Beatbullying has been awarded £1.3m from the Cabinet Office’s Social Action Fund to expand its services by setting up a new social action organisation.
The new charity will be known as We’re Altogether Better and will provide a wider range of advice and support online to young people. It will need to register with the Charity Commission. It will act as an umbrella organisation, overseeing the Beatbullying brand and its current projects, such as Cybermentors, alongside new ones.
With the funding, We’re Altogether Better will be able to recruit and train 10,000 new volunteers including young people. MediaCom, Google and Lloyds have also agreed to offer volunteering opportunities with the new organisation, to its employees.
The first new project due to launch in 2012 will support young people with mental health issues online.
Chief executive Emma-Jane Cross, said: “We believe that We’re Altogether Better can help heal social fissures such as racism and violence, improve mental health, unburden the NHS, combat truancy and poor educational attainment, put young people into work, and enhance community cohesion and social mobility.”
We’re Altogether Better will report back to Nick Hurd and the Cabinet office on the success of the volunteer recruitment drive, although a timetable has not been set.
Supporting other organisations
The funding has also meant that the charity has set up a community interest company, We are Cosmo, that will deliver the software used and owned by Beatbullying to other civil society organisations. The business model for how and when this will happen is going to be worked out in the next few weeks.
Beatbullying’s director of new media Sarah Dyer created the software, Cosmo, to run the organisation’s online mentoring services and the Cabinet Office hopes that other organisations will be able to move their social actions online using the platform. It enables organisations to create communities to deliver support and train volunteers online.
Cosmo will also report back to Nick Hurd on the success it has in implementing its software model in other organisations.