Two of the UK’s leading youth support charities YouthNet and Get Connected have announced today that they intend to merge.
The proposed merger will combine YouthNet’s extensive digital reach and Get Connected’s telephone helpline to create the UK’s largest multi-channel support charity for 16-25 year olds.
The new charity will offer multi-issue support with a particular focus on mental wellbeing and creating opportunities through volunteering.
Reaching 1.7 million young people
Both YouthNet and Get Connected are committed to providing support to young people under 25, whatever their issue and whenever they need they help. They share common values around the importance of holistic advice and peer support.
Last year, YouthNet and Get Connected’s combined services reached 1.7 million young people. The new charity will aim to grow this to over 2 million by 2018; reaching 1 in 4 of the UK’s population of 16-25 year olds.
Over the last twelve months, the Trustees and Chief Executives of both charities have been exploring ways in which they might work more closely together in response to an escalating demand for their services by young people who today face unprecedented challenges
The merger will enable the charities to:
- Provide a single, large scale, multi-channel support service for young people to access information and advice wherever and whenever they need it.
- Create a support service that can fill the gap where statutory services have been withdrawn and smaller organisations have shut down.
- Offer young people seeking help a single start point for their support journey that can also sign post to other relevant services in the sector and beyond.
- Avoid duplication in the support they currently offer, ensuring that charitable resources are used in the most efficient way for the benefit of young people.
- Provide a robust service that can be scaled up to meet a growing demand.
- Create flexible opportunities for young people as volunteers.
Young people facing ‘unprecedented challenges’
Chris Martin, CEO of YouthNet, says: “Young people today face unprecedented challenges that have resulted in an epidemic of mental health issues.
“We know they reach out for support first though digital, social and mobile, yet there is no single, multi-channel support service for them.
“By combining YouthNet’s digital reach and expertise with Get Connected’s excellent 121 telephone support service, we can offer young people a recognisable, safe and trusted place to turn whenever they need it.”
“Demand from young people for support has never been greater and we believe that our new charity will help to fill the gap where statutory services have been withdrawn and smaller organisations for young people have shut down.”
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