Our story & mission

Our mission is to ensure all young people can access free support on their journey into adulthood from community-based advice and counselling services that respect their rights and meet their individual needs.

Formerly known as the National Association of Young People’s Counselling and Advisory Services (until 1993), Youth Access was formed in 1975 following a migration from the British Association of Counselling, to form a youth-centred organisation. 

Responding to the emergence of a small network of youth advice and counselling services, we were closely aligned with the youth sector for two decades, playing a key part in developing the field of youth advice and counselling as a membership-led organisation.  

We have built relationships and alliances across the youth, advice and mental health sectors in our endless efforts to support local community-based services and build service provision for young people across the UK. 

There are, thankfully, lots of organisations working to bring about the many changes needed to the mental health system for young people.

Cassandra Harrison, CEO, Youth Access

In 2015, the Government’s ‘Future in Mind’ report mirrored our mission and proposed that Youth Information, Advice and Counselling Services (YIACS) should be a key part of any universal local offer. 

Today, throughout our programmes and campaigns, we continue on our mission to influence national policy and attempts to secure much-needed Government investment into community-based services.