Childrens' groups form consortium to merge services

A consortium of children's charities is developing a radical new model of co-operation that could see them relocating to a single shared headquarters.

The Children's Centre Project, a partnership between ChildLine, the Family Service Units, I CAN, the National Children's Bureau (NCB), the Place 2 Be, the Who Cares? Trust and Young Minds, has been awarded £493,200 of government money to forge closer links.

"By joining forces and sharing expertise we can develop a range of new and improved services," said Sally Whitaker, NCB's director of resources and marketing.

The new funding, which is from the Treasury's Invest to Save budget, will allow the partners to explore ways of pooling specialist knowledge and combining existing services such as helplines and web sites.

The partners will also look at developing a joint regional infrastructure, including co-habiting in a shared building. Childline will remain in a separate location.

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