THE Isle of Wight Youth Trust has started delivering services from its new headquarters, Youth Trust House, in central Newport.

The move signals the start of a new era for the charity, which has served young Islanders for 33 years, previously from a small end terraced house in Newport.

Youth Trust chief executive, Mairead Healy, said that in moving buildings, the trust would have the space needed to grow to meet the changing needs of young Islanders.

She said: "We have been privileged to have the stability of a consistent home for over three decades which has definitely contributed to the longevity of the Youth Trust.

"As the largest independent provider of youth mental health services on the Island, we had simply outgrown our building.

"We are so proud to have a brilliant team in place who have worked hard to realise this move in 18 short months, which is exceptionally fast, and will help us keep our waiting times down so that young people receive the help they need, when they need it most.”

She added: “Youth Trust House is substantially larger than our previous headquarters.

"We have double the number of counselling rooms which will allow us to see more young people, more quickly. We also have space for group work and training which we hope to roll out over the next year.”

The move comes after a fundraising appeal which attracted sizable donations from the Peter Harrison Foundation, The ACT Foundation and The Bernard Sunley Charitable Foundation, as well as garnering support from residents, Wight Aid and Shanklin and Ventnor Rotary Clubs, but Mairead said that the move also attracted in kind support from across the community.

She said: “Cowes Movers helped us with the move on Sunday, completely free of charge, our solicitor Tony Holmes at Roach Pittis has been an incredible help throughout the whole process and WH Brading & Son did an excellent job renovating the premises for us.

"Our staff team have also really pulled together and I wanted to particularly think our head of operations Tracy Ringer, for doing an exceptional job in managing this building move for us.”

In addition to moving building, the Youth Trust has also expanded its team, including creating three new senior sessional posts, to which Deborah Benson, Elizabeth Rowlinson and Stephanie Brittain have recently been appointed.

These posts are part of the Youth Trust’s plans to transform their services.

Mairead explained: “Our clinical lead, Karen Smith, came into post in March and since then has done a brilliant job overseeing the design of a new clinical model which will transform the way we deliver our services.

"Appointing our senior counsellors is the first step in realising this plan. Our senior counsellors are all respected and highly qualified members of the team and will further bolster our clinical oversight as we prepare to expand our services to meet the needs of our young people.”

She added: “We are delighted we are now in a position to offer a long term counselling service for young people who need it and will be rolling out our new clinical assessment process on October 1, which will enable each young person to be assessed by our senior team to determine whether they need long term, short term, family counselling or other clinical support, based on their individual needs.”