Leading youth sector organisations, on behalf of the hundreds of thousands of young people they support and represent, are today welcoming the Chancellor’sannouncement of 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.
Young people are facing urgent challenges. Research from The Prince’s Trust shows 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. When asked what they believe contributes to violent crime,45 per cent claim there are not enough alternative activities for young people. 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. Representatives from the sector will be presenting ideas to Ministers 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 the sector will ensure that the voices of young people are heard and that this investment reaches every community.
Youth sector chief executives, including Anna Smee today 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 for all young people and ultimately for the UK as a whole.
We stand ready to work with the Government and help make this announcement a reality. Now is the time to turn words into action. We believe that young people are the future of this country and that’s why we need to take action now.”
The announcement follows a joint letter last month, sent from the UK Youth, the British Youth Council, Girlguiding, The Prince’s Trust, Scouts, Step Up To Serve, Youth Futures Foundation, Youth United Foundation and National Youth Agency, calling on the Government to “make Britain the best place in the world to be young.”