A brief history
Get Connected was set up in 1999 by a partnership between the Suzy Lamplugh Trust and the British Transport Police, with support from Railway Children. The aim was to provide help to young people under 25 who had run away from home or been thrown out.
Get Connected's role was to put these young people in touch, for free, with whatever service they needed. We were the vital gateway for a young person on the street to access important further help.
We then developed our service to help any young person under 25. So when a young person contacts us, we can give them the help and support they need to avoid a situation where running away or being forced out of home is the only option.
Our mission has always been to empower young people to make their own decisions about the help they need - whether it's counselling, mediation or a bed for the night. As well as offering information about further services, we also give young people emotional support.
Registered charity in 2000
We became an independent charity in 2000, with tiny offices above Kings Cross Station.
Partners with Carphone Warehouse from 2001
In 2001 we created a partnership with Carphone Warehouse that continues today. They were looking for a small, communications-based charity to whom they could make a big difference. We moved into office space provided by them in their Acton offices and were relocated to bigger premises in 2004.
Carphone Warehouse supplies us with office and helpline equipment and has been instrumental in ensuring we're free to call from all landlines and mobiles. Their employees also raise money for Get Connected.
Our partnership with The Carphone Warehouse won the Charity Times Corporate Partnership Award in 2003 and the Third Sector Excellence Award for Corporate Partnership in 2006.
Email service developed in 2003
Although we began as a telephone helpline, we launched our email service in 2003, to become more accessible to young people reluctant to talk over the phone, as well as young people with speaking or hearing impairments. Emails to Get Connected are responded to within 24 hours.
Webchat service launched in 2006
Our live webchat service was launched in 2006 and now shares the same opening hours as the phone line from 1pm-11pm every day. Webchat has grown quickly in popularity, and is now our second most popular channel, after the phone line.
Our webchat service won the ICT Hub Award for Delivering Social and Environmental Benefits in 2007.
SMS service launched in 2011
In the summer of 2011, we launched our SMS service, where young people can communicate with Get Connected via text message. All texts to Get Connected are free, and we will reply to young people’s messages within 24 hours.
Get Connected in 2012
Today, our team of 100 Helpline Volunteers are contacted by nearly 1,500 young people a week. Our aim to ensure that all young people can find the help they need for any issue they have.