A charity’s support service which has helped thousands of children and young people in Kirklees with their mental health is set to shut down.
Northorpe Hall Child and Family Trust in Mirfield provides emotional wellbeing support and therapeutic services for children, young people and families across Kirklees.
The Trust has a contract with Kirklees Council through the Thriving Kirklees Partnership. However, the council announced in January that the contract will not be renewed in April 2024.
That means more than 40 members of staff could lose their jobs.
Unless alternative funding can be found the following services provided by Northorpe Hall will close: Thriving Kirklees Single Point of Access (SPA); Children’s Emotional Wellbeing Service (CHEWS); and Parent & Community Work as part of the Mental Health Support Team (MHST).
A Trust spokesman said a period of consultation had been launched with staff this week.
The spokesman added: “After this, if no alternative solutions can be identified, regrettably highly valued, dedicated and experienced staff members will leave the Trust.
“This is truly a challenging time for the Trust and our immediate priority is to ensure that our staff are treated with the respect and consideration they deserve.”
Mental health services for children and young people in Kirklees are said to be undergoing a re-organisation to ensure a “more equitable and consistent service.”
A new model has been developed by the Kirklees Integrated Care Board under the name Kirklees Keep in Mind and service users will be notified how this will affect them in the near future.
The Integrated Care Board and Kirklees Council are finalising the details with the aim of minimising disruption to people who use the service.
A statement from Kirklees Council and Kirklees Health and Care Partnership said: “Our priority is to ensure that people who use these services are able to access consistent and high-quality support.
“We are finalising the details of the new Kirklees Keep in Mind service and will contact those who are affected by the changes. Our aim is to deliver a service which has the maximum positive impact on people’s lives.
“Northorpe Hall has been an important partner within the Thriving Kirklees Partnership and we would like to thank Northorpe Hall and their staff for the hard work and commitment towards supporting the wellbeing of children and young people.
“We appreciate the professionalism of those involved and would also like to thank them for their support as we transition into Kirklees Keep in Mind. We are working hard to make sure the changes happen as seamlessly as possible for all concerned.
“Kirklees Keep in Mind aims to offer a single point of entry for young people so they can access the right services, in the right place at the right time, and only have to tell their story once.
“The current model is inconsistent, fragmented and doesn’t offer a service to almost half of schools. The new model will offer support to children and young people, parents and carers, and all educational settings.
“The offer will be based around good practice, national requirements and will reflect the feedback we have received from parents, families, people who work in educational settings and, most importantly, children and young people.”
The Trust aims to continue to provide support and services for children, young people, families and the wider community beyond April 1 with the following services set to continue:
- Children & Young People’s Domestic Abuse Counselling Service;
- Looked After Children Counselling Service;
- CREATE – which offers term time sessions for children and young people with learning difficulties aged from 8 to 13 and 14 to 18;
- Kirklees Youth Mentoring Service – offering mentoring support to children and young people who do not have an adult role model in their lives in addition to peer mentoring support;
- Private therapeutic counselling for children, young people with mental health concerns as well as siblings, parents and carers who would benefit from support;
- Youth Voice – Co-production, social action and peer support group for children and young people;
- Parent Community Voice – Parent led co-production and social action group focusing on improving support and information for parents who are struggling with their child’s mental health.
Activities such as training courses and workshops in Northorpe Barn are not affected nor is the supported accommodation for young adults with additional needs on Northorpe Lane.