£ 40m pot set to boost lives of kids in need
YOUTH clubs and youth support services in the West Midlands are set to receive a slice of £ 40 million in Government and lottery funding aimed at helping over 300,000 disadvantaged children across the country.
The Youth Investment Fund will be shared between 86 youth trusts across six areas in England, to help young people gain confidence and work skills.
Youth organisations in East London, Liverpool City Region, the West Midlands, Tees Valley and Sunderland, Bristol and Somerset and Eastern Counties will receive the money over the next three years.
This new money will also be used to create new youth clubs in rural areas and to expand sports projects to get young people active, a spokeswoman for the Ministry for Sport and Civil Society said.
Minister for Civil Society Tracey Crouch said: “This investment from the Government and National Lottery players will have a transformational effect on the lives of some of our most disadvantaged young people.
“It will help thousands who might otherwise have gone under the radar flourish.
“Local voluntary and community youth organisations already do so much fantastic work and this £ 40 million will enrich the lives of many more young people throughout England.”
Research published by Unison, the public services trade union, revealed that youth services lost at least £ 60 million in funding between 2012 and 2014 and over 2,000 jobs were lost.
Based on an FoI request to 188 local authorities, it found that in the same period 350 youth centres closed and 41,000 youth services places for young people were cut.
Dawn Austwick, chief executive of the Big Lottery Fund, said: “The Youth Investment Fund is a welcome boost for the many great community organisations that work with young people locally.
“Money raised by National Lottery players creates opportunities for young people to build on their talents and strengths and the Youth Investment Fund is an important part of the jigsaw for the youth sector.”
Minister for Civil Society Tracey Crouch