Children in Need hand lifeline to kids’ service

Hailsham Mediation Service Children in Need grant.''Joan Gades and Clive Gross
Hailsham Mediation Service Children in Need grant.''Joan Gades and Clive Gross

A charity helping troubled families has escaped closure after securing “crucial” funding from Children in Need.

The Time to Talk project in Hailsham will continue running after a £72,000 cash injection from the BBC’s corporate charity – which holds its biggest fund-raising event tonight.

The funding will help the inter-generational mediation charity, which is part of Mediation Plus, continue its vital work for the next three years.

The Time to Talk project has been running since 2003 and has helped more than 400 people in the past three years. Its previous funding from Children in Need finished this year.

The funding comes after a lengthy application process by Mediation Plus and will begin in December.

The project helps people between nine and 18-years-old and the adults in their lives, such as parents or carers.

Clive Gross, service and development manager at Mediation Plus, said: “We have secured funding for three years which is crucial for us. It’s a huge relief because that project would have shut without that funding because we don’t have any more money for the post, so this money secures the future for Time To Talk.

“We help when there is a communication breakdown and a risk the young person will become homeless, excluded from family, starting to commit anti-social behaviour or maybe substance abuse.

“Also often there can be a mental health angle in terms of people being in a fragile state so what we do is have mediation training in that style and do work between the young person and adult with the communication problem to avert the breakdown in family.”

The money will be used to fund a case worker to handle referrals from agencies and individuals. Mediation Plus currently has two part-time staff, six trustees and 45 volunteers.

Children in Need provides grants to projects in the UK which focus on disadvantaged children and young people.