In Impact Stories, Physical & mental health, wellbeing & safety, Multiple districts

Project: Contribution to core costs to enable free counselling
Grant: £5,000
Fund: Kop Hill Climb

Youth Enquiry Service (YES) is a charity based in High Wycombe that offers free and confidential support and counselling to 13-25 year olds.

Last year around 700 young people used their services, and demand is ever-increasing, YES applied for funding to support their core costs in order to keep the drop-in centre open and for training costs to bring in and support more volunteers.

Their counselling service has helped many young people to overcome lower level mental health issues, which prevents their problems escalating to the point where they need long-term support. This provides young people with the means to be resilient to the issues surrounding their development, such as low self esteem, anxiety and hopelessness, as well as giving them the tools to deal with issues in their life.

Case study – 15 year old Molly

Molly* is 15 years old, she was falling behind at school and her attendance had dropped to below 50%. Molly told her school that she had developed severe separation anxiety around leaving the home and her mum and so they advised her to see the school counsellor; A YES counsellor.

Through counselling sessions it became apparent Molly’s dad had left the family home three months ago and had not been in contact since. There were no wages coming in and Molly’s mum was suffering from depression and drinking heavily. Molly was staying off school to run the home and take care of her mum and four year old brother.

Through YES counselling, other agencies became alerted and involved:

  • Benefits and food packages were organised
  • Drug and alcohol counselling appointments were arranged for Molly’s Mum
  • Rent arrears were addressed with the housing authority and the threat of homelessness removed
  • Extended family members were alerted and a rota arranged between them to ensure clothes were washed, groceries bought and lifts to school/nursery arranged, enabling the children to stay in the family home

All of this was going on undetected and unknown before counselling began. The service provided Molly the right environment of trust and the time and space that she could finally share this burden and allow the appropriate adults to take the responsibility off her.

Molly is now back on track with her studies and attends school regularly. She can be a 15 year old, without the cares and worries of keeping secrets and running a home.

*Name changed