Creating a vision of ‘public money’ and youth work: a practitioner seminar, June 22


Uni Brum

Creating a vision of ‘public money’ and youth work: a practitioner seminar

An event supported by the School of Education, University of Birmingham

Monday 22nd June 2015 at 42nd Street, Manchester from 11.00 a.m. to 3.30 p.m.

This event is a space for the formation of a positive vision for publicly funded youth services amidst the ruins of austerity.

The event proceeds from the idea that forming such a vision first requires us to confront a tension that has haunted statutorily funded youth services, between:
• the need for tax payer’s money to grow and sustain youth services; and
• the defining features and processes of youth work practice

Since the financial crisis youth services have suffered rapid cuts to government spending. Throughout this period, there have been active campaigns pointing out the damaging effects of cuts to services and to young people, and argued
for a new, enforceable statutory duty to fund youth services. In such campaigns, and the sector more widely, the two goals of a restoration of statutory funding for youth services and of democratic forms of youth work are often assumed to be twin goals. Yet there are good reasons in the history of the service to question the idea that they have been mutually supportive.

The idea of ‘public money’ is intended as a tool to explore how to bring these goals into alignment, and to spark debate about the implications for future campaigning.

The event will ask:
• How has statutory money supported and disrupted youth work practice and values?
• What are the issues with current funding arrangements?
• What would ‘public money’ need to be in order to support youth work?
• How might we seek to build widespread support for such a model of funding?

The event will include an input from Bernard Davies who, following on from the recent reissue of his Manifesto for Youth Work, will offer a historical account of statutory Youth Services, its successes and failures, and why recent austerity policy represents such a fundamental break.

Ian McGimpsey will offer an account of the ways that statutory funding regulates youth work practice, and how these forms of funding and regulation have been changing in recent years. Ian will also offer a tentative vision for ‘public money’ for

Registration Information

Attendance is free. Please note, lunch is not provided as part of the event. To register your place, email Ian McGimpsey at

42nd Street is located in central Manchester. For details of the venue and maps, please visit:

Full details on the attached flyer – please circulate as widely as possible

Public money practitioner seminar 


  1. Having just left the statutory youth service in Derbyshire that became social work in practice in 2011. 😊 I am happy to no longer be a charade parading as youth work. The austerity practice of making star shaped people fit in square boxes because it is right to go to school, receive a personal service, etc. This consumer style approach incarcerated young people’s minds. This is NOT YOUTH WORK! I said this when IDYW was created. Only the people can rebuild Youth work from the bottom up through the struggle to meet our needs. The state and its funding will always corrupt the process in favour of consumerism. I am reminded of ‘creators not consumers’ by Mark Smith. In solidarity with the struggle to depose the rich not just the tories. Steve 😎

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