Fund the Hubs

The campaign for 'early support hubs' for every young person in England.

Along with our allies The Children’s Society, Mind, Young Minds and the wider Children and Young People’s Mental Health Coalition, we're calling on the Government to fund ‘early support hubs’ in every local area in England, with our joint Fund The Hubs campaign. 

Youth Access has long advocated for the role of Youth Information Advice and Counselling Services (YIACS) as a cornerstone of a mental health system that meets young people's rights. 

Sometimes called one-stop-shops, drop-in centres or 'hubs', these services, which make up a large portion of the Youth Access membership, provide tailored emotional and practical support for young people along the journey into adulthood.  

Now, more and more organisations across the mental health system are with us. As each of us has listened to young people, it's clear that's what is missing from mental health provision are local, easy-to-access, youth-friendly services which allow young people to get help with their mental health, and the issues that underpin it, as early as possible. 

Moreover, we know our members already provide that, and could do so much more with the right investment. Evidence shows that: 

  • counselling provided by Youth Access members is just as effective as that from CAMHS or school-based services, with much higher rates of satisfaction 

  • these services help bridge the 'cliff edge' between children's and adults' services, serving young adults up to age 25, rather than 18 as in CAMHS and schools 

  • young people find these services more accessible than CAMHS or school-based counselling, and they serve a higher proportion of young people from communities who are often poorly served by other services 

  • young people's mental health often intersects with social welfare issues, meaning quality advice can be a cost-effective intervention to alleviate distress and prevent issues escalating

Together, we're calling for proper funding in these services - at least £150million - so that every single young person in England can access an early support hub.  

Impact so far 

In March 2020, we kickstarted our joint demands with a joint submission to the Treasury, calling for investment in 'open access hubs'. 

Since then, we've made sure our message is getting in front of high-level policymakers through panel discussions alongside our members and young people and by submitting evidence to the Health and Social Care Select Committee's inquiry. Our CEO has also given evidence to MPs about the vital role of 'hub' services like our members. 

We provided members with briefings evidencing the role of YIACS and supported members and young people all over the country to send these resources, along with personal letters, to hundreds of MPs and local decision-makers. 

We have built great relationships with civil servants in the Department of Health and Social Care thanks to our efforts, and gained recommendations from the Health and Social Care Committee. Not to mention the six-charity-strong partnership brought together by the Fund the Hubs campaign, laying the foundations for us to approach the Government's new 10-year Mental Health Strategy as a strong collective force.   

What next?  

The Government is preparing a new Mental Health Strategy that will shape service provision and funding for the next 10 years. As part of our Community Conference, members and young people fed into our collective response to the government's consultation in April 2022. In the coming months we will continue to amplify calls to Fund the Hubs across social and the national media, and continue to facilitate visits to member organisations, highlighting to key stakeholders the amazing work members do. 

This enormous opportunity is our chance to get vital backing for YIACS and early support hubs for every young person, in every local area.