Today, the government put another brick in the wall of a national youth offer, announcing £22m over the next 3 years to reduce the waiting list of non-military uniformed groups, extending the offer of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards to secondary schools, and top up funding for youth social action through the #iwill fund. This builds on the £538m funding announced in the government’s spending review of capital-led funding for up to 300 new or refurbished youth centres and a refocused National Citizen Service.
All investment in young people is welcome. However, we need to build a dam, not a wall, to level up opportunities with young people.
Youth services have seen an annual drop of some £1bn in recent years. Thousands of grassroots youth groups, many volunteer led, need our support. This requires increased revenue and stable funding, that can be sustained over time, transforming lives through youth work and matched to local needs. No area overlooked; no young person left behind.
Leigh Middleton, CEO
National Youth Agency