Youthline to close

A special hotline for Gloucestershire youngsters is set to be axed this summer.

The Youthline Service is run by young people for 3 evenings a week to give support and information to other youngsters, but Gloucestershire County Council say national help lines like Connexions Direct and Childline are already providing this service on a 24/7 basis and are better equipped to deal with emergency situations.

The move will also save taxpayers £20,000 a year.

A new website called WhatnowGlos will launch in it's place to give information about positive activities, help with education, training and employment and will provide links to local and national help and support services for young people.

Cllr Stephen McMillan, Cabinet Member for Young People, says:

“National free help lines have both highly trained and experienced staff and the resources to help young people in crisis.
“Gloucestershire’s Youthline Service simply cannot provide that level of safe, professional service locally.  We cannot leave vulnerable young people speaking to an answer machine.
“Locally, we are working to publicise national help lines to young people so that they know who to call and where to get advice and help.  The new website will be key to this and it will be promoted in schools, colleges and youth groups throughout Gloucestershire."

Connexions Direct is a free national helpline – 0808 0013219
ChildLine is a free and confidential helpline for children and young people – 0800 1111