Funding for an LGBTQ+ charity on the Isle of Wight has saved it from closing at the last minute.
Breakout Youth, a community support service for young LGBTQ+ people run by staff and volunteers, was set to shut at the end of March due to a lack of funding from the Isle of Wight Council and the Isle of Wight Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), as well as national funding.
In February, the council said the charity had been told in advance the funding would stop in March and it had time to secure other arrangements but was unsuccessful.
Now, however, the CCG has made a u-turn after recognising the important work the charity does, meaning the vital service will be able to remain open.
To keep the service going, the CCG has provided £12,000 without changing the support those who access the service currently receive.
Alison Foster, from Breakout Youth, said: “We are delighted 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.”
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.”
During the Covid-19 pandemic, the service has moved online, holding weekly zoom support sessions from a trained youth worker but hope to open up their face-to-face support sessions as soon as it is safe to do so.
To join the sessions, you can phone 02380 224 224, email firstname.lastname@example.org or to find out more about the services Breakout Youth provide, visit breakoutyouth.org.uk/.