AN ORGANISATION that supports some of Cornwall's most vulnerable young people has been relaunched as a community interest company (CIC).
The White Gold Cornwall project helped 1,000 of the county's youngsters until March 2011, when its government funding ended.
But founder Alan Milliner, MBE, came up with White Gold Cornwall CIC – the same service but, whereas agencies such as social services used to get the support for free, they now have to pay. All the money raised is ploughed back into helping young people.
Mr Milliner spent 30 years in the police force, ten years in the youth offending team and the past nine with White Gold.
He said: "My wife and I fostered for 16 years, and by the end we were taking in some of the most challenging kids around. As a result I've first-hand knowledge of the domestic lives of some of them.
"They don't ask to be abused and they don't ask to be appallingly treated by adults.
"I thought 'someone needs to put their hand up and say these kids are not born bad' and I decided I would put my hand up and give it a go.
"We are currently working with 40 young people and some of the younger ones are being exposed to the very worst abuse."
Monday's launch was attended by partner organisations and special guests, including Colonel Edward Bolitho, Lord-Lieutenant of Cornwall and White Gold's patron.
He said: "There are many organisations doing fantastic jobs in Cornwall, but when I heard about White Gold, I realised this is an organisation that can add to the armoury of weapons we have to help young people have a good life in Cornwall."
Carla, 15, told delegates at the launch how White Gold helped her overcome drug and alcohol issues, saying: "It's pretty much changed my life. I don't drink and I don't do drugs and I've started going to school again.
"It really does help to stop people getting into trouble and if other young people could find out about it, it would change their lives too."
White Gold works with those aged from 7 to 20 at risk, with challenging behaviour or involved in the criminal justice system.
Following a referral to White Gold, based at the Elms, Redruth, an action plan is compiled and implemented.