What’s next for Youth Talk – our 5 year strategy
This year marks 25 years of Youth Talk providing free and confidential mental health support to young people in our local community
In recent years, demand for our services has increased exponentially and we are proud that last year we managed to increase our number of counselling sessions by 32%, delivering 4,304 counselling sessions across the year.
But we have to do more. We know that society is facing a mental health crisis like never before and increasing numbers of young people are struggling to cope with the challenges of growing up. We have seen this directly at Youth Talk and we’ve got big plans to ensure we are able to respond to the significant challenges ahead of us.
Grow the Service
To be sure that every young person in St Albans can talk to someone about whatever’s worrying them, we intend to double the number of sessions we offer and as part of our plan will begin to also introduce new group-based counselling services.
To achieve this we will invest further in additional resources and grow our professional clinical team which will mean we can continue to provide life changing mental health support to more young people of St Albans and District.
Extend the Service
Youth Talk supports young people aged 13-25 in the St Albans District. Within this demographic, we know that our service has some groups that are under-represented.
We’re going to focus specifically on some of these groups to identify things we can do to redress this imbalance. It’s important that we encourage under-represented groups to access our services so that they can get access to the vital help that they may need.
In addition we aim to look at the support we are able to give to 17-19 year olds during the particularly challenging transitionary period when moving to university.
Platforms for Growth
To support our growth plans, we have a three-pronged approach to ensure we have strong foundations in place on which to build.
We’re going to be investing in our fundraising resources and also launch a new volunteer program which will help us significantly grow our income and promote volunteer-led fundraising initiatives.
Our success relies on us having the necessary and appropriate provision in our IT, clinical systems, and supporter database. This will allow us to increase efficiencies, continue providing a high standard of support for our local young people, and more effectively connect with our friends and supporters to help us raise much-needed funds.
Our growth plan is predicated on ensuring that we have appropriate premises and facilities to meet the challenges ahead of us. Success will only be achievable if we secure significantly larger premises from which to operate and this is the first step we are taking so that we can begin to deliver on our five-year promises.
Work is already well underway on securing new premises for Youth Talk and we are hoping that early in the new year we will be in a position to begin operating from an exciting new home.
So, while we celebrate 25 years of supporting the young people of St Albans, we’re also focused on looking to the future with the goal of supporting significantly more young people!
But none of it will be possible unless we secure the necessary funds to deliver our vital, life changing work.
“Delivering on our ambitious five-year goals and financial plan is critical if we are to meet the unprecedented and growing demand for Youth Talk’s service”
Jackie FowlerChair of Trustees
The Financial Challenge
We’ve set out-out an ambitious financial plan which will be key to delivering our equally ambitious strategy promises. It’s a tough target to reach but to ensure that we can continue to provide the best possible mental health support to all the young people of St Albans, we have to achieve it.
Over the next five years, we must double our annual income to over £777k!
But we can’t do it alone. We are stronger together and we’ll be reaching out to our local community to help us ensure we meet the challenging targets ahead of us.
In 25 years, we have never seen a more urgent time of need for our community to come together and support our local young people. Our ambition is bigger than ever before because the challenges and opportunities demand it.
To realise the four areas of growth laid out in our 5-year strategy, we need to work with YOU to grow our income.
Young people are relying on us. Our community is relying on us, so please do get in touch today.