THE NSPCC is closing its York building, bringing face-to-face work with children there to an end.

Redundancies will also be made in the coming months as the children’s charity moves to a hub in Leeds.

NSPCC assistant director for Yorkshire, Debra Radford, said the move would help them focus on early help services and “reach even more communities in Yorkshire”.

Councillor Robert Webb raised concerns about the move during a meeting about wider challenges faced by children’s services in York last week.

Speaking about City of York Council’s focus on early intervention, Cllr Webb said it was “the right thing to do” both for young people and their families, as well as for cost reasons. But, he added: “There is a problem though with early intervention, particularly around mental health…there just isn’t the support out there.

“And if young people are looking to get counselling and looking to get support, then the waiting list is huge.”

Cllr Webb then mentioned the closure of the NSPCC’s York building, in Osbaldwick Lane, and the move to a hub, which is something that is happening in several other areas of the country.

Ms Radford said: “We want to make the biggest impact we can in our mission to prevent child abuse and we’re making changes to the way we run some of our local services to help us reach even more communities in Yorkshire. 

“Alongside Childline, which is here for all children in York, and our helpline, which is here for all adults with concerns about a child in the city, a hub in Leeds will co-ordinate our regional activity.” 

The Leeds hub will host a named point of contact for every school in Yorkshire, specialist direct services, campaigns, and local partnerships, such as York’s Look, Say Sing, Play, which is helping parents in the area bond with their young children. 

Ms Radford added: “But our  face-to-face work with children from our base in York is coming to an end. A consultation has now closed and sadly a number of roles will be made redundant in the months ahead. We’re doing everything we can to support staff members affected, including training and suitable alternative employment where possible.”

Every child or family currently receiving an NSPCC service will complete an agreed programme of work, Ms Radford said.

She added: “Throughout our 130-year history we’ve consistently evolved to make sure we’re keeping pace with the changing nature of abuse, and with less early help services for families, growing online safety concerns, and the impact of the pandemic, we’re extremely worried about the risks facing children. 

“Our work to prevent abuse has never been more important and we’re confident that these changes will help us make the greatest impact in keeping children safe across Yorkshire.”