New Camden service for 16 to 24 year-olds announced

A group of 16 to 24 year-olds from Camden is taking a lead role in designing and implementing a new service for young people in the borough.

Camden Council and the Camden Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) have announced a new service that aims to fill the gaps in support that is currently available for young people aged 16 to 24 as part of the innovative, jointly-commissioned Minding the Gap project.

A Young People’s Board, comprised of young people from the borough, are involved at every stage of the process from design to delivery. They have already been working on plans with the Council for a number of months. The Young People’s Board is currently working with delivery partners and architects on the design of the new space where the service will operate from and is also working on a name for the building (the 'Name Challenge'). There will be further opportunities for local young people to get involved, including recruiting staff, designing the building, delivering the service and setting up a new social enterprise at the premises.

A renovated building near Swiss Cottage will be made available to young people as an exciting new space, where they can feel safe and seek out the support they need. A multidisciplinary team, working across the borough, will help young people in many areas of their life - whether that is education or employment, housing, social care or health and wellbeing.

A social enterprise will be based at the new space and young people will be involved in decisions about what the business should be, how it looks and what it sells, as well as promoting it to customers and the community.

The delivery contract has been awarded to a partnership of local specialist organisations, who are experts in providing services to young people. The partnership is led by national charity and social business, Catch22, and includes The Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust, Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust, The Brandon Centre, The Anna Freud Centre, The Winch and The Integrate Movement. The longstanding, local experience of these partners is not just crucial to understanding the needs of local young people but also to understanding how to tap into existing networks of support in the area. Each partner also brings expert knowledge of how to support and engage young people to overcome their individual challenges and play a positive role in their communities.

Councillor Georgia Gould, Camden Council’s Cabinet Member for Young People, said: “This new borough-wide service is a bold new way of working collaboratively with providers and young people to create support which is responsive, accessible and designed with young people in mind. We hope Camden will pave the way for others by acting on young people’s feedback to develop services tailored to support 16 to 24 year-olds on their journey into adulthood.”

Dr Martin Abbas, lead for children on Camden CCG’s governing body, said: “We are really excited to be developing this important and ground-breaking service with Camden Council, as well as working with such an inspirational youth board and an amazing range of partners to improve the health, wellbeing and opportunities of local young people.”

Chris Wright, Chief Executive of Catch22, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity to revolutionise the way services for young people are designed and delivered. Young people face complex and multiple challenges as they become adults and it makes sense that the services they need for support are joined up and based in one place. Young people know better than anyone else what they need to succeed, so by bringing them into the design process, we can be sure to develop a service that engages as many young people as possible, especially those who would not traditionally seek help. Under Catch22’s leadership, these established, expert partners will provide a service that gets the best possible outcomes for the young people it serves.”

Paloma Jordan, Young People’s Board Member, said: “Unlike how I often feel as a young person, when I’m working on this project I am respected, and encouraged to push my ideas forward. I feel like I’m valued, and can take charge of something that will actually make a difference; and it makes sense that the people who use a service should create it. The base will give youths who are going through a difficult and daunting time in their lives a place where they can get all manner of help, and hopefully bring the community together. Now I don't have to be scared about what I’m going to have to do as I make the transition to adulthood.”

More information

  • Minding The Gap (MTG) is a joint project by Camden Council and Camden Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to help bridge the gap between child and adult health and wellbeing services.
  • MTG aims to improve the health and wellbeing of young people aged 16 to 24 by improving existing health services and establishing a new youth base in the borough and a multidisciplinary team reaching out across the borough.
  • Camden young people, who said they wanted one place to go for a range of support, are helping to design the base and choose a name for it (the 'Name Challenge').
  • For more information please email or