Welcome fighting talk from the London Play and Youth Work Campaign, which poses the question of how best to go forward as a collective of youth and community workers, not only in London, but across the UK. As things stand, whilst we have ChooseYouth looking to be an umbrella group, our initiatives seem to remain fragmented.
Adventure playgrounds, youth centres and community services have been shut down during the last five years of coalition government austerity. This situation looks likely to continue. That could mean less staff, less hours, or – most worryingly – the sudden closure of more valued community spaces.
Enough is enough. We will not stand by while politicians obliterate our future in the name of their broken ideology. We are not all in this together. That is why the London Play & Youth Work Campaign is being launched tomorrow – to defend our adventure playgrounds and youth centres from post-election cuts. Next time you come knocking, we’ll be ready – playworkers, youth workers, young people, parents, toddlers, grandparents: those who are truly all in it together.
Also see this accompanying article,
This battle will define us. We must protect our children from austerity – Aditya Chakrabortty
The definition of a decadent society is one that destroys its own future, knowing full well the terrible consequences. On that basis, Britain is truly degenerate. Just look at how it trashes its children and teenagers.
Our young are the very people on whom the rest of us will one day come to depend – to care for us, and to earn the country’s income. Rather than mere lifestyle accessories, to be slotted in alongside handbags and cars, they represent our best hope. This human truth has sustained societies around the world and down the ages. Yet in austerity Britain, children have been chucked to the bottom of the pile. They have been robbed of their rightful benefits. And the support they could once draw upon – everything from Sure Start centres to youth clubs to mental-health workers – has been hacked back.