Young people use the internet as one of their main sources of information for their mental and physical health. However, navigating local service information online can be difficult, overwhelming, and confusing, particularly for those with additional needs. Alongside this, the information is often unreliable or not enough to decide if the service is right for them.
Many organisations exist to support people in need, however there is a lack of coordination about how information on these services is collated, maintained, and shared. Ultimately, resulting in many people never discovering the services that could help improve their lives, duplicated efforts to maintain information and an incomplete picture of provision.
Great progress has been made to improve the availability and quality of service information in key locations, sub-sectors, and service types, but this has resulted in a postcode lottery for information. There is a need for a more sustainable and open model that works between voluntary organisations, local authorities, gatekeepers, and funders that builds on existing models, especially where this information isn’t already well maintained.
Signpost+ is a collaborative programme working with communities, data folk, the social sector and beyond. Testing models, group structures and technology to ensure young people have access to the tools they need to seize opportunities and withstand bumps in the road