January is a critical time for It’s Your Choice in terms of planning our services for the upcoming financial year.
The number of young people accessing our support rarely changes year on year, with approximately 1,000 young people seeking our help on a 1:1 basis and a further 2,000 supported through our schools and group work. What we are experiencing is a change in the level of need among these young people – with many more now coming to us with multiple and/or more complex problems and issues.
Each year we therefore endeavour to maintain our services (drop-in advice, counselling, casework, housing support, NEET support etc) at the same level as the previous year whilst developing new services to tackle more specific needs.
But it all comes down to what we can afford!
Imagine our delight therefore when, just before Christmas, we received a cheque for £15,000 from the MJB Trust as a contribution to our youth adviser costs. The Trust had already helped us with a grant of £5,000 towards our pilot PEER Soup Project providing warmth, shelter and food to the young homeless in early 2016 so to receive this additional amount was a real boost to our work.
CEO Chris Carey says:
‘We are hugely thankful to Michael and Christine Bell of the MJB Trust for supporting us in this way. This is exactly the kind of support we need to enable us to keep our accessible information and advice services going. If others could help us in the same way we would be enormously grateful’