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Agenda item

Youth Activities Consultation

Communities across Wiltshire are being consulted on youth development activities in their local communities as part of a wide-ranging review. Carolyn Godfrey, Corporate Director at Wiltshire Council, will present details of the review being undertaken.


Officer: Carolyn Godfrey, Corporate Director.


Caroline Godfrey, Corporate Director delivered a presentation on the current consultation options for the future provision of services and activities for young people in Wiltshire.


Why the need for a review

A report was submitted to Cabinet on 21 January, which covered a number of issues. It had been 10 years since the current service was established, it was necessary to respond to the changing needs of young people.


Support needed to be targeted at those that need it most, currently the minority of young people access council provision, whilst many others access voluntary, community or commercial outlets.


Campuses would provide new opportunities across the county, the first campus opens in Corsham in June 2014.


As part of the budget setting on 25 February, it was recognised that some funding currently being spent on Integrated Youth Services would need to be saved.


The Council has a statutory duty to secure access to leisure-time activities for young people. Currently, these services are provided through a range of open access youth development service across the county, with a mix of centre and street-based youth work.


The Department for Education updated the statutory guidance, with there being new focus for councils to enable services, rather than deliver direct provision, and to enhance the role for voluntary and community sector services.


Future provision will offer sustainable help, support and resource to target the young people who need it most. Opportunities would be made available for moreyoung people to access activities. The four options out for consultation are:


1.     Retain the current in-house service but reduce the cost

  1. Outsource the service  
  2. Encourage and support staff to form a Public Service Mutual

4.     Develop a community led approach


It is recognised that each community area has its own needs, and existing resources vary. Working with people locally will help to assess the needs for the Salisbury community area.


Young people have already said that that they wish to be more involved in the choices of services available to them. It had also been raised that transport was a fundamental issue in accessing services.


Members of the Southern Wiltshire Youth Advisory Group (YAG) had worked together to gather the views of young people across the community area, from this work they were able to put together a fifth option.


YAG  - Option 5

The Southern Wiltshire Area Board and the Youth Team have developed a locality cluster approach with six clusters. Our aim is to work within these clusters; this will reduce the cost of travel, as well as making it more accessible to the young people, by having it available locally to them.


We have reviewed the four options from the Positive Youth Activities Consultation. After an in depth discussion about the advantage and disadvantages of the options, we have come up with an option 5; which is based around the in house model for keeping a separate fund for buildings and transport.


Our option incorporates various aspects of the given options which we feel would be most beneficial for our locality area, providing the funding is put through the formula; splitting it fairly.


An important aspect in our option, is that we keep our trained youth workers; maintaining the personalised services and support network we currently have with our valued youth workers. However we also want to encourage the community to participate within the youth service, in order to offer security to the youth service, as well as making the community feel valued and welcomed.


In order to get the community involved, we wish to hold fundraisers, various fun days within the clusters to promote the youth service, encouraging young people from within the community to get involved and participate. We also aim to gain external support/sponsorship from local businesses for equipment, qualifications and specific projects.


Finally, we have decided upon creating a facebook and twitter profile for the individual community clusters advertising events and providing information about local activities and the youth service.


The overall aim for our model is to keep the support form Wiltshire council, while we still have access to the funding, as well as gaining local support to prolong the youth service.


Questions and Comments were then received, these included:


·       In West Dean we have benefitted a great deal from the help of the professional youth worker. We have set up a youth cafe, and without the input of the youth worker, we would not be where we are today.


·       In Redlynch we also set up a youth cafe, without the assistance of the youth worker and the community area manager the project would not have worked.


·        In the Southern Wiltshire community area we have the problem that we do not have one centre, some of our rural areas have nothing at all for young people to access.


·       Our villages can no longer expect the council to provide everything; the youth worker will act as a facilitator to bring activities and volunteers together.


The Chairman gave thanks to Carolyn and the YAG for their presentations.




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