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GOVERNMENT BIG SOCIETY FUNDING ENABLES TRANSITION OF AWARD-WINNING BEATBULLYING INTO NEW SOCIAL ACTION ORGANISATION

LONDON January 25th, 2012 – TODAY the Minister for Civil Society, Nick Hurd MP, announces that £1.3 million from The Social Action Fund has been awarded to enable the creation of new not-for-profit organisation, We’re Altogether Better, formed to tackle social issues digitally.

We’re Altogether Better is run by the team behind the award-winning children’s charity, Beatbullying, which was established in 2002 and has received on-going Government support for its pioneering anti-bullying work.

Through this funding, up to half a million children and young people will be supported through the new not-for-profit organisation, and nearly ten thousand new volunteers will be recruited to significantly increase the support available to the most vulnerable in society. As the new organisation grows, millions of the most vulnerable and at risk young people across the UK will be supported.

Following an initial grant from the Transition Fund in Spring 2011, this latest investment enables the organisation to publicly launch and expand its online mentoring and advice services, such as CyberMentors, FutureYou and MiniMentors. It will also create a major new offering to families, and a programme to support people with mental illness, for launch in 2012-13.

Significantly, the Cabinet Office’s investment will also assist the new organisation to take to commercial market ‘Cosmo’, the unique software framework which powers its existing proprietary counselling and mentoring services.

Cosmo is a real-time chat and messaging platform that provides a safe online environment through which an organisation can engage with people directly and immediately. The software framework also includes diagnostic tools and administration dashboards that allow organisations to manage, monitor and evaluate their service provision effectively.
Chief Executive, Emma-Jane Cross, said:

-We are indebted to the Cabinet Office for its faith in the ambitions of We’re Altogether Better; never has there been a more urgent need to protect our society’s most vulnerable people.

-Thanks to this support, Beatbullying has made the distinct transition into a cutting-edge social action charity, inspiring digital volunteering for the 21st century. We will now be able to assist thousands of children, young people and adults across the UK, and in doing so, help progress the bold ambitions of the Big Society.

-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.

-In recent years, the need to improve the support provided to the most vulnerable people in society has been widely acknowledged. This forward-thinking funding from the Cabinet Office has created a modern, digital social action organisation that will meet this need.

-We have evidence that our services, including those this funding will enable us to extend, are successful. CyberMentors, which is powered by Cosmo, has already helped over 1.4 million children and young people and seen a 60 per cent reduction in child-on-child violence in schools where it is implemented.

-We look forward to helping many more people.

Minister for Civil Society Nick Hurd said:

-In its ambition to support the aims of the Big Society, We’re Altogether Better will report back to the Office for Civil Society, and directly to Nick Hurd MP, on its success in the recruitment and development of the 10,000 new volunteers who will take social action online to help children and young people in crisis. We’re Altogether Better will also further report on progress of delivery of Cosmo into other civil society organisations.

For more information, visit www.werealtogetherbetter.org or www.wearecosmo.com (full websites are in development).

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