The community’s only free counselling service for children and young people has been compelled to turn away over 160 clients in the past year because it does not have the resources to help them.
As a result of this, the YiS Youth Counselling Service has signed up to The Big Give Christmas Challenge 2019 to ensure that more than 50 young people get the required counselling support.
The charity is aimed at raising over £3,750 in pledges from various small-scale businesses before 5pm on 30th August. These funds generated will then be equaled by a major donor so any money given will doubled.
The move comes at a critical time for the YiS has they have had to turn away so many young people due to an “unexpected high demand” for their services.
Director of Development and Engagement at YIS, Kat Newman said: “While YiS is offering more counselling sessions than ever before, YiS couldn’t provide counselling for at least an extra 160 local young people who requested for help.
She added: “The Big Give Christmas Campaign will help us to get pledges from local businesses and match these funds them so that we can get more fantastic volunteer counsellors and offer even more young people around MK with an initial meeting and 6 free sessions of BACP-accredited counselling.
“Over 99 per cent of young people who’ve accessed YiS would recommend us to a friend so we know that our service makes a real difference to the lives of local young people.”
The Big Give Christmas Challenge is the UK’s biggest match funding campaign. The Christmas Challenge is a match funding campaign where donations to participating charities are doubled. Charities secure pledges over the summer, then these funds are boosted by cash from a Big Give Champion who contributes to the match fund. This collective pot is used to double donations from online supporters when the campaign is live.
YiS offers BACP-accredited counselling to young people aged 11-21 years who live, learn or work in Milton Keynes. Their counselling is delivered in informal community settings across MK that are both friendly and welcoming.
A recent report by the Children’s Society highlighted that mental health is the largest cause of disability in the UK – a much bigger problem than both cancer and cardiovascular disease combined.
Yet treatment for mental health problems is still “terribly insufficient,” says YiS.
“In addition, 75% of all mental health problems are established by the time someone is 18. With the right support at the right time, these problems can be managed and prevented… This is a serious issue at the moment because 75% of young people who are experiencing mental health problems aren’t receiving treatment,” said a spokesman.