A CHARITY that supports vulnerable young people across Bucks has praised the county council’s decision to maintain funding for it for the next three years.
Adviza has spoken of its appreciation for the decision to continue funding its youth counselling service which helps 2,000 young peple each year cope with mental health issues such as suicidal thoughts and selfharm.
Zahir Mohammed, cabinet member for education and skills at Bucks County Council, last week secured transitional funds from the council for the Time to Talk programme, with £270,000 for 2016/17.
Mr Mohammed said he was delighted the council was able to find financial support during the next three years. He said: “This is a valuable community service and it will go a long way to supporting our young people in Bucks.”
Financial challenges facing the council had made it impossible to fund the programme through its core budget, but officers worked to find alternative sources.
Mr Mohammed said: “The transitional funding has enabled us to smooth our financial support on a reducing basis until 2019, and we’ll continue to work with Adviza to help them fund sustainable income sources.”
Funds will be reduced year on year and will be withdrawn by 2019.
Katharine Horler, Adviza’s chief executive, said charities like Adviza have to invest more and more time and effort into finding alternative income.
She said: “It’s a difficult task as we are often up against many others bidding for the same pot of money. Our charity helps young people who find it difficult to transition from school in further education, training or work, many of whom experience significant mental health issues.
“All the evidence shows that being engaged in work or learning is a hugely protective factor and avoids the need for more intensive support and intervention further down the line.”