Created: 05/12/12 13:40|
No change as funding for youth services remains very much a local issue
The new Communities Minister, Don Foster MP, re-iterated a commitment that allows every Local Authority complete control over the level of funding for youth provision. While he wholeheartedly endorsed the value of community support for young people, Mr. Foster ruled out any national ring-fencing of money and stressed that budgets will continue to be set locally.
His comments came during last week’s major conference held jointly by Leap Confronting Conflict, NCVYS and UK Youth, three national youth charities. The 350 delegates were exploring how collaboration can help them deliver ‘more for less’ in the current tough economic climate.
The recently appointed Minister responsible for youth services - Edward Timpson MP - also spoke and chose to focus on current national policy. He referenced the expansion of the National Citizen Service and said he wanted it to become a ‘rite of passage for all 16- and 17-year-olds’. He also highlighted the network of My Place centres which is nearing completion and the recently developed framework of outcomes that he hopes will be adopted across all young people’s services.
Mr. Timpson said, “Voluntary youth groups are (already) doing fantastic work in transforming young people’s lives. I look forward to continuing to work with them to ensure all children and young people have the support that they need to succeed.”
Before the ministers took the stage there was a lively debate on the benefits and pitfalls of partnership working. During this Tony Gallagher, the national youth advisor for Ofsted, called for an end to the duplication of activity, suggesting that statutory and voluntary organisations must focus on creating genuinely complementary services.
Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson gave a key-note speech and talked about the need to continue inspiring and supporting young people, especially those facing social exclusion. The record-breaking Paralympian also made the point that partnership was a key ingredient to the success of the London Olympics.
Gemma Vango (21) and Louis Howell (18) led the day and young people played a key-role throughout.
Charlotte Hill, Chief Executive of UK Youth said, “This was a fantastic coming together of the major players in the youth sector and there was lots of really positive discussion. This has highlighted a collective commitment to ensuring that we continue supporting young people despite the shrinking public purse.”
Thomas Lawson, Chief Executive, Leap Confronting Conflict said, “In holding this event our organisations have demonstrated leadership and the impact of pooling commitment and resources. I hope we look back at this as a moment of change for the youth sector.”
Susanne Rauprich, Chief Executive, NCVYS said, “The success of the conference shows just what can be achieved when young people and adults work together across organisational boundaries. I look forward to an even bigger event in 2013 and call on organisations interested in partnering next year to get in touch.”
The event, entitled ‘Collaboration in practice’ was held at St Mary’s, Wyndham Place, York Street, London W1H 1PQ.
• The National Council for Voluntary Youth Services (NCVYS) is the independent voice of the voluntary youth sector in England. A diverse network of over 280 voluntary and community organisations and local and regional networks, NCVYS works with its membership to build thriving communities and sustainable networks that help all young people achieve their potential. www.ncvys.org.uk
• Leap Confronting Conflict (Leap) is a national charity working with young people aged 11-25, and adults that work with them, to understand and manage conflict – to prevent violence and destructive behaviour. Developed over 25 years of action research, Leap offers a wide range of programmes and training including: mediation, group offending, weapons carrying and use, peer education and leadership. www.leapconfrontingconflict.org.uk
• UK Youth is a charity at the heart of a national network of organisations dedicated to supporting young people to realise their potential. It focuses on developing and promoting non-formal learning opportunities for all. Through regional associations and local youth groups it reaches 790,000 young people each year. www.ukyouth.org