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UK Youth Charities To Merge

Two of the United Kingdom’s leading youth-support organizations intend to merge. YouthNet, a London-based organization providing informational and emotional support for local young adults, and Get Connected, a London-based youth helpline, combined to assist 1.7 million young people in the United Kingdom in 2014.

The merger, provided it goes ahead as planned, would be completed at the end of December, according to Kate Sidwell, a YouthNet communications consultant speaking on behalf of both organizations during the merger. The new organization would be headed by YouthNet Chief Executive Chris Martin while Get Connected’s chief executive, Jessica Taplin, plans to depart to take the same role at V-Inspired, a London-based youth-volunteerism organization.

The new organization would be headquartered in London, Sidwell said via an email, with its new name and brand slated for a public release in the spring.

The new organization intends to expand its collective impact by reaching 2 million young people in 2018, a figure that would represent a quarter of the U.K.’s population of individuals ages 16 to 25. A combination of marketing, public relations and other efforts would be relied on to meet the outreach goal, according to Sidwell.

“The new charity will actively seek to engage new users and to ensure that the service they provide to existing users continues to develop and become even more effective,” Sidwell said.

All existing services run by both organizations would continue under the new brand and run as normal through the merger, according to Sidwell. The concept behind the merger is to provide youth in need of assistance with a single starting point in which to turn to. Further details on how the organizations would integrate existing services would be made available following the proposed merger, Sidwell said.

“In the meantime, the service will run in parallel ensure there is no disruption for young people who use any of our services,” said Sidwell.

Announcement of a proposed merger came after a year-long exploration period during which trustees and executives of the two organizations sought a means to work together more closely. “The two charities have worked together in the past on projects such as Anti-Bullying Week,” Sidwell said. “Discussions about how else they might have a greater impact together have been a natural progression.”

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