An LGBTQ+ support service on the Island will remain open thanks to funding from NHS Isle of Wight Clinical Commissioning Group.
Breakout Youth, a charity youth provision run by staff and volunteers, was due to close at the end of March 2020 after its national and local grant funding streams came to an end.
However recognising the importance of the work the charity does, the CCG, which plans and buys services on the island, agreed to provide funding so it could continue without any gap in service.
The annual funding of £12,000 will help keep the service open and those accessing the service will not see a change in support. Alison Foster, from Breakout Youth, said: “We are delighted that funding has been agreed to keep our service going.
“We offer a confidential engaging, participative fun, supportive service for young people aged 11 to 21 (up to 25 for young people with additional needs), who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning or unsure of their sexuality or gender identity.
“In the last year we’ve supported more than 150 young people who are often going through a very complex and confusing time in their lives. Almost a third of the young people we support attend our Isle of Wight groups and we’re so pleased to see the CCG has provided us with the funding to continue such an essential service.”
Prior to Covid 19 Breakout Youth provided a range of services including fortnightly youth group sessions and one-on-one support for young people aged between 11 and 21 years (up to 25 with additional needs).
Breakout Youth will open their face-to-face support as soon as it’s safe to do so, however in for now young people can continue to access support from a trained youth worker by joining the weekly Zoom support groups, phoning 02380 224 224 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alison Smith, managing director of the CCG, said: “This is a crucial service to help support young people who may feel isolated and alone with their sexuality or gender identity.
“We want all young people on our island to flourish – to have the right support, at the right time to help them develop and grow in confidence and be sure of who they are.
“And by providing this support earlier on will help that person avoid potentially needing more complex support at a later stage in life.”
To find out more about Breakout Youth visit breakoutyouth.org.uk/