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Tic Tac closes its doors after 26 years of supporting young people

Tic Tac, which stands for Teenagers Information and Advice Centre, was established in 1997 in the grounds of Liskeard School & Community College by two nurses, Dereen Carnegie-Rance and Lexie Bryce Waters. They noticed an influx of young people seeking individual help and support at a local GP practice where they worked. Lexie campaigned to set up a provision in the community to support these young people, enlisting the help of colleagues, shops, and organisations in the area.

The then headteacher of Liskeard School recognised the need for a young person's advice centre and offered the use of the former caretaker's dwelling on the school grounds. Despite significant damage to the roof and no heating or hot water in the early days, the building took shape with the help of volunteers and donations from organisations like Morrisons and Woollacott’s. The Rotary and Lions Club also provided support with installations and purchases over the years.

Initially focused on issues related to pregnancy, contraception, chlamydia testing, and body image, Tic Tac expanded over the years to address more topical issues and different needs and concerns of young people. It maintained a close working relationship with health-related organisations like Brook and CAMHS to make urgent referrals when required.

Although mental health became the main reason students came to Tic Tac in recent years, the lack of funding and failing health of volunteers led to the difficult decision to close Tic Tac on March 31, 2023. Liskeard School will be investing more in safeguarding and exploring links with outside agencies like CAMHS to continue the important work of Tic Tac for young people.

According to Dereen, the success of Tic Tac was attributed to creating a safe space for young people to learn about themselves, be heard, and promote positive change. She expressed gratitude to all the volunteers, helpers, chair, and trustees for their commitment and ongoing support, especially Lexie Bryce Waters and Ken Gluyas, for their passion and enthusiasm towards helping and supporting young people.

It is important to acknowledge the incredible dedication and hard work of Dereen Carnegie-Rance towards establishing and maintaining Tic Tac, which has been a vital resource for young people in Liskeard and beyond for over two decades. Her tireless efforts to ensure that young people have a safe and supportive space where they can seek advice and guidance have had a lasting impact on the community. On behalf of Liskeard School and Community College, we extend our sincere gratitude to Dereen for her unwavering commitment and invaluable contributions to the well-being of young people in the area.