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Project Brighton: Cuts to youth funding prompts the Trust for Developing Communities to connect with businesses and individuals to help change lives
For every £1 we spend on youth work in the city, helping young people in deprived areas address the challenges that face them, The Trust for Developing Communities calculate a saving to Brighton and Hove Council of £5.56 in services required to manage them further down the line.
With funding to the City’s youth work charities due to be cut by 100%, business leaders are now arguing that the costs will also extend to local businesses as Brighton and Hove’s growing social problems make the city a less attractive place for outside investment. So why is the Council cutting youth funding?
Warren Morgan has been clear that reduced Government funding is the cause of the £800,000 cut to youth funding planned in the next budget. £200,000 will remain to cover statutory services, but this does not include any community-based ‘youth work’ to help young people deal with their challenges early on and, over time, reduce the growth and cost of social problems that affect the whole city.
What will get cut? In some wards of Brighton, 33% of children are growing up in poverty. TDC, as part of the Brighton & Hove Youth Collective, use Council funding to work with over 3,000 young people annually, providing street work, youth clubs, summer activities programmes, sports events, young-women’s groups, mentorship, training and support finding funding.
Lewin Kjaer, TDC youth worker: “Youth clubs aren’t just a place to hang out; they can be the missing link, the haven for young people who have nowhere else to go.”
Can Council funding be replaced? Historically we have been able to use the Council’s financial support to leverage a similar investment from other funders like Children in Need, Big Lottery or Comic Relief. Of course without Council funding this is all faces a big question mark.
TDC understand that the way forward is to remove our reliance on Council funding and we are working hard to connect with businesses and individuals that are keen to change young people’s lives, but also take some control over the future of Brighton and Hove.
Last year we partnered with British Airways i360 and we hope that 2017 will see some new partners get on board. Whether it is through fundraising or by using skills/contacts/ideas based around their industry, TDC are happy to work on creative ways to benefit everybody involved.