Place2Be to close locations it inherited from merger with The Art Room

The move comes after the children's mental health charity concluded that the service provided by The Art Room was not sustainable in its existing form

The children’s mental health charity Place2Be has announced that it will close the eight locations it took on when it merged with the young people’s support charity The Art Room in 2018.

The move comes after a review of the service provided by The Art Room, which is part of the larger charity, concluded it was not financially sustainable in its existing form.

Place2Be said that The Art Room programme, which uses art-making and discussion to support pupils with emotional difficulties, would continue but in a mobile form, rather than at the eight fixed locations the charity inherited through the merger.

The programme will continue to operate in its current form until Easter.

Sarah Williams-Robbins, director of the Place2Be, said the charity was not able to give an exact figure for how many staff might be made redundant because discussions were continuing with those affected. Some staff could be redeployed, she said. 

The Art Room had 33 staff when the merger took place in 2018. 

Place2Be said in a statement: “We carried out a business review of The Art Room service in 2019.

“The conclusion is that, unfortunately, in its current format, the service has limited accessibility and is not financially sustainable, particularly in an environment where school budgets are under pressure.

“We are now developing a more accessible and financially viable model for The Art Room as a mobile service that would enable us to reach more children and young people in the future.”

The statement said the charity had concluded a formal consultation with staff affected by the change and would be supporting them through the period. 

“Our teams are working with school staff to identify alternative support for children who have previously accessed our services, where required,” the statement said. 

“Place2Be remains totally committed to supporting and improving the emotional wellbeing of children, young people and their families – and school communities across the UK.”

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