South Shields charity helping young people in crisis makes plea after seeing huge rise in demand for services during lockdown

A charity in South Tyneside which provides counselling and support for young people is calling for help after it sees a spike in demand during the pandemic.

Wednesday, 12th May 2021, 12:09 pm
Lynne Yousef with Escape Interventions activity worker Daniel Amess

South Shields-based Escape Intervention Services has helped more than 300 families in the past year – but is facing rising demand for its services post-lockdown from young people aged between four and 25 – with many suffering from anxiety, poor mental ill health, abuse and online bullying.

The charity also provides support to find a job, play therapy and 1-2-1 counselling to overcome personal issues or trauma.

The charity has received £9,000 from The Bernicia Foundation – a charitable trust set up by the Bernicia housing association – but its founder says charitable donations can only cover some of the rising workload costs.

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Lynne Yousef, who founded Escape Intervention Services 16 years ago, said: “More and more young people are reaching out for help.

“It’s a worrying situation and one that is never going to go away unless we find more ways to support and fund charities like ours who are delivering crucial support services to young people in the area.

"The donation from The Bernicia Foundation has been an absolute lifeline and meant we could cover overheads and staff costs at a time when many families and young people are facing huge difficulties."

She added: “Sadly, South Tyneside is in the top 10% of most deprived communities in the country and the support we provide is crucial.

"Donations like that from The Bernicia Foundation are hugely appreciated.”

Lynn says the charity is also seeing children of a much younger age now being referred, often due to anxiety at home or requiring play therapy to help develop social skills.

Kevin Haddrick of The Bernicia Foundation, said, “Lynne and Escape Interventions deliver remarkable work for South Tyneside families and young people, therefore we were delighted to be able to help in this way. It’s a fantastic organisation and we’d encourage similar charities, volunteer community groups or individuals to apply to the Foundation for funds.”

Any company, individual or fundraiser wishing to support Escape Interventions can contact Lynne Yousef on 0191 4276353 or email her at [email protected]