An investigative report published this month sheds light on the worrying scale of cuts to council funded youth services in London. The report on the state of London’s Youth Services was published by London Assembly Member, Sian Berry, and was made possible only through Freedom of Information requests. It makes for troubling reading.
Her research found that Councils in the Capital have cut £22,000,000 from youth services since 2011. More cuts are expected. Westminster Council has already axed all voluntary youth provision.
“The impact of these cuts could be devastating”, Ms Berry reports, “Good quality youth services help young people develop skills, be creative and live positive social lives, and make them less vulnerable to falling into crime or the exploitation of groups like gangs”.
30 youth centres have closed recently in London and many more are hanging on a shoestring. This picture is borne out locally with several established youth projects unable to secure the alternative revenue streams needed to keep supporting young people.
Avenues Youth Project is facing the first year without any public funding which will negatively impact our youth work programme. However we are positive that our plans for the next five years will secure us new and enduring support.