What young people want
The new youth offer will be delivered through the following four strands which respond to young people’s priorities and strengthens the current offer:
A wider range of activities, programmes and ‘pop-up’ provision
We will invest in a wider range of activities that are delivered in accessible spaces across the borough. There will be a core programme of activities throughout the year, plus shorter term, seasonal ‘pop-up’ activities shaped by young people on an ongoing basis via a devolved budget. Young people want a blend of activities run from youth clubs and more provision in flexible spaces, making the most of local assets.
Young people would like more employment and education focused support, a stronger arts and culture offer, an opportunity to go on trips within and beyond the borough, a broad range of sports activities and more support with wellbeing, personal development and independence skills.
This will be delivered by a number of pre-approved organisations and designed in a way to ensure the approval process is as streamlined as possible, so that smaller organisations can apply. It will allow young people to quickly access additional services from the organisations.
Provision of a targeted and outreach youth work
Young people do not always feel safe and they would like more done to address this, together with providing additional support for young people who need it, particularly those where wellbeing or mental health is a concern.
A newly created in-house Early Help team to provide a strengthened support to the most in need young people most in need. These youth workers will be based within communities so they can identify and intervene earlier in any issues.
The team will look to prevent problems escalating to the point where young people are at risk of care, custody, school exclusion or serious harm. This means integrating support much more closely with effective family interventions that work to backup change within the family, as well as the wider system of schools, colleges and youth centres.
A strong youth participation
We will promote and coordinate the current youth offer whilst also helping young people to take part in decision making about the services they receive and the programme of activities available. This will include the development of a youth parliament with the potential for a Young Mayor, Youth Commissioner and the allocation of the young people’s participation fund.
A network of locality based provision
Young people have told us that whilst they want to see more provision across the borough, many also value youth club provision. The new service will consist of two youth hub sites, one in the north and one in the south of the borough, plus two water sport facilities. The two hubs will coordinate a rich and varied offer of activities and support to young people. Engaging young people, and ensuring that young people from all backgrounds, including vulnerable groups, are able to access this provision, will be a key priority.