Help IYC to purchase and extend their base at 37 Salisbury Road
It’s Your Choice (IYC) has been providing information, advice, guidance (IAG), and counselling to literally thousands of young people, aged 11-25, in and around the New Forest, since 1987. In recent years the charity has also delivered casework and targeted project support to growing numbers of young people with higher level, multiple needs which include homelessness, poor mental health, repeat offending, drug/substance misuse and long term NEET status.
IYC is the only charity offering this breadth of services for children and young people in need across the whole of the New Forest.
37 Salisbury Road
37 Salisbury Road, Totton has been at the heart of IYC’s operations since 1997 when the charity moved in and refurbished the property. It is not only the charity’s management and administrative base – it is also the hub from which it delivers its wide range of accessible IAG, counselling and casework services across 23 locations. It is also the visible face of IYC, known to thousands of young people as well as countless agencies, schools, GP surgeries, and youth organisations in and around the New Forest. Without our base at Totton, many vulnerable young people would not have access to facilities to accommodate their basic needs (such as a place to wash their clothes or have a hot meal).
In 2016, Hampshire County Council declared the property as surplus to requirements. The Council rejected an application for a community asset transfer of the building, instead valuing the house at £250,000. IYC has preferred purchaser status in place until 31st March 2018.
Despite a reduction in funding from HCC of approximately 60% compared to two years ago, IYC continues to strive to deliver previously funded services by leveraging in funding from other sources. But, we cannot continue to run our services without our base here at Salisbury Road – that’s where you come in. We are looking for further support from the Hampshire community to purchase and then extend building.
There is significant potential for refurbishment/extension to the property to create additional counselling facilities, new kitchen, clothes washing and shower area for homeless young people and we have now integrated this capital requirement into this appeal in 2017. Once this is completed, we would look to build new accommodation at the end of the garden for preparation for independent living for vulnerable young people from the New Forest.
We have explored alternative sites and properties in and around Totton and there is no more suitable location from which we can provide our range of accessible services. Whilst some might be adaptable over time to suit our purpose, none is in as good a location and any period of transition would prove costly in budgetary terms and be detrimental to our services which are increasingly in demand.
‘I can’t praise IYC enough’ – Parent of TYSS service user
‘Thank you so much for everything you’ve done for me – It frightens me to think of what I had done had you not been there for me’ – young person (Counselling)
‘It’s Your Choice have done more than any other organisation to help me – I’ve had a lot of issues to deal with but they have been there for me throughout’
– young person (Blagrave Homeless Service)
If you would like more information, or to support our appeal, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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