Dramatic Closure of Learning South-West

More sad news filters through as Learning South-West, which houses the Regional Youth Work Unit, closes in dramatic fashion. There’s no indication yet on the charity’s web site and we are told that the staff, which includes Gill Millar, a hugely respected youth work figure, had no idea this was coming. Thus yet another youth work resource, despite its efforts to develop a business model in tune with the times, bites the neo-liberal dust – so much for meeting your outcomes.

Learning South-West in Taunton

Youth work charity closes with the loss of eight jobs

The education and youth work charity Learning South West has ceased trading with the loss of eight jobs because of “significant uncertainty” about its future funding, the charity’s administrators have confirmed.

The charity, which is based in Taunton, Somerset, supported the professional development of people working with young people and in youth work in south-west England.

It had existed for 68 years and employed 10 staff when it closed, eight of whom have been made redundant.

Forgive me, but the parting words of Learning South-West’s chair, Kate Howard offer little comfort.

“Our staff, through no fault of their own, have seen a great organisation need to take the extremely difficult decision to close.

We admire the exceptional commitment and expertise of the staff. They as a team have raised the profile of Learning South West and ensured the organisation delivered a quality service for its partners and learners. Their expertise and professionalism have set the standard for an organisation that will not be forgotten.

We must also, in spite of an austere and forbidding world, remember to hold fast to our deep values and continue to commend those exceptional organisations and their staff teams who help all learners and young people achieve their goals.”


  1. This is an extremely sad, short sighted and very regrettable decision that has been made. My thoughts are with the youth of the future which it seems very few want to invest in any more.

    • Totally agree with you soozie. I am disturbed by the present governments inability to see the consequences of their lack of investment in young people’s services.

  2. Sad indeed, it would be difficult to put into a few words the significance of this organisations contribution to learning and development in education and youth work practice. For many years.it’s work kept us in the south west at the forefront of latest developments and gave us the skills to meet the challenges and deliver some of the best services to education and young people that you could find anywhere.
    I wish Gill, Jayne and all the staff the very best for the future.

  3. Really say to hear this news, sign of the times, I’m afraid. Hope the Government come to regret this ridiculous short termist approach – can’t believe an organisation that’s done such good work over nearly 70 years has to shut in such circumstances, terrible for the staff and all the young people it supports. This is a massacre of our public services.

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