Kicking off National Youth Work Week without a selfie, but with a Corbyn eulogy

There I was wondering whether I’d get stick for political bias if I posted this paean of praise to youth work by Jeremy Coburn, when along comes a National Youth Agency newsletter recommending its message. So without further ado.


Certainly, his avowed stance lends weight to the argument that we should be focusing our attention on winning the support of the anti-austerity parties, led by Labour, for a reimagined Youth Service as an integral part of a National Education Service. It will be fascinating to see the feedback from our ‘Is the tide turning?’ events being held this week.



However, I’ve failed miserably to respond to the NYA’s request to be part of the Support youth services with a selfie in #YWW17 – details on the link. I could summon up neither the courage nor conceit to comply. I know I’m a curmudgeon. In an attempt to save face, as I reckoned they owed me a favour or two, I tried the idea out on Glyka, our rescue dog and Leonidas, our rescue racehorse.  My line was that Glyka would look cute and Leo aristocratic with the bonus I could post the pics on Facebook and generate huge numbers of ‘likes’ and giddily appreciative comments. Both of them were scathing in the face of my embarrassing ignorance. Me taking a picture of them did not count as a ‘selfie. With a bark and a neigh I was dismissed from their presence. Anyway if you feel so inclined, you can make up for my abashed surliness. Cheers.


It’s National Youth Work Week : Would you know that the neo-liberal assault on young people [and youth work] continues?

end war on youth

It’s National Youth Work Week. The National Youth Agency calls on us to celebrate. It tries to convince us that its theme ‘Skills for Life’ is innovative. Thatcher’s Manpower Services Commission tried it on over thirty years ago and was repelled in the name of social awareness and education. In the corporate heart of London the second ‘Creative Collisions’ conference claims to be ‘Uniting the Youth Sector’ and ‘Uniting for Young People’.

For the moment a few questions for the Youth Sector propaganda machine

1. As you celebrate and unite the devastation of local youth services continues apace. Links simply from the past week or so.

Protestors rally against cuts to Dudley Youth Service

The fight for Castlegate continues – the provision of holistic support and counselling for 16 – 25 years in York.

Campaigning to keep the Youth Fund – Following the extermination of the Manchester Youth Service, Voluntary Youth Manchester battles to retain funding for 40 plus voluntary youth organisations.

plus the ongoing 38 Degrees petition

Protect Services for Young People

What is your unifying message?

2. As you celebrate and unite for young people  –   message for your marketing folk, uniting with young people would have been more in tune with a distinctive youth work tradition, but what would they know? – you’ve a bit of a problem, which is not resolved by young people being entrepreneurial. For the past two decades successive governments have consciously worsened the situation faced by young people, eroding their rights and opportunities. And so it goes on. A few links again from the past few weeks.

Long-term youth unemployment still going up

40% of Job Seeker Allowance sanctions hit young people

Youth Fight for Jobs – pressure mounts on zero hour contracts

Under 30’s being priced out of the UK says social mobility tsar

Welfare reform reinforces growing class prejudice reminiscent of Victorian era

Wouldn’t Uniting for, indeed with, Young People mean campaigning explicitly against government policies, rather than colluding with the Cabinet Office launch of a Centre for Youth Impact?

Enough for now, IDYW people will be at Creative Collisions and will be reporting back to our seminar in Birmingham on Friday, November 7. Perhaps our questions will be answered. We’ll let you know our reactions next week.