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10 December 2019  

In response to Somerset County Council's decision to "cease the provision of support, resources and training to voluntary youth organisations, and to close the existing grant schemes" meetings were recently held in each area for voluntary groups and stakeholders to discuss the options for the future and to build the local support networks.  

A series of follow-up meetings will be held in January 2019 to update on progress and explore further the help Somerset's youth organisations need for the future. The next meetings will take place on:

  • Monday 14th January 2019, 7-9 pm at Connect Centre, Portway, Wells, BA5 2BE
  • Tuesday 15th January 2019, 7- 9 pm at Minehead Eye, Mart Road, Minehead, TA24 5BJ
  • Wednesday 16th January 2019, 7 - 9 pm at YMCA Taunton, Lisieux Way, Taunton, TA1 2LB
  • Thursday 17th January 2019, 7 - 9 pm at Lower Lakes, Straight Drove, Chilton Trinity, Bridgwater, TA5 2BQ
  • Friday 18th January 2019, 7 - 9 pm at The Town House, 19 Union Street, Yeovil, BA20 1PQ
     
    Please let Angela Derry (aderry@somerset.gov.uk) know which of these meetings you plan to attend.

 

9th November 2018

The Somerset Youth and Community Service have a small supply of youth work resources.  These are being offered to youth clubs and organisations and will be avilable at the end of January when the service ends.  If you would like to request any of the resources for your club or organisation, please email your request to youthservice@somerset.gov.uk by the end of November.  Where there are miltiple requests for the same resource it will be allocated where it will offer most benefit. Click here for a list of the resources on offer  

 

7th November 2018

A series of area meetings were held last week:

Monday 29th October - Victoria Park Community Centre, Bridgwater
Tuesday 30th October - Minehead Eye
Wednesday 31st October - YMCA Taunton 
Thursday 1st November - The Town House, Yeovil
Friday 2nd November - Street Young People's Centre

 

A summary of the key themes coming from the discussions held at these meetings, along with other information shared, is available by clicking here.  A further round of meetings will be held in Janaury 2019 - dates and venues will be announced soon,

 

27th September 2018

You will have seen news that, in response to sector-wide pressures on finances and to lay the foundations for longer-term financial sustainability, Somerset County Council's Cabinet met on 12th September and approved a range of savings proposals.

One of these proposals was to ‘cease the provision of support, resources and training to voluntary youth organisations, and to close the existing grant schemes'. This means that Somerset Youth and Community Service will no longer be operational from 1st February 2019. This means no further applications to the Youth and Community Grant and Youth Bank programmes will be accepted and our Youth and Community Officers will no longer offer the support, advice, training and guidance they have done over the last few years.

The closure of the Youth & Community Service is no reflection on the value or quality of the work carried out by the groups we support, nor is it a judgement on the Service itself. It is simply due the financial position SCC finds itself in. It isn't a question of whether or not the service is important and valuable, but whether or not SCC can afford it. SCC must prioritise services for vulnerable children and adults and those services most valued by our residents.

One of the impacts of this closure is that the Service will no longer award the ‘Safe and Welcoming' benchmark. If your club has a portfolio in progress and would like to complete it, please contact Kirstie Brown (kbrown@somerset.gov.uk or 07899 700170) as soon as possible to agree a target date for the completion of the portfolio. If your club currently hold the Safe and Welcoming Award we encourage you to keep your portfolio up to date, as a way of ensuring your club's processes and procedures are adequate.

Until the service closes we will work with Somerset's voluntary sector organisations and town and parish councils to identify alternative sources of support and funding to help sustain provision for young people. I have asked our Youth & Community Officers - Zara Scott-Davies and Kirstie Brown to contact all our affiliated groups to discuss the implications of the service's closure. We will circulate regular updates via our newsletter and do our best help all our groups though this challenging time.

We have arranged meetings in each area for voluntary groups and stakeholders to discuss the options for the future and to build the local support networks.