Drop-in centre for young people to extend its opening hours

Jessie and Natalie, staff at i-Rock SUS-191104-174854001
Jessie and Natalie, staff at i-Rock SUS-191104-174854001

A vital health and wellbeing drop-in centre for young people in Hastings will now be open five days a week thanks to £200,000 of government funding.

i-Rock on Cambridge Road is a drop-in centre for young people aged 14-25 to get help with mental health, wellbeing, housing, education or employment from over 70 different services.

The service has extended its opening hours from three days to five thanks to a £200,000 investment over two years from Hastings Opportunity Area, a Department for Education programme to support mental health, wellbeing and improve social mobility for children and young people in the town.

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The money also means that the service can introduce brief interventions in-house, preventing the need for further referrals to other services and also addressing gaps in local services.

i-Rock is delivered in partnership by Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, East Sussex County Council and Hastings and Rother Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG). The project also works closely with a wide range of third sector providers including Oasis, Sussex Community Development Association, Youth Employability Service and Counselling Plus.

The drop-in centre is part of Healthy Hastings and Rother – a scheme commissioned by NHS Hastings and Rother CCG, to tackle health inequalities in the area. i-Rock is also included in the wider East Sussex Better Together (ESBT) programme, which is transforming and integrating health and care in East Sussex to achieve the best possible services for local people.

Viki Ashby, local transformation plan project manager for Sussex Partnership’s East Sussex Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services, said: “We are so pleased that Hastings Opportunity Area has recognised the benefits of this service for local young people by enabling us to extend our opening hours.

“Being open five days a week means we can be available at the moment a young person needs to seek support. We know that any delay in accessing support can be off-putting for young people and greater accessibility means they can talk to someone when things are feeling difficult.

“With the new funding we will be able to offer more direct support to young people, helping them to understand and manage these experiences and find the right support for them moving forward.”

Children and Families Minister Nadhim Zahawi said: “Every young person should be able to grow up feeling confident and positive about their future, so they can go on to succeed and make the most out of the opportunities available.

“It’s great this vital drop-in centre can now extend its opening hours thanks to funding from the Opportunity Area so young people in Hastings get the mental health advice and support when they need it.”

i-Rock is now open Monday-Friday from 11am until 6pm, and is based at Rock House, 49-51 Cambridge Road in Hastings.

To keep up to date with the latest news from i-Rock follow them on Twitter @HastingsiRock, or go to www.sussexpartnership.nhs.uk for details of other services.