OnSide Youth Zones

Bridging the Gap

We are delighted to announce our partnership with young people’s charity, OnSide Youth Zones, that will help identify and provide mental health support to 840 young people across the Youth Zone network. The programme, which is also supported by the Rayne Foundation, is part of Onside’s ‘Culture of Health’ initiative established in partnership with the Oglesby Charitable Trust.

“Bridging the Gap” is focused on upskilling staff at OnSide’s Youth Zones and providing access to sigma free, multidisciplinary mental health care to young people who are experiencing, or at risk of developing mental health issues. Trained staff will work with young people to identify problems and offer support before they reach a crisis point.

Young people will also have the opportunity to access 6-week issues-based workshops, one to one tailored support from Youth Zone staff, or work with a Health and Wellbeing Manager to secure specialist support from external agencies as appropriate.

OnSide plans to do this by:

  • Growing its skilled workforce qualified to identify mental health issues in young people attending Youth Zones and support them or refer them for support.
  • Increasing the provision of early intervention mental health services for 840 young people across a range of needs alongside OnSide’s other programmes which support members and their mental health
  • Building partnerships with specialist mental health services to access external support/specialist services to address specific mental health needs.
  • Using data gathered to evidence the positive impact of early intervention and sustainability of the project.

The Foundation’s grant of £90,000 over the next two years will go towards implementing “Bridging The Gap” at 10 locations across the UK. The Foundation, having previously funded advocacy and research mental health initiatives, now adds a physical element to their mental health funding work in supporting “Bridging the Gap”.

A year into the programme, “Bridging the Gap” has delivered very specific interventions for 256 young people suffering from, or are at risk of developing, mental health issues. Secondly, these efforts have engaged over 8,000 young people due to the prioritisation of mental health during the pandemic. By year three they hope to build a skilled workforce across all their locations, potentially supporting 50,000 young people in the process.