Suffolk young people’s charity 4YP reveals plans to support busy NHS

Tibbs Pinter, chief executive of 4YP, in front of the new mural at the charity's Ipswich base. Pictu

Tibbs Pinter, chief executive of 4YP, in front of the new mural at the charity's Ipswich base. Picture: GREGG BROWN

A charity chief executive has spoken of ambitions to support the overburdened NHS in the future by extending its offer for young people.

Suffolk Young People’s Health Project, also known as 4YP, is in the middle of revamping its site in Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, in a bid to make it more welcoming.

During a tour of the Grade-II Listed building, boss Tibbs Pinter said he wanted the charity to provide more general and sexual health check opportunities for its service-users, aged 12 to 25.

He said: “I want to do an Embarrassing Bodies clinic; rather than using the NHS’s time how can we provide a service where people, particularly younger people, can ask.

“We are working with a local Ipswich pharmacist in terms of having a pharmacist in here once a week to do that over the counter conversation.

“I do think that’s an important area we could help in terms of being a charity where we could help a future need in terms of the pressure on the NHS.

“My task is to find a way of doing that without being a private provider outside the NHS.”

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The charity currently runs counselling sessions at its site and in schools; a drop-in advice service; workshops; and an online Ask the Expert platform.

Mr Pinter, former community cohesion co-ordinator at Ipswich Borough Council, said: “The amount of anxieties, worries and fears do seem more prevalent and it seem to be deeper than I remember when I was at school.”

4YP used to receive funding to run a sexual health and contraceptive service in Suffolk, but last year it lost the contract to another charity.

Mr Pinter wants to find a way to offer this support to young people again without statutory cash, especially in light of upcoming cutbacks to services.

The number of days and hours of clinic operation by NHS provider iCash Suffolk will be reducing and a new online facility will be introduced.

Suffolk County Council has run a consultation on the changes, which finished at the end of 2017.

Mr Pinter assured he wanted 4YP to support not replace NHS services.

As part of the refurbishments of the charity’s base, a local young artist is painting a new mural in the waiting area.

Mr Pinter said it made the entrance much brighter and relevant to the young visitors.