23 March 2015
Camden Council and the Camden Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) have announced a new service that aims to fill the gaps in support that is currently available for young people aged 16 to 24 as part of the innovative, jointly-commissioned Minding the Gap project.
The delivery contract has been awarded to a partnership of local specialist organisations, who are experts in providing services to young people. The partnership is led by Catch22 and includes The Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust, Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust, The Brandon Centre, The Anna Freud Centre, The Winch and The Integrate Movement.
The longstanding, local experience of these partners is not just crucial to understanding the needs of local young people but also to understanding how to tap into existing networks of support in the area. Each partner also brings expert knowledge of how to support and engage young people to overcome their individual challenges and play a positive role in their communities.
A group of 16 to 24-year-olds from Camden are taking a lead role in designing and implementing the new service. A Young People’s Board, comprised of young people from the borough, are involved at every stage of the process from design to delivery. They have already been working on plans with the Council for a number of months.
The Young People’s Board is currently working with delivery partners and architects on the design of the new space where the service will operate from and is also working on a name for the building. There will be further opportunities for local young people to get involved, including recruiting staff, designing the building, delivering the service and setting up a new social enterprise at the premises.
A renovated building near Swiss Cottage will be made available to young people as an exciting new space, where they can feel safe and seek out the support they need. A multidisciplinary team, working across the borough, will help young people in in many areas of their life – whether that is education or employment, housing, social care or health and wellbeing.
A social enterprise will be based at the new space and young people will be involved in decisions about what the business should be, how it looks and what it sells, as well as promoting it to customers and the community.
Councillor Georgia Gould, Camden Council’s Cabinet Member for Young People, said:
‘This new borough-wide service is a bold new way of working collaboratively with providers and young people to create support which is responsive, accessible and designed with young people in mind. We hope Camden will pave the way for others by acting on young people’s feedback to develop services tailored to support 16 to 24 year-olds on their journey into adulthood.’
Dr Martin Abbas, lead for children on Camden CCG’s governing body, said:
‘We are really excited to be developing this important and ground-breaking service with Camden Council, as well as working with such an inspirational youth board and an amazing range of partners to improve the health, wellbeing and opportunities of local young people.’
Chris Wright, Chief Executive of Catch22, said:
‘This is a fantastic opportunity to revolutionise the way services for young people are designed and delivered. Young people face complex and multiple challenges as they become adults and it makes sense that the services they need for support are joined up and based in one place. Young people know better than anyone else what they need to succeed, so by bringing them into the design process, we can be sure to develop a service that engages as many young people as possible, especially those who would not traditionally seek help. Under Catch22’s leadership, these established, expert partners will provide a service that gets the best possible outcomes for the young people it serves.’
Paloma Jordan, Young People’s Board Member, said:
Unlike how I often feel as a young person, when I’m working on this project I am respected, and encouraged to push my ideas forward. I feel like I’m valued, and can take charge of something that will actually make a difference; and it makes sense that the people who use a service should create it. The hub will give youths who are going through a difficult and daunting time in their lives a place where they can get all manner of help, and hopefully bring the community together. Now I don’t have to be scared about what I’m going to have to do as I make the transition to adulthood.
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