Offering help & support to tackle a wide range of health, lifestyle and emotional problems.
A pioneering new one-stop-shop has opened in the borough for teenagers and young people who need help and support in tackling a wide range of health, lifestyle and emotional problems.
The new TH@W service is run by national charity In-volve and aims to assist young people who want advice about drink or drugs, want to quit smoking or need help and counselling to deal with emotional or sexual health issues.
TH@W, which stands for Total Health at Wandsworth, is now based in Lavender Hill in Battersea and provides advice on all these differing needs under one roof - meaning that young people don’t have to see lots of different agencies or professionals to get a wide package of support.
This innovative new service is believed to be the only one of its kind in London that offers such wide ranging support and assistance under one roof.
The charity’s team of counsellors and support workers engage with young people who approach and ask for help themselves and also those who are referred by parents and GPs. They also have a team of counsellors that work in the borough’s secondary schools who support young people both inside and outside the classroom.
The charity’s work is funded by the council, the Wandsworth Drug and Alcohol Action Team and the borough’s primary care trust. It began work in April last year at the start of a three year contract.
Until now, TH@W have been prevented from providing a full a range of services to local young people because of limited office space. However, despite this hurdle, since taking over the contract In-volve’s counsellors have provided support to 3,523 young people in outreach sessions and another 1,821 in organised group sessions. A total of 205 were helped with drugs, alcohol and emotional health issues, while around 80 were persuaded to stop smoking.
The service’s new home at 207 Lavender Hill was formerly a housing department district cash office, which has been refurbished with a grant from the Department of Health.
|Speaking following the official opening ceremony of TH@W’s new headquarters, the town hall’s spokesman on children and young people Cllr Kathy Tracey said:
“This is a unique and exciting service that has been jointly developed by the council, NHS Wandsworth and In-volve It is the only one of its kind to offer such a comprehensive range of support and advice under one single roof. We believe it will prove invaluable to young people who need help in addressing problems involving drugs and alcohol, or who want to give up smoking or need information and guidance on sexual health and emotional health issues.
|Cllr Tracey with Dr Pointing opening the centre|
Cllr Tracey continued:
“It can sometimes be difficult to persuade young people that they need to seek help, and if that help is only available in many different places, then the chances are that some youngsters won’t receive all the support they need and will end up falling through the net. That is why it is such an advantage to house all these different services under one roof.
“And because young people can discuss a wide range of different issues with just one agency, it means that the counsellors will have a good overview of their full range of needs and can adopt a much more holistic and effective approach. By working together and jointly commissioning this service the council and the primary care trust have reduced duplication and can therefore deliver better value for money for taxpayers.
Dr Teresa Pointing, Chief Executive of In-Volve, said:
“We are delighted to celebrate this innovation in help for young people at TH@W. This project is an important step forward in finding better ways to support young people, who with the right guidance will make better choices for themselves.
“We know we are making a real difference in Wandsworth by the changes we see young people making, and the positive feedback from other professionals who value our expertise. We are grateful to the council and NHS for making this possible.”
February 15, 2011