Project information

Helpline Service

Our big idea is to be the first point of contact for all under 25s, ensuring they receive the information and support needed to thrive.
Our free, confidential and multi-issue helpline is vital to achieve this. We are unable to meet the growing demand for helpline support that we are experiencing.

As this service is crucial to helping children and young people, this project is ongoing. However, we are looking to increase our capacity gradually over the next two years.

Charity information: The Mix

The Mix logo
  • Need

    Need

    Young people (YP) today are perhaps the first generation worse off in physical and emotional terms than their parents, facing an enormous amount of issues: pressure to perform at school, spiralling university costs, a lack of jobs and housing. Such challenges lie at the core of an extraordinary rise in mental health issues for YP so that 300,000 children and YP suffer from anxiety disorders (RCPSych). Mental health underpins nearly every issue we address and our helpline overs essential support.

    Solution

    YP are coming to us with more diverse and complex issues than ever before which are arising at younger ages. Available from 11am-11pm 365 days a year, our helpline provides a lifeline for many YP who don’t know where to even begin to get help. 40% of YP contacting us are reaching out for the first time.
    YP have the option to contact us via telephone, webchat or email, whatever suits them best. We know that we can provide the information and support they need, and have a proven model that works

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Address the mental health needs of 20,000 young people through the helpline annually by 2018

    Activities

    » Increase awareness of the helpline with promotions on direct on/offline marketing, social media, campaigns and enhanced search engine optimization

    Monitor calls and survey YP following a session. 70% of YP say that they feel better because they had a chance to explore their problems or worries


    Aim 2

    Ensure that we meet the demand for support from young people with 100 helpline volunteers by 2018

    Activities

    » Increase the capacity of the helpline by recruiting more volunteers

    Our Volunteer and Training team monitor the number of volunteers that are trained and remain active across our services.


    Aim 3

    Ensure that volunteers feel well supported and experience personal development

    Activities

    » Provide engaging training courses for our volunteers that equip them with the skills and confidence they need to support young people

    70% of volunteers surveyed report that they have improved their workplace skills/acquired new skills
    70% also report that they feel they have made a difference to the lives of YP


  • Impact

    Impact

    Our target annual reach for the helpline is 20,000 by 2018. Beyond this we will continue to ambitiously expand its capacity so that we reach 30,000 YP by 2019. An external evaluation of the helpline by Icarus last year shows that YP are using the information and signposts that we give them, taking positive action to change their situation. This is the positive long term change that we want to continue to see among even more YP. We will continue to perform evaluations to understand this impact.

    Risk

    Following our merger in January 2016 we experienced some disruption to the helpline which resulted in an expected reduction to our reach. The domain change of our website meant that traffic was reduced and our rebrand to The Mix also impacted users directed to our service. We experienced some staff and volunteer changes which led to a short period of reduced hours. We have since recovered from this period and have emerged stronger than ever with new ambitious targets and a wider offering.

    Reporting

    We will provide a report on the impact that donors’ support has made to this essential service. Our experienced Marketing and Communications team will promote the success of the Big Give Christmas Challenge to all our supporters on the web, social media and other channels.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £697,486

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £349,400 Helpline Staff 2 x Helpline Team Leaders, 4 FT x Youth Support Officers, 1 PT Youth Support Officer
      £76,724 Training Volunteer recruitment and training
      £62,236 Systems and Support The fixed costs required to run the helpline system (including phone line, computers, tech licences
      £21,280 Impact and Evaluation Run an impact survey following contact with the user, and an external evaluation with Icarus
      £6,840 Safeguarding For on call safeguarding officers
      £83,820 Promotion and Outreach For helpline marketing and youth engagement
      £97,186 Management For oversight and contribution from our Senior Management
  • Background

    Location

    The helpline is available to all young people under 25 across the UK. Our geographical spread is largely on par with national averages, with a slightly higher percentage of young people contacting us in London.

    Beneficiaries

    The Mix’s helpline is open to all in young people under 25 across the UK. In 2017/18 we are aiming to reach 20,000 young people through this essential service. From demographics captured through our helpline Contact Log, we know that of young people using the service:
    • 78% are female
    • 19% are male
    • 2% are transgender
    • 26% are BAME
    • 6% are NYEET
    • 7% have a disability

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Nobody else does what we do. Formed from the pioneering merger of Get Connected and YouthNet, The Mix is at the forefront of innovative solutions in our sector.
    By coming together, we have created a full, holistic service, combining 18+ years experience and increasing our potential to transform the lives of YP across the UK. We work at a scale unmatched in the sector and are continuously working to improve our service. Since our merger we’ve lowered cost per invention from £1.36 to just £1.06.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.

    People

    Oliver Jarvis

    Helpline Team Leader: oversees the helpline to ensure it’s fully resourced with staff/volunteers and maintains a quality service to reach our targets

    Laura Dalton

    Helpline Team Leader: oversees the helpline to ensure it’s fully resourced with staff/volunteers and maintains a quality service to reach our targets

    Nadia Inwood

    Volunteer Manager: manages the process of volunteer recruitment, recruitment and satisfaction

    Edward Edmond

    Advice & Training Manager: develops and maintains our suite of online learning courses and platform