YOUnited is a referral hub for children and young people (up to the age of 25) in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. Referrals are triaged and reviewed, and then support is offered through the iThrive model.

  • YOUnited is the referral hub for all non-crisis mental health referrals for children and young people up to age 17. It is also the referral hub for neurodevelopmental conditions in children and young people (aged 11 to 18 in Cambridgeshire, and 5 to 18 in Peterborough).
  • Currently only professionals can refer to YOUnited, but young people (aged 13 to 25) can self-refer to Centre 33.

There is substantial annual variation in the number of referrals into YOUnited, ranging from under 400 to over 800. The peak times in the year are March, July and November.

Figure 53: Referrals into YOUnited, 2021 – 2023. Data source: Mi reports/SystmOne/Charity Log

The majority of referrals in April and May 2023 were for the ‘getting more help’ pathway, which covered assessment by Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS), support and diagnosis with neurodevelopmental conditions and eating disorder services. In June 2023, the majority of referrals were for Ormiston Families.

Figure 54: YOUnited referrals, 2023/24 Q1. Data source: Mi reports/SystmOne/Charity Log

From April to June 2023, there was a substantial reduction in the number of children and young people on the waiting list for assessment. This improvement in waiting times has been achieved by the range of measures, including increasing YOUnited assessment capacity, a self-booking system for young people accessing Centre 33 and a pilot testing the use of Single Session Thinking (SST). SST aims to ensure that ‘more time is spent having meaningful contact with children and young people’. SST involves making the most of each contact between the professional and young person as though it is the only contact, although additional support is available for those who need it.

Figure 55: Children and young people waiting for assessments (for ‘getting help’), from YOUnited April – June 2023. Data source: Mi reports/SystmOne/Charity Log


Full list of references is included at the end of this chapter.