Fund the Hubs campaign welcomes milestone government funding for early support hubs

25 Oct 2023

Fund the Hubs Campaign responds to the Department for Health and Social Care announcement on Early Support Hubs.

Today, the Department for Health and Social Care has announced £4.92 million to fund early support hubs for young people in England. The funding will be awarded to at least five services in North England and five services in South England to deliver new or expand existing community-based interventions from January 2024 until April 2025.    

Early support hubs offer easy-to-access, drop-in support on a self-referral basis for young people up to age 25. The Youth Information, Advice and Counselling Services (YIACS) model is widely recognised and proven to improve a range of outcomes for young people. It combines support for mental health alongside wellbeing and other aspects of a young person's life, including housing, employment, money, relationships and sexual health. Most importantly, young people tell us they want to access this kind of 'whole person' support that does not treat mental health in a vacuum.  

This is a real positive step forward after years of campaigning and championing youth advice and counselling services. It is a direct response to the collaborative Fund the Hubs campaign, which saw young people across the country joining together to make themselves heard by: 

  • Taking part in our Day of Action, writing to MPs, making noise on social media, signing a letter to the Chancellor of the Exchequer
  • Making the case for early support hubs in meetings with Dr Alex George and civil servants in the Department for Health and Social Care
  • Speaking to MPs and activists at the conservative party conference about the importance of youth advice and counselling services

Whilst this is an important stepping stone after years of campaigning, we know more funding is needed. We will continue to boldly fight for long-term national funding for youth advice and counselling services so that every young person can get the support they need to thrive.

Fund the Hubs campaign group, comprising The British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, Black Thrive Global, Centre for Mental Health, The Children's Society, Children and Young People's Mental Health Coalition, Mind, Youth Access, and YoungMinds, said: 

"The Government's announcement to provide additional support for ten existing early support hubs recognises the vital role these community services play in bringing mental health support and advice to young people.   

"With now over a million referrals to children and young people's mental health services every year, we know that services are struggling to keep up with demand. Early intervention services are desperately needed across the country and will make a huge difference to many young people who are struggling with their mental health.  

"Tens of thousands of young people have fought hard to fund the hubs. These spaces will mean that young people can get support for their mental health as soon as they need it, rather than waiting months and sometimes years for help. In the context young people are navigating, this additional funding for services is worth celebrating. We welcome this step in the right direction and hope that more hubs will be funded in the future so every young person in every community can access the support they provide."