Caledonia Youth to close

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​Pioneering charity to close with the loss of 11 posts 

19th December 2014 by Robert Armour 0 Comments

A charity which has been at the forefront of sexual health advice for young people over the last 46 years is to close.

Caledonian Youth is based in Edinburgh and runs a number of pioneering services from its base in the capital.

However it has recently lost a number of funding streams - in particular NHS Lothian which withdrew its support on the basis that its own Chalmers Centre, a new sexual health clinic, would cater for young people.

The closure, due to take place by March 2015, will come at the expense of 11 jobs.

Caledonia Youth said the demand for its services had continued to be high, and many young people preferred to talk to a charity instead of an NHS clinic.

In May, the charity secured £15,000 in funding to launch CY4You, a new one-to-one support service, but this was not sufficient to secure its future.

A spokeswoman for Caledonia Youth said: "When we were developing CY4You earlier this year, it became obvious that there was a profound lack of specialist support services designed specifically to cater for the needs of young, vulnerable people under 25 and particularly teenagers.

"The dearth of provision was also apparent between 'lower level' interventions and those provided through CAMHS (child and adolescent mental health services), which is extremely overstretched, doesn't deal with over-18s and actually refers people to us."

Funding for work with young people in four Scottish prisons to reduce reoffending behaviour has also been lost, exacerbating its funding crisis and leaving the charity's board with no option but to wind up.  

A statement from its board of trustees said: "We find ourselves unable to sustain our charity following an erosion of funding in recent years. While the team have worked hard to secure new sources of income, like other colleagues in the third sector we have faced a constant reduction in statutory funding.

"Having exhausted alternative funding avenues vital to the sustainability of our charity, the board of trustees have made the difficult decision to wind up Caledonia Youth. Obviously we are hugely disappointed to be faced with what is the only option left open to us, which will bring redundancy for 11 highly skilled people."