Third Sector
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Youth charities join forces

Youth charities The Prince’s Trust and Fairbridge are uniting to offer more support to disadvantaged young people across the UK.

The two charities will merge on 1 April 2011 with a vision of delivering a more joined-up, wide-ranging service for an increased number of disadvantaged young people.

The announcement comes as the UK Government calls on the voluntary sector to ensure effectiveness and efficiency in order to secure funding. The two charities are confident their decision to integrate will help drive more funds into the youth sector at a critical time for disadvantaged and unemployed young people.

The united organisation, which will be called The Prince’s Trust, will help around 50,000 young people over the course of the next year alone – with a view to helping a growing number in the future.

Martina Milburn, who is chief executive of The Prince’s Trust and will remain chief executive of the united organisation, says:

"With youth unemployment at a record high, the work of charities such as The Prince’s Trust and Fairbridge is more relevant than ever. We are keen to combine our efforts to ensure young people are given as much support as possible at this crucial time".

Andrew Purvis, chief executive of Fairbridge, will support the integration process until he steps down at the end of March 2011. He says:

"This is an exciting development for the young people who use our services and for our supporters. By joining forces, Fairbridge and The Prince’s Trust will continue their vital work in communities across the UK and deliver a broader, more cost-effective service to young people who need our support".

A spokesperson for Clarence House commented:
"The Prince of Wales welcomes any opportunity that allows disadvantaged young people in the UK to achieve their potential".

Fairbridge’s 15 centres across the country will continue to provide the first step for disengaged young people. The Prince’s Trust aims to develop this provision by planning a new Fairbridge centre in Yorkshire and The Humber.

The Fairbridge programme will sit alongside established Prince’s Trust schemes such as the Enterprise Programme which helps young people into business.

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