Char­ity is do­ing its bit for young adults

Macclesfield Express - - CHARITY ROUND-UP - MALTE RO­HW­ERKAHLMANN

DE­MAND for youth coun­selling has dou­bled in the last two years, ac­cord­ing to a Macclesfield youth char­ity.

Just Drop-In, based at Duke Street, is a walk-in sup­port ser­vice for young peo­ple, pro­vid­ing in­for­ma­tion and ad­vice for those with prob­lems such as em­ploy­ment, money or ac­com­mo­da­tion.

Last year the char­ity gave pro­fes­sional coun­selling to twice as many young peo­ple than in 2013/14.

While 42 peo­ple aged be­tween 12 and 25 used the ser­vice in 2013/14, the fig­ure rose to 97 the fol­low­ing year.

And de­spite hav­ing 10 trained coun­cil­lors, the char­ity has had to place young peo­ple on a wait­ing list for the first time.

Ann Wright, Just DropIn’s chief of­fi­cer, says while young peo­ple to­day are fac­ing in­creas­ing pres­sures, bet­ter aware­ness and more public fig­ures speak­ing out about men­tal ill­nesses has helped them come for­ward. She said: “There has been a lot of na­tional press about men­tal health and that has helped peo­ple to come for­ward. Young peo­ple are fac­ing lots of life pres­sures, like trou­ble with money, and ex­pe­ri­ence life dif­fi­cul­ties. Some­times, they need a help­ing hand along the way.”

Last year more than 30pc of young peo­ple who came to Just Drop-In for coun­selling were male, up from 20pc the year be­fore.

Ini­tially founded to cel­e­brate the mil­len­nium by a group of churches, Just Drop-In first opened in 2001 on Ch­ester­gate.

It then moved to King Street be­fore set­tling into the cur­rent build­ing on Duke Street.

In 2012, Just Drop-In launched a new ser­vice called MyPad aim­ing to teach young peo­ple about in­de­pen­dent living.

As a re­sult of the in­creased de­mand, a group of lo­cal or­gan­isa- tions, busi­nesses and vol­un­teers have helped to re­fur­bish the ground floor with new so­fas, ‘pods’ and a fresh lick of paint.

It was funded thanks to the Cheshire East Com­mu­nity Grand Scheme, St Al­ban’s Church, and an anony­mous donor, while vol­un­teers and young peo­ple helped with the labour.

Ann added: “We pride our­selves on be­ing a Macclesfield Project and it was won­der­ful to see our amaz­ing com­mu­nity com- ing to­gether to make this trans­for­ma­tion pos­si­ble.

“We are now in a great po­si­tion to con­tinue to help lo­cal young peo­ple find their feet.”

For in­for­ma­tion email hello@just­dropin.co.uk or call 01625 665079.

●● Faye Ro­nan, vol­un­teer co-or­diantor, Francesca Vol­pato, project worker, Wil­liam Pilkiewicz, Drop-In vol­un­teer, Megan Ham­monds, mod­ern ap­pren­tice, Lisa Good­child, coun­selling co-or­di­na­tor, Ann Wright, manager, Tim Light­foot, project worker, Peter Lowe, project worker

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