Fund The Hubs

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

For too long, young people have been calling for better access to early help with their mental health. They've set out their vision for a mental health system that meets their rights and needs, and now it's time to make that vision a reality, by fighting for easy-to-access local services like YIACS.

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 adult's services, serving young adults up to age 25, rather than 18 as in than 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. These hubs should:

  • be ‘open access’, meaning young people can access support on their own terms – no waiting lists, no thresholds, no ‘wrong door’ - support is available by self-referral and drop-in
  • offer support up to age 25, to ensure young people are supported right through the difficult transition into adulthood, not cut off when they approach 18
  • offer a range of services under one roof, taking a 'whole life' approach to mental health and supporting young people to navigate the diverse challenges that can impact their wellbeing, such as money, housing and relationships

  • build on local expertise and support already on offer through services like our members, as well as setting up new services where none exist.

How are we making an impact?

We're working with allies in the Children and Young People's Mental Health Coalition to build support for these demands.

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. We arranged for our member YPAS and young person, Daisy, to showcase their brilliant service as part of a panel discussion with a Government Minister. After submitting evidence to the Health and Social Care Select Committee's inquiry into children and young people's mental health, our CEO gave evidence to those MPs about the vital role of 'hub' services like our members.

To help our members make the case for their services in any new investment, we produced briefings to evidence the role of YIACS and early support hubs 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, at the same time as thousands of members of the public are flooding MP inboxes with our call to Fund The Hubs!

You can take action today, by emailing your MP asking them to write to Boris Johnson in support of funding early support hubs.

Email your MP