The Link (Redcar)

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Redcar Link is a Community Interest Company based in Redcar and Cleveland. They have received a £50k investment from Big Issue Invest.

It provides a diverse range of therapeutic interventions for young people and their families who require emotional and mental health support. Since being established in 2010 they have helped 3,000 children and young people to build their resilience, confidence and self-esteem and to reduce depression and anxiety. The service reduces the number of children and young people needing access to specialist mental health services (CAMHS) by intervening earlier and offering longer, lower level support.

The social investment was used to help with much needed cash flow following the end of a grant. It helped them to get back on their feet during a change management and redundancy period. Tina said that “the process itself was as beneficial as the investment, as it helped us to think in a more business like way and we have learned a lot and made some tough decisions”. If Redcar Link hadn’t survived, there would have been an incredible gap in provision. They are already unable to fulfil the needs of all the demand and referrals.

Parents report that the service has been a lifeline. ”The Link changes lives, not just for the children they help, but for the families too. They give a lot of support and guidance which cannot be gained anywhere else. It is an asset to the area and I don’t know what we would do without it”. Others have seen a significant positive change in their children: “I’ve noticed a huge improvement in my child’s anxiety problems, things that we as parents were struggling to share”

Around 1/10 children and young people in Redcar and Cleveland, aged 5-16 years have a mental health disorder. The children really value the service, with one child saying “they really helped me to be more confident in school and out”. Children report that the groups are different to anything they have attended before and rather than feeling like they stick out and are different, they feel a sense of belonging and community.

Big Issue Invest are supported by Access – the Foundation for Social Investment, through the Growth Fund programme with funding provided by The National Lottery Community Fund and Big Society Capital