Autumn / Winter 2020 Newsletter

Welcome to Brandon Centre’s Autumn/Winter 2020 newsletter. In fact our first since I joined as CEO. Things have advanced quickly at Brandon Centre and as you read through you will find many wonderful projects that have made a significant difference to how we work and support young people. Naturally some of our plans for this year were put on hold due to COVID, including our 50th Celebration Event where we would have recognised and thanked our supporters, staff, Trustees and our Young Ambassadors.

We provide specialist services in support of the psychological, social, and sexual health needs of young people under 25 years. We have a particular focus on adolescence and support many young people from deprived backgrounds whose needs are often not addressed.

We have achieved so much over this last year. We completed a substantial transformation to improve the stability, profile and impact of our organisation. We also begun an exciting cultural renewal initiative ‘The Brandon Way’ to build a joint vision involving young people. At this point I would like to acknowledge the incredible collaborative work between our staff, our new Senior Leadership Team and our Trustees who have all worked so hard throughout our exciting journey. We have invested in IT infrastructure and a new electronic patient record system called PatientSource. The system has enabled us to move from paper-based processes to digital. This has transformed mental health and sexual health services ahead of expanding support further across London and beyond. And, critically, was completed before the pandemic which enabled us to continue to support young people. We have also invested in a new cloud-based phone system, a new and user-friendly website and new brand identity.

Our 50+ year journey continues. There are lots of exciting things still to happen. It is a great pleasure to work with such talented and dedicated people. We still have much to do. These are challenging times but, together, we will continue our good work and help change young people’s lives for the better.

Enjoy discovering more of what we do and we look forward to welcoming you to Brandon Centre.

Best wishes to you all.

We are extremely proud of how our various services have transformed over the last 18 months due to the dedicated and very special teams within our charity, along with our supporters.

Brandon Centre Systemic Integrative Treatment Team (BC-SIT) is working directly with families of young people displaying high levels of challenging behaviour, who require longer and more intensive interventions. This service supports 50 families, with the help of funding from the Youth Endowment Fund. This service will expand across additional Boroughs over the next 5 years and is supported by a major academic evaluation programme.

Our Psychotherapy Service provides excellent clinical services to young people with a wide range of mental health needs. We are seeing increased anxieties and negative pressures on young peoples’ lives during the pandemic. In Camden, we had a significant increase in referrals from May-Aug 2020. Our service delivery has adapted well to changing restrictions and we currently offer mainly virtual therapy appointments.

Collaboration with ‘Arsenal in the Community’ reaches disadvantaged and BAME girls, offering holistic wellbeing support. Our new Leaving Care Project will be supporting leaving care teams and young people across Camden, Islington & Haringey

Our Ground Up youth consultancy service provides specialist consultation and training to youth organisations in Camden. This has proved to be an invaluable support to youth workers in Camden around risk assessment, case consultation, emotional wellbeing, and young peoples’ engagement, particularly at this time of the pandemic. We have found stress levels for front-line youth workers have increased and our support to them has risen 3-fold since March, as they struggle with young people presenting with complex home and family situations.

Our Sexual Health services provide flexible responses to young people’s varied and emerging sexual health and contraception needs. This includes our new outreach work into local housing estates, engaging hard-to-reach young people, particularly young men from BAME groups, and disabled young people not currently accessing services.

We have been developing training for other agencies around sexual health in the context of COVID. Our ability to maintain face-to-face sexual health appointments means we can maintain more nuanced conversations with many young people who otherwise may not be seen by any other professionals.

Brandon Centre is excited to continue strengthening our partnerships with the NHS, local authorities, higher education and voluntary sector partners.

“I am proud and humbled to Chair such a stalwart community based charity and its dedication to serving young people over the decades. Its resolve and resolution to keep going, its ability to refocus, realign and recommit to its young people has been challenging at times, but exemplary. We have adapted, evolved and recognised the need to change whilst encapsulating the best way of supporting, enabling and empowering young people to access the highest quality sexual and mental health support in a safe environment.

I celebrate, acknowledge and honour our CEO, senior leadership team, employees, volunteers, trustees, partners and stakeholders who make this happen. Without your support, this wouldn’t be possible. As we transition and embark on new pathways we will steadfastly remain true to who we are, putting young people at the heart of what we do. Thank you for your continued unwavering support!”

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