Our Endowment Fund in collaboration with Hertfordshire Community Foundation, helps support children, health and local community projects primarily within the geographic area of Hertfordshire but also Bedfordshire. One of our grants is a multi-year commitment helping to support local charity Youth Talk.
Youth Talk are a St Albans based charity that provides confidential counselling/ psychotherapy to 13–25-year-olds who live, work and/ or attend school/college in the District of St Albans and surrounding areas. We have a multi-year commitment with them which allows Youth Talk to provide free counselling, both digitally and in person, to young people with mental health issues.
Since 1997 thousands of young people have trusted Youth Talk to help them. Over the last two years all of our lives have changed. Young people in particular have faced unprecedented demands, disruptions and uncertainties and demand for Youth Talks free, confidential counselling service has reached unprecedented and worrying new heights.
Youth Talk’s vision: Every young person can talk to someone who can help with whatever’s worrying them.
Youth Talk’s mission: To provide the best possible mental health support to young people in St Albans and surrounding areas.
Recently Youth Talk have moved premises which has been an essential part of their five year strategy for growth. This now gives them the space needed to begin to increase the number of young people they can support over the coming years. In 2022, Youth Talk were able to offer over 4,000 counselling sessions to local young people in need of help – but more is needed. The move means that Youth Talk has seen an increase from four to eight individual therapy rooms as well as giving the space to offer group counselling sessions in the future.
Over the next five years, some key areas of focus for Youth Talk are:
1. Growing the service
- Double the total number of counselling sessions offered
- Introduce a group-based counselling provision
- Invest in additional counselling resource & clinical supervisors
2. Extending the reach
- Ensuring support for 17–19-year-olds during any transition period when moving to University
- Focus on encouraging under-represented groups to access the service
3. Platforms for growth
- Ensuring Youth Talk have appropriate provision in IT, clinical systems, supporter database and other necessary infrastructure to support their growth plans
- Invest in fundraising resource in order to significantly grow income
- Invest in and develop a volunteer programme to support volunteer-led fundraising
Over the past two years we have also worked closely with Youth Talk for Mental Health Awareness Weeks in 2022 and 2023. Here we have provided our audience and internal colleagues with content surrounding the importance of mental health for young people, especially in today’s climate where growing up has never been so challenging.
We are delighted to see the growth of Youth Talk over recent years and are proud that our multi- year commitment has contributed towards young people getting the service and support they so desperately need.
To find out more about Youth Talk, you can visit their website here: https://youthtalk.org.uk/
You can view all our recent grants to local charities on our Endowment Fund Page