Totton’s mental health charity It’s Your Choice faces closure
A CHARITY which helps around 1,000 young people a year in the New Forest who suffer from mental health issues is under threat of closure as it has run out of money due to the pandemic.
It’s Your Choice announced that it will close on April 7 after being hit for the past two years by a lack of long-term funding from donations and other revenue.
Fears have been raised of a “huge detrimental effect” on young people without his influence.
The Totton-based charity was founded 35 years ago to provide young people aged 11 to 25 with support for mental and emotional issues, in schools and in the wider community.
Mike Taylor, Chairman of the Trustees, said: “We have explored all avenues of identifying funds to continue our vital work beyond March and have waited to make this decision until it is clear. that no agency, such as the NHS or children’s services, and no big trust or donor would provide us with the secure income we need.
“This despite making a strong case for funding and providing details of the detrimental impact the end of all our services will have on children and young people in the New Forest.”
The charity said there had been a 45% increase in the number of young people seeking help for mental health issues.
He is now working with local agencies to find alternative support, but warned that these also face financial problems.
Alex Martin, Head of School Welfare at New Forest Academy in Hardley, said: ‘The impact of no longer bringing It’s Your Choice into New Forest Academy will have a huge detrimental effect going forward.
“I am already very concerned about the mental health of young people, not just within our school but in the wider community.”
Cllr Louise Cerasoli, who represents Totton Central at New Forest District Council, said: ‘I had no idea this was happening, it was a shock. It’s very sad if that’s true because it’s really the only place kids could go. It will be a huge loss. »
In a statement announcing its closure, the charity said: ‘There is insufficient budget for It’s Your Choice to legally trade beyond the start of April this year.
“The grants we have already obtained are not enough to guarantee our work and therefore they will not be returned to us.”
He said the administrators have agreed to review the decision to close before the April deadline and, if sufficient funding is found, he could continue for another year and find a more “sustainable” income.
The charity said it had applied for additional funding, but requests for post-pandemic money had been “oversubscribed”.