Speaking about the HeadStart programme recently Sarah Brennan, CEO of YoungMinds had this to say:
“It is desperately sad that in an average classroom, 10 children will have witnessed their parents separate, one will have experienced the death of a parent, and seven will have been bullied and yet there is no single approach to supporting all our children at this key stage in their development. This is why YoungMinds are delighted to support the Big Lottery Fund’s HeadStart investment that looks to support the emotional resilience of all participating 10 to 14 year olds and provide targeted early intervention for those children who need more help at this key time in their lives.”Again, we have to remind ourselves that the HeadStart targeted early intervention she is delighted to support has never been tested. Neither can she quote any studies which show that a single approach could possibly support all children at a key stage in their development. Common sense tells us that is nonsense.
So who are YoungMinds who can give this kind of endorsement to HeadStart? This is what YoungMinds have to say about themselves:
YoungMinds is the UK’s leading charity committed to improving the emotional wellbeing and mental health of children and young people. Driven by their experiences we campaign, research and influence policy and practice.
Like many charities these days YoungMinds believes it has the right to set itself up and then become an influence on Government policy and practice.
On their website we are invited to meet the team. It is surprising how many of the team have been involved in charities and management services. They boast that they are uniquely informed about the mental health and well-being service and support needs of young people because they draw on a wide range of expertise. But are they able to evaluate the information they are drawing in, and then become so expert they are justified in influencing policy and practice? I would doubt that.
Sarah Brennan, Chief Executive Officer [below] gained an MSc in Voluntary Sector Organisation in 1990 and has bounced from one charity to another.
Lucie Russell, Director of Campaigns and media started The Big Issue`s charity, The Big Issue Foundation in 1995. She promotes YoungMinds through the media and is currently leading on the development of a new YoungMinds website on mental health medication for young people... [From the homeless, to medicines?]
Christopher Walker, director of fundraising has worked as a fundraiser for children and young people`s charities in the United Kingdom and United States since 1997.
Lysanne Wilsonn, Director of Operations, qualified as a physiotherapist, specialising in paediatrics, having started her career as a linguist and worked as an English teacher with VSO in Kenya. She then moved into health management to be able to better influence the way services were designed and delivered [my emphasis] to meet the real needs of patients, working in both the developing world and London.
Daphne Joseph, Parents` Helpline Manager, has worked for YoungMinds since March 2001. She began as a helpline adviser, was promoted to senior helpline adviser in 2003, and has managed the helpline since 2006. Daphne had a 14 year career in international banking, before returning to education and gaining a BA Hons in Psychosocial Studies with Professional Studies from the University of London, and a Diploma in Counselling & Psychotherapy. ..
Laurie oliv A, youth engagement manager, prior to moving into mental health, led the development of the national youth engagement programme at Stonewall, the lesbian, gay and bisexual charity- working with thousands of young people across England through campaigning and leadership programmes.
Matthew Daniel, Training and Consultancy Manager, was appointed as the training and consultancy manager at YoungMinds in September 2013 and has previously worked for the charity leading the participation and engagement training team for the VIK project. He has worked extensively with children, young people and families as a Citizenship Teacher, Connexions Personal Advisor and Youth Worker and he is passionate about working with young people, professionals services to give them the skills they need to facilitate positive change.
Cryss Mennaceur, HR manager, joined YoungMinds as HR and Office Manager in June 2013. Cryss has been an HR professional for 18 years. Much of this was spent as a learning and organisational development specialist in both the public and voluntary sectors. More recently Cryss has worked in a broader range of HR roles in the voluntary sector in young people and family orientated charities.
Richard Moore, Project Manager, BOND, managed mental health services in the NHS for 10 years before moving into independent consultancy.Chris Leaman, Media and Public Affairs Officer, previously worked for a Member of Parliament as their Press and Campaigns Officer and then became responsible for running political campaigns across London.
According to LinkedIn, Chris Leaman was campaigns officer for the LibDems. So no conflict of interests there!
One of the main projects carried out by YoungMinds is a helpline for parents staffed by volunteers. Like the NSPCC Childline, also staffed by volunteers, it is the management team who have the big salaries whilst the frontline staff work for nothing. Charities these days are given `stakeholder` status and have the right to consult with Governments who then make financial contributions to the charities. This is taxpayers` money being sucked into a mangement class who undermine democracy. It is called Big Society.
On the Adam Smith Institute blog, Tim Worstall has highlighted fakecharities.org and invited everyone to join in with the submission of charities.
I think we all know about one type of fake charity? The ones where almost every penny raised goes on either paying for those who run the charity or into more fundraising to, err, pay those who run the charity? Allow me to introduce you to a new form of fake charity, one that has risen rather large in our political discourse in recent years.
My own eye opener came when I was pointed to the accounts of Friends of the Earth Europe. Some 50% of their money comes from the European Union. That in itself isn’t too appalling, but FoE Europe’s work is to lobby the European Union. You can imagine how this might go then…the taxpayer gets gouged so that a lobby group can be seen to be urging a course of action upon those who have gouged the taxpayer in order to be lobbied. Lobbied to do something that they already wanted to do but need some public lobbying to provide the fig leaf perhaps.
This is not though an isolated incident. Via the excellent and very new fakecharities.org we find that many of those "charities" which appear in our national media are in fact little better than such State funded lobbying organisations. Taxes are taken from us so that the government can pay for the government to be lobbied, providing that fig leaf of a vocal campaign telling them (and us, more importantly) that what they’ve already decided to do is obviously a jolly good idea indeed.