A Surrey mental health trust has revealed big successes as it celebrates its first birthday this week.

The Grace Dear Trust was founded last year by friends and family members following the death of Grace Dear to suicide in 2017.

The group aims to raise awareness and provide support for communities in the region affected by mental health issues, under the message: "It's OK not to be OK."

Trustees now celebrate a "very busy year" during which they have made significant in-roads into promoting mental health awareness in the area and offering support to those suffering from depression and related illnesses.

They hope the model they use can be improved as the trust looks to expand its reach into 2019.

"Our aim is to preserve and protect the mental health of young people residing permanently or temporarily in Surrey...we are proud to share that since our inception we have raised in excess of £80,000," a spokesperson for the group said.

The money raised by the trust since it was founded last year has been channelled largely into its partnership with three schools: Esher Church of England High School, Rosebery School for Girls and Tolworth Girl’s School, with all three having targeted students' mental well-being as a priority for 2018.

The trust said that thanks to its partnership and subsequent boost in funding, two of the three schools have since managed to employ an on-site counsellor for an additional day each week, meaning waiting times were reduced for pupils in line to see and chat with their school counsellor.

Meanwhile, over 25 staff members across all three partner schools have been trained in mental health first aid thanks to the partnerships. Further "resilience training" and Level 2 counselling was provided for several key members of staff at partner schools.

As far as the trust is concerned, however, this is just the start. In conjunction with the birthday celebrations the group announced plans to partner with even more schools in the area.

"With the fantastic support and donations we have received during our first year we plan to expand our partnership with three more schools in 2019; Southborough High School for Boys, Chessington School and Hinchley Wood Secondary School.

"We know our work at the moment is reactive but our aim for the future is to be proactive and to prevent young people getting to the point where they need counselling," the group's spokesperson added.