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Haringey Young People's Counselling Service axed by Haringey Council
A COUNSELLING service for young people will close in two weeks as a result of budget cuts, Haringey Council has confirmed.
The Haringey Young People's Counselling Service provides one-on-one therapy to vulnerable teenagers across the borough, but will be axed on April 1 after the council cut the youth services budget by 75 per cent earlier this month.
The closure of the service was revealed in a freedom of information request by members of pressure group Save Haringey Youth Service, who condemned the news.
Spokesman Matt Green said: “It is disgraceful that such a pivotal service to work with the borough's most vulnerable teenagers are the first to go under the banner of efficiency savings.
“The actual saving of young people's lives has become secondary in a borough with a less than desirable safeguarding record.
“No regard on how to effectively manage the closure of this service has been shown with desperate teenagers still believing that they will find support that is no longer available.”
The campaigners claim that no young people have been consulted about the closure and that the council has tried to cut the service secretly.
Symeon Brown, a supporter of Save Haringey Youth Services, said: “This is a typical example of how the council are treating us with utter contempt – the council claim that they are consulting young people but established and elected bodies such as ourselves and the youth council have stated publicly that we have not been consulted.”
The service is based at the Bruce Grove Youth Centre, but also offers sessions with children who are victims of crime, abuse and bullying in five secondary schools in the borough.
The website for the service is still active, with children being able to book appointments online despite the imminent closure.
Councillor Lorna Reith, cabinet member for children and young people, said: “We’ve been doing everything we can to give young people the chance to tell us what parts of youth services they value.
“Via channels such as the Youth Council, Have Your Say events, several other special events and meetings we've invited the participation of young people - as well as a consultation on the Youthspace website.”
The move comes after news of cuts to after school clubs and childcare facilities funded by the council, which will see many parents forced to quickly find alternative arrangements.