Closing Youth Clubs : Suppressing a Tradition – the Sheffield Hub

Be young, be quiet!

Monday’s Guardian carried this revealing piece on the state of youth work in Sheffield.

Youth clubs shut down as councils slash spending on their future

Sheffield’s Hub was there for generations of children but it has become another casualty of cuts as councils slash funding.

There are some choice quotes, ending on this note.

A youth worker at Sheffield Futures, who said he could not be named after signing a gagging order, said his job had changed out of all recognition. “We used to work very informally, engaging with young people in a very relaxed way.

“Now they want us to wear a uniform, a hoodie with the police logo on the back – they don’t seem to understand that the sort of young people we used to engage with would run a mile from anyone wearing that.”

It’s a real pity that the journalist didn’t contact one of our leading lights, Sue Atkins, who continues through Youth Association South Yorkshire to defend youth work in the city. It would have been enlightening too as her own history goes back to the days of the Sheffield Hub and the worker, Leroy Wenham, highlighted in the story.

Now retired, Wenham worked in Sheffield’s youth service for 30 years, including a long spell at the Hub. Its closure was “a serious loss to the city”, he said. “The Hub provided a platform where black people could express their views and share their culture with the wider community.”

If you read this early Tuesday it might still be possible to contribute on the Guardian site itself before they close Comments.


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