IN DEFENCE BUSINESS – CAMPAIGNS
BBC News hosts a page, ‘Have you got a good story?’.
The part you play in making the news is very important. Whether it is breaking news or a featured item, your contribution can make a difference. Have you seen or been involved in a news event? Is something significant, bizarre or unusual happening where you live? Have you got a story to tell or is there something you think we should follow up? Are there topics you want to get the world talking about? What do you want to comment on? Or do you want to find out what others are talking about?
Jon Ord, Reader in Youth Work at the University of St Mark and St John, Plymouth has taken the Corporation at its word. He suggests that we follow his example and pursue any and every media outlet to reveal what is going on.
I would like to bring your attention to a story that is not being told: the wholesale dismantling of the network of local authority youth clubs and centres throughout the country. As a consequence of the cuts to the funding for local authorities their commitment to the provision of youth facilities has been almost entirely disappearing. Centres are being closed down, boarded up, or at best merely handed over to a makeshift collection of community minded local people, horrified at the prospect of closure, but with no real resources or expertise to continue the provision to any meaningful or reliable standards. Devon County Council is the latest to announce this week that it will no longer fund its 33 youth centres, and 12,000+ young people in the county who attend the centres will have nowhere to go…
I would urge the BBC perhaps through the regional news programmes, current affairs programmes such as inside out, or through a national documentary to begin to tell this story. England had a network of youth facilities and youth services which were, amongst those who work with young people, the envy of the world. The youth service is admittedly small in comparison to formal education and social services. Since the Albemarle Report of 1960, (with its wide scale building programme, and the construction of a 3,300 youth clubs in the following decade and the establishment of a full-time graduate level training programme for youth workers) the youth service has been the bedrock of provision for community-based support and developmental opportunities for young people throughout the country.
The wholesale removal of this valuable, cost-effective and essential lifeline to many young people, will no doubt store up problems for the future, as more young people fall by the wayside, denied the engagement and support they require in their communities.
I hope the BBC will consider communicating what I and many others concerned with youth services regard as a travesty…