29 July 2020
Siân Berry AM has published London’s Lost Youth Services 2020, her fifth report into the impact of funding cuts on local authority budgets for youth services in London.
Rosemary Watt-Wyness, our Chief Executive, was quoted in the report’s foreword:
This report and its predecessors provide us with an invaluable insight into the challenges facing young Londoners and the organisations that support them, now further compounded by the impact of COVID-19.
At a time when young Londoners are facing such a range of complex challenges to being happy, healthy, safe and skilled, there are 733 fewer youth workers supporting them. That represents over a million hours of learning and growing, of talking and building trusted relationships, and of having fun in safe places in one year. 78 per cent of youth workers in our network reported they were now engaging with fewer young people than pre- lockdown, with 73 per cent reporting a negative impact in young people’s mental health during the same period.
Young Londoners need a healthy and sustainable youth sector with long-term funding and support for high-quality community youth organisations, now more than ever.
There are huge disparities in youth service budgets between different local authorities, with some London boroughs spending more than ten times as much per young person. Strengthened guidance and ring-fenced funding would end this lottery for services that young Londoners face based on where they grow up.
Every young Londoner, no matter their background or which part of London they live in, deserves to have high-quality, open-access services within their community.”