IN DEFENCE BUSINESS – CAMPAIGNS
It’s been five years since our Campaign saw the light of day. It’s time to take a breath. Thus we have produced for discussion a draft Statement of Purpose, which looks ahead to possibly the next five years!? You will find it in full below and in Word and pdf formats. We hope you will absorb and criticise its contents, alongside circulating it as widely as possible. We welcome comments in the run up to our April conference. At the event itself in Leeds on April 10 we will be monitoring through the day how the unfolding discussions impact on the statement. Thence we will draw up a revised Statement, which will be circulated afresh in the hope that it gains your collective support. We are working on how best to come to a conclusion, but bear with us a genuine democratic process is bound to be messy. The statement opens:
For an Emancipatory and Democratic Education
IN DEFENCE OF YOUTH WORK – indefenceofyouthwork.com
The Campaign’s emergence in 2009 was a passionate response to the assailut on the voluntary tradition of youth work presented by the imposed relationships and prescribed outcomes, favoured by New Labour. In the aftermath of the 2008 banking crisis some of us wondered if the tide might be turning against the neo-liberal wave of privatisation, both of individual existence and public services. Our optimism was fleeting. Indeed under the Coalition local authority youth services have been devastated, whilst the contours of work with young people shift from the open and informal to the closed and formal.
Within this climate the Campaign has proved to be something of a shelter in a storm, where critical dissent and collective support is still encouraged. Across the past five years we we have established our annual conference as a date in the diary; organised an ongoing series of Engaging Critically seminars on such subjects as ‘The Marketisation of the Sector’, ‘The Illusion of Outcomes’ and ‘Politics and Ethics’; and continued to run our praised programme of Story-Telling workshops, one consequence of which has been our acclaimed book, ‘This is Youth Work : Stories from Practice’. Our web site and Facebook page underpin our endeavours on day-to-day basis, attracting a steady stream of support – an average of 325 visitors to the site every week and over 1200 following lively FB exchanges. This is no mean feat.
However circumstances do not stand still. It is a moment to be self-critical.
Carry on reading by opening the pdf or Word versions below