health Appeal’ will greatly enhance the delivery of mental healthcare and the number of children and young people diagnosed and treated by the service. The money raised will help us create treatment facilities that our most vulnerable patients need and deserve.”

As one of the leading children’s hospitals in the country, Alder Hey offers specialist services to support children and young people up to the age of 18 who are experiencing mental health difficulties including: anxiety, depression, eating disorders, self-harm, emotional and behavioural difficulties, obsessive and compulsive behaviour and post traumatic stress disorder. The Trust also has one of only six paediatric inpatient mental health treatment centres across England, providing residential care and support to young people aged 5 to 13 years old who present with the most complex and enduring mental health conditions that cannot be safely managed at home. Many of these children have to travel hundreds of miles from across the country and some stay in the Unit for several months.

Talking Therapies

Eating Disorders

Clinical Health Psychology


If you would like to make a donation to our Appeal click here.


UPDATE September 2021 - Shirley came to see how the new unit was progressing and celebrated her birthday whilst on site. Read more about it here.


*Mental Health Foundation

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