Created: 14/12/09 16:19|
Future looks bright for children and young people’s voluntary services
At the Speaking Out national conference in Westminster, on Wednesday 9th Decmeber, high profile speakers included former Minister for the Third Sector, Hilary Armstrong MP, and Chief Executive of the BIG Lottery Fund, Peter Wanless. The discussion centred around how partnerships between government and the charitable sector can help to achieve positive change for children and young people at the Speaking Out national conference yesterday in Westminster.
Speaking Out is a partnership project between Children England and the National Council of Voluntary Youth Services (NCVYS) which aims to build a voice for the children and young people’s voluntary and community sector across government. The project, funded by the Office of the Third Sector, aims to develop closer links between government departments and the voluntary and community sector.
In an exclusive announcement at the event, Peter Wanless said, "While in Parliament the Chancellor is trying to take money away from us, I’m here to announce that we’ll be giving more away". He revealed the BIG Lottery Fund’s commitment to providing £30 million in funding for young people, particularly in the areas of young people leaving care and getting into education, employment and training; young people leaving youth offending institutions and young carers’ post-16 transitions.
The conference: Government and charities – a civil partnership? explored areas of cross-cutting policy issues such as community empowerment, health and well-being, housing and homelessness, and education, employment and training through an inspiring range of seminars and discussions throughout the day across Whitehall.
Contributions to the day highlighted:
• The need for voluntary and community organisations to demonstrate the difference they make through evidence gathering
• The continued need to represent young people’s views to government
• The importance of ensuring sustainable funding for the sector in the context of the pre-budget report which announced £5 billion in effeciency savings
The conference particularly focussed on the positive contribution of the children and young people’s voluntary sector and aimed to link up policy and practice. It provided an opportunity for local, regional and national policymakers to meet colleagues from the independent, voluntary and community sectors to exchange ideas about key issues affecting children and young people.
Susanne Rauprich, Chief Executive of the National Council for Voluntary Youth Services (NCVYS) said:
“Today’s conference is a fantastic example of synergy at its best and the momentum should not be lost if we are to have any impact on the lives of children and young people. Government and charities must do all they can to continue investing in long-term sustainable projects for children and young people and must persist in building meaningful relationships with those accessing their services based on mutual respect, understanding and love.”
Maggie Jones, Chief Executive of Children England added that:
“The energy, ethusiasm and commitment to children and young people demonstrated at this conference is a powerful antidote to the doom and gloom merchants. Any government would be foolish not to harness this in building better futures for children, young peoples and their communities.”