In recent years, the youth sector has gone through a period of radical change – widespread closure of local authority youth provision, cuts to voluntary youth sector funding, the development of new service models. With the loss of local authority youth services, a significant gap has emerged in the provision of non-formal educational services for young people. Local youth clubs and projects have closed, and the co-ordination of local youth provision has diminished. The voluntary youth sector is struggling to cope with the increasing demand, twinned with the loss of traditional funding streams such as grant aid. Despite the closure of local youth provision, there remains a demand from young people that there are local youth services available, to address local need.
There is a loss of cohesion and strategic planning for the provision of services to young people, both nationally and locally. This has resulted in fragmented services for young people across our region. The loss of local authority youth provision has also meant the loss of training in youth work practice at a time when there is an increasing need for staff to work in more complex and challenging environments.
New youth service and youth sector models are beginning to emerge around the country. Over the last few years, Youth Focus North East have supported organisations to explore different models and more collaborative working structure to ensure the needs of young people are met.
Youth Focus North East was commissioned by North Tyneside Council to help them and Voluntary Sector partners explore different options for the delivery of their Youth Offer.
The rational and need for new structures, such as youth partnerships, are as strong now as they have ever been. If you would like to discuss any of these examples, or how a youth partnership approach might work in your area, please contact Leon Mexter on 0191 477 9966, or [email protected]