All Change at Interchange

13 December 2018

Cherry Smith has stepped down as Interchange community services manager.

Cherry, who is leaving to develop her private therapy practice, helped to establish Interchange ten years ago as a project for Sheffield YMCA. It became an independent not-for-profit community interest company in 2012.

‘I’m leaving Interchange with a heavy heart,’ she said, ‘but I know that Niki and our amazing team will work together to fight for and deliver the best possible services to young people.’

Her departure has heralded a new structure for the organisation with former chair, Niki Elliot, taking on the role of managing director. Assistant community services manager, Rena Smith, will manage the Sheffield City Council contract and counsellor, Suzy Henry, will manage the company’s work with Talent Match.

Announcing the changes, Niki said: ‘In this climate of austerity there is increasing need for our services and diminishing funding. I am delighted to be working with talented trustee, staff and volunteers and inspiring, courageous young people. It takes a lot of guts to come to counselling and we are determined to ensure that young people get the support they need.’

Niki joined the Interchange board of directors in early 2017 and became chair in September of that year. She formally stepped down as chair and took the role of MD at the Interchange annual general meeting in November 2018. Shaklil Zaman took the role as chair. And co-founder, Ruth Iantorno, stepped down as a trustee.


Public Statement: Put Children and Young People at the Heart of Government Spending

Interchange works in partnership with statutory services and other third sector and voluntary organisations by providing counselling and therapy for children and young people with mental health needs. Our young people tell us that austerity cuts have had a profound impact on them. Increasingly they come to us with complex issues exacerbated by poverty, family crisis, academic pressure, and a lack of effective provision for Special Educational Needs and disabilities.

We are acutely aware of the limited resources in statutory services resulting in third sector organisations, such as ours, working with the most complex and vulnerable clients – victims of sexual exploitation, abuse and trauma. The government must act, and swiftly, because the cuts have devastated preventive work and early intervention and created waiting lists for those in crisis. We face increasing demand alongside diminishing resources now! Prime Minister, Chancellor give these young people hope, put children and young people at the heart of your spending plans.

Click below to listen to Niki’s interview with Heart Yorkshire.

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You have a right to feel alright

What does mental health mean to you? For many young people the phrase is meaningless, and as much as ones physical health is looked after, the same cannot be said for their mental health.

So what is mental health? The way you behave, and the way you feel are all down to your mental health. Whether you feel happy, bored, or sad, it is due to your mental health. When you feel good about yourself you don’t really pay attention to your mental health, however when you feel low and negative about yourself you tend to think about it more.

If you feel down, lonely, or sad for a prolonged period of time, you do not have to put up with it. You don’t deserve to feel this way. There are places for you to go, things that you can do to make yourself feel better. Just as we are all prone to catching a cough or a cold, we are also prone to experiencing some sort of emotional distress.

Continue reading “You have a right to feel alright”