Fund­ing con­tin­ues

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS -

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.”

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