Leading youth organisations, on behalf of the hundreds of thousands of young people they support and represent, are today welcoming the Chancellor’s Spending Review announcement asking DCMS to develop proposals immediately for a new youth investment fund. This announcement is the first step in offering young people across the country safe spaces and high-quality youth opportunities in their communities.
Today, young people are facing urgent challenges – one in three believe they will have a worse standard of living than their parents, and one in five believe their lives will amount to nothing, no matter how hard they try. Figures released by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Knife Crime (May 2019) showed that more than 100 councils have had up to 91% of their youth services budgets cut and that areas suffering the largest cuts have seen greater increases in knife crime.
For the last year the youth sector has been listening to young people and working together on ambitious proposals to make Britain the best place in the world to be young. We now look forward to presenting ideas that will increase the number of volunteers and social action opportunities, invest in new and existing spaces in communities across the country, and give every young person access to high quality services delivered by a well-trained workforce. Together we are ready to deliver at pace, ensuring that the voices of young people are heard and that this investment reaches every community.
Youth sector chief executives, including Rania Marandos, Chief Executive of Step Up To Serve, said:
“There is a generation of young people that don’t believe this country is there for them. Today’s announcement is the start of recognising the value that youth services and youth workers add to our communities. By working together, we have been able to get the message heard loud and clear – long-term investment into youth services is vital for a brighter future.”
The announcement follows a joint letter last month, sent from Step Up To Serve, UK Youth, the British Youth Council, Girlguiding, Scouts, The Prince’s Trust, Youth Futures Foundation, Youth United Foundation and National Youth Association, calling on the Government to make Britain the best place in the world to be young.