With the general election results now revealed, we eagerly await the policy announcements of our new government. There is no doubt that some rebuilding will need to be done across essential services after years of austerity. Restrictions on funding to youth services in particular have had a negative effect all around the UK, including the North-West of England.
Services aimed at young people have been quite deeply affected. Research carried out by the YMCA indicates that in just six years, local authorities have cut their expenditure on youth services in England and Wales by a staggering £750 million. More locally, the Warrington Guardian recently reported that funding for youth services in the town has suffered an 80% reduction in the ten-year period to 2019/20.
According to the BBC, some 600 youth centres closed nationally between 2012 and 2016 and 3,500 youth workers lost their jobs. Further to this, the Daily Mirror has reported on the link between the scale of cuts to youth services and the current knife crime epidemic.
The consequences of under-investment are very clear. All young people need something to do with their time whether that be education, a job or an activity. They need to be supported, have safe places to go and be able to rely on someone to speak to if they need it.
Here at Youth Fed, we remain very proud of the support we provide to thousands of young people across the north-west. However, we cannot do it alone and we rely very heavily on the generous support of our funders.
Youth Fed is helping young people to realise their vast potential. They are the engine room for our future prosperity. Therefore, increased investment in Youth Services will make a real difference.