7 March 2023
The Government has today announced how the funding held in the Dormant Assets Scheme will be used, following a consultation into the priority areas. The aim of the Dormant Assets Scheme is to redirect money from forgotten accounts to a range of good causes in priority areas. Since 2011, £892 million has been released via the Scheme, and an estimated £738 million is yet to be allocated.
We are really pleased to see the publication of the Dormant Assets Scheme consultation for England today identifies youth to remain as a one of the four core causes for the scheme. It is great that youth came through as the cause with the broadest support, as we know that youth work is vital to securing the wellbeing and future opportunities of young people alongside driving community resilience and connectivity. Moving forward, we would like to see funding allocations, and solutions to the issues arising in the youth sector, be co-designed with young people in order to make the most meaningful and impactful change.
We know that the cost of living crisis is currently having a huge impact on young people and youth organisations, therefore it is also great to see that £76 million of funding has been allocated to support individuals struggling with the cost of living, including through no interest loans. This finding will be hugely beneficial but it’s essential that it is also combined with the right support and advice, to ensure the most vulnerable are able to benefit.
This approach for individuals will be of huge benefit to many families who are currently struggling. However after 10 years of cuts, we know that more investment and support is needed for youth organisations to provide high quality youth services for young people. Based on our Untapped work with Frontier Economics, we estimate the direct economic value of the youth work sector in England to be £5.7bn, clearly showing the preventative impact of youth work and the long term economic impact it has, and the benefits to be gained from investing in youth services.
UK Youth and Pears Foundation have launched a £5m fund to support youth organisations through the cost of living crisis, aiming to benefit thousands of young people across the country. Youth organisations with an annual income of no more than £500,000 are currently able to apply for the UK Youth Fund. We know that this £5mn will not be enough to support all youth organisations and young people struggling with the cost of living. We will continue to champion youth work to the Government and advocate for continued and widespread investment in youth provision.
We are also pleased as members of the Community Wealth Fund Alliance (CWFA) that a community wealth fund for England will be set up to benefit left behind neighbourhoods and communities in need. We are also looking forward to seeing more about how this community wealth fund will work, as we believe there needs to be assurance that young people are benefitted as part of the funding allocation into communities. Youth work is a vital part of improving the connectivity of communities and fostering a sense of belonging and engagement.
We would also like to thank all of the youth organisations in our network who supported our engagement in responding to the Dormant Assets consultation and allocation process.