Step Up to Serve, the charity which coordinates the #iwill campaign, has issued a joint statement with the Back Youth Alliance in response to the government’s proposed investment into young people in the 2020 Spending Review. The Back Youth Alliance is a collaboration of senior leaders and youth representatives from some of the UK’s leading youth charities, working together to present a coherent voice to decision-makers with and for young people.
“The youth sector gives critical support, providing a lifeline for many vulnerable young people, particularly those living in areas of deprivation. Yet at a time when young people most need this support, the youth sector is facing an unprecedented funding crisis.
We welcome the fact the Government has listened and announced a £16.5 million dedicated youth covid-19 support fund that will support youth organisations continuing to deliver through the winter months.
The Chancellor announced £100million to fund NCS and youth facilities in the Spending Review. This focus on investment in youth facilities is welcome at a time when youth service transformation and expansion is needed most. However there has been no mention of the £500 million Youth Investment Fund manifesto commitment which was promised over a year ago. Without confirmation of this funding, this means that delivering on the Government’s agenda of levelling up and providing transformational opportunities for young people is at risk and will be delayed for another year.
We are urgently seeking clarity around the status of the Youth Investment Fund, as for every year we delay in delivering the much needed revenue and capital funding for services, the more young people lose out, and the more society misses out on young people’s potential to help us build back better.”
Reflecting on the joint statement, Dr Rania Marandos, CEO of Step Up To Serve, said:
“Investment in young people has never been more important. Over the past seven years, the #iwill campaign has seen the extraordinary impact that children and young people can have in their communities, and the role they play in building a better society.
Youth sector organisations all over the country are working in partnership with young people to harness their energy, ideas and talent, helping to build their confidence and skills. This crucial work – often delivered by youth workers, youth clubs and volunteers – is vital in providing the kind of support and encouragement young people need to thrive and contribute.
During #iwill Week we saw the Power of Youth in action. Young people are ready to make a difference and play their role in the recovery. We must invest in children and young people to have a chance at co-creating a brighter future.”