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YOUTH WORK NOW!

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logo1At a meeting of Brighton and Hove City Council’s Policy and Resources Committee in December 2014, councillors considered a budget and savings report for 2015/16.
The report includes a proposal to end the £400,000 commissioned contract for the delivery of universal Youth Work with community and voluntary sector youth work organisations. This would effectively end the work of the Brighton Hove Youth Collective.
The Brighton and Hove Youth Collective (BHYC) was founded just over two years ago and has been supporting youth work in the city ever since.
More and more of the most disadvantaged young people in Brighton and Hove are getting a better start in life thanks to an innovative partnership of youth services.
Two years on, an ever-increasing number of teenagers are taking advantage of activities being run in some of the most deprived areas such as Moulsecoomb, Whitehawk, Tarner, and Hangleton and Knoll.
Last year, the Youth Collective worked with more than 2,500 youngsters in the city, with young people attending its youth centres and projects more than 31,500 times.
The hugely successful projects include:
 Friday Night Sports Hub – a monthly football and multi-sports session for young men aged 13-19 living in Hangleton and Knoll
 Look Sussex Youth Club – for young people with visual impairment and blindness at the 67 Centre in Moulsecoomb
 Thursday Night Youth Club – a place to go and hang out and take part in sessions, activities and trips with some of the best youth workers in the city, run by the Young People’s Centre
BHYC is made up of eight well known youth organisations. They are Brighton Youth Centre, The Crew Club, The Deans Youth Project, Hangleton and Knoll Project, Tarner Community Project, the Trust for Developing Communities, Sussex Central YMCA and the Young People’s Centre.
It is described as a one-stop shop of everything teenagers need to know about what to do across Brighton and Hove. It is currently funded by Brighton and Hove City Council and works alongside the city council’s Youth Service.
The Brighton and Hove Youth Collective brings together more than 150 years of joint experience, knowledge and investment. The partnership works together to deliver an efficient and coordinated programme of youth activities that meets the needs of young people in the city.
Youth workers from across the partnership believe the partnership demonstrates how growing and supporting younger communities is not just important for the individuals involved, but for the city too.
Adam Muirhead, Youth Work Coordinator at the Trust for Developing Communities, one of the BHYC partners, said: “What a difference two years can make. I’ve seen such a huge swell in the things that are on offer for 13 to 19s locally in spite of the financial climate, and so much of it due to the dedication of the community and local services working together.”
He adds: “Fundamentally, things to do and places to go are great in a community where people have fewer opportunities. Youth Work seeks to go far beyond those things and bubbling beneath what the public often see is all sorts of work on unemployment, mental health and child protection, delivered by skilled, trained staff. We are really hoping, fo the benefit of the city that our work can continue long into the future.”
15-year-old Taylor, who uses the Thursday Night Youth Club, said: “There isn’t exactly loads of stuff to do when you’re out of school so coming here makes a big difference. We cook and eat together, we run a tuck shop and do stuff we wouldn’t get to do otherwise, like trips go-karting.”
Youth Work isn’t teaching and it isn’t social work but it is very important that young people have a relationship with older people which is a non-power relationship but where they can receive guidance in a physical and emotional space to explore and work on what is going on in that young person’s life. Over the last 30 years Youth Work has changed a lot but its principals are the same.”
Conversations are ongoing regarding the investment in Youth Work in Brighton and Hove but the BHYC has proved its worth with the numbers it is attracting. Do we want to go back to the 1970’s to see what happens if there is no Youth Work available in our progressive city?

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