At this time of year, it is important that we take time to reflect on the role of the voluntary sector and the massive contribution its staff and volunteers are making in our communities.
Work with young people has been particularly demanding given the continued decimation of youth services across the country.
YMCA England and Wales has new research examining local authority expenditure on youth services. The research, Cut Loose, reveals that an estimated £781million has been removed from youth services since 2010, equivalent to cuts in spending of 64 per cent in just seven years.
Based on this finding, YMCA is calling for action to reclassify youth services as a statutory service, protect youth service funding within the local authority finance settlement and require local authorities to set out their annual expenditure and delivery of youth services in their respective areas.
In the meantime, hard working youth workers, our unsung heroes, continue to reach out to young people during the evening and weekends to help them receive the support and guidance they deserve.
YMCA North Tyneside would love to hear from anybody who would like to apply to become a volunteer and help to increase opportunities for our young people. We can be contacted on 0191 257 5434.
We should all remember that an investment in young people is an investment in the future.
Youth Worker Manager YMCA North Tyneside