Youth Motion Sept 2020
In the county, according to the county’s 2019 figures, there are 134, 000 young people age 10-24 years. How many of them access any form of youth provision do you think?
When the county youth service was disbanded in 2008 we saw a massive drop in youth work, youth clubs, youth activity. In the last 5 years or so there has been a flourishing of volunteer led youth clubs.
Youth Clubs are often local, target certain demographics. Provide an essential service.
For example, on one patch in my Borough ward we have a girls Karate Club, an LGBTQ club, A Refugee Club and two clubs for local kids who happen to be black, white and working class.
All the clubs meet one night a week. There is no cross over. They don’t mix. The volunteers and youth workers do not know each other. They don’t add value to each other.
A consequence of the closing down of the service was the loss of qualified youth workers. The loss of training opportunities for youth work. It is pleasing that youth agencies are now working with the University to create degree level opportunities and a masters for youth work.
We know that life can be very tough for some young people, experiencing poverty and deprivation, vulnerable to domestic abuse and family breakdown. Grooming by gangs and predators. The numbers of off rolled children and excluded children has risen. Double the numbers of young people are coming into care. We know that young people in rural areas have their own unique issues, including issues around substance misuse.
We know Covid has a created further difficulties and exacerbated mental health issues.
We know school leavers are finding it difficult to get into apprenticeships and into work.
We also know there is a huge amount of voluntary activity out there and services developing to support our young people. We know young people deserve to have their voices heard and their needs met. That is what this motion is about. We can help by supporting the voluntary sector, by setting up youth forums, by getting behind the campaign for a youth centre.
Benefits of a Youth Centre
Youth taking advantage of these drop-in facilities will enjoy:
· Safe non-judgemental environments
· Be able to drop in when the need is there 6 days a week from 10am -10pm
· Voluntarily participate in a range of course, classes, activities
· Learn new skills
· increased physical fitness levels
· increased employment opportunities by learning résumé writing and interview skills
getting involved in the community, thereby fostering and promoting civic engagement
spending time with other youth in a non-judgmental environment where they feel safe
developing leadership skills
developing budgeting and fundraising skills through special event planning
having their achievements recognised and celebrated
having access to service agencies and referral services to which they may otherwise not have access
· Will have their networking and training needs met
· Will be able to share information, resources and add value to each others work
Parents and schools
· Will have a one stop shop where they can go for support and advice.