CYP Now survey foretells of deep youth sector cuts

By Gabriella Jozwiak

| 11 October 2010

Heads of youth services and charities across England have reported cuts to youth provision and warn young people will suffer as a result, in a wide-ranging study conducted by CYP Now.

Completed by more than 130 youth charities and 38 heads of youth services, the surveys reveal 95 per cent of the heads of youth services say their budget has already reduced, while 82 per cent of charities are being forced to cut youth projects because of funding shortages.

Budgets for young people's services are expected to be hit further next year by cuts of up to 20 per cent, according to more than 80 per cent of local authority respondents. More than a third of charities expect reductions of between 10 and 20 per cent next year, with one in five considering closing down completely.

"By the end of the next financial year we stand to lose 75 per cent of our current income," said one respondent. "We need to secure more funding or we will go under."

Almost all local authority heads of service and 88 per cent of charities warned the changes would negatively affect young people. Many expressed particular concern for those not in education, employment or training.

One respondent warned of more young people "becoming disaffected and marginalised". Another predicted many would go back on benefits without support and said that without provision, "employability, motivation, confidence, [and] skills development" would suffer. A local authority respondent said: "The gains of the last 10 years will go and the youth service will once again be the Cinderella service."

The National Youth Agency, Confederation of Heads of Young People's Services and the National Council for Voluntary Youth Services helped to compile the surveys.

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