When a young person is displaying complex mental health difficulties, the waiting list to access specialist mental health services can be more than six months - and sometimes several years - with the family near crisis point.
There is plenty of evidence that demonstrates the close link between a rich and varied curriculum, and the attendance and attainment levels of young people. On any given day at our Oracle schools, students may just as well be kayaking, or orienteering as sitting in the classroom studying academic subjects.
A year ago, the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham took a close look at its family services and decided that things could not go on as they were. Budgets were under pressure and demand from families rising. If services were to be protected and quality improved, something had to change.
This year, NCS The Challenge is hiring over 4,000 paid seasonal staff to work on their summer youth & community programme. Emilyn Hutchinson, who has been working on the annual NCS programmes since 2012, shares her NCS journey.