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01/10/2018

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT

Important announcement - Future of Somerset Youth and Community Service 

In response to sector-wide pressures on finances and to lay the foundations for long-term sustainability, Somerset County Council's Cabinet recently approved a range of savings proposals. 

A proposal was to ‘cease the provision of support, resources and training to voluntary youth organisations, and to close the existing grant schemes'. This means that SCC's Youth & Community Service will cease operation on 31st Jan 2019. No ore applications to the Youth & Community Group Grant and Youth Bank programmes will be accepted and our Youth & Community Officers will no longer offer the support, advice, training and guidance they have done over the last few years.

The closure 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 a response to the financial position SCC finds itself in. It isn't a question of whether the service is important and valuable, but whether SCC can afford it. SCC must prioritise services for vulnerable children and adults and those most valued by our residents.

From January SCC will no longer award the ‘Safe and Welcoming' benchmark. If you have an award in progress and want to complete it, please contact us as soon as possible. If you hold the Safe and Welcoming Award we encourage you to keep the portfolio up to date, as a way of ensuring your club's processes and procedures are up to scratch.

Until the service closes we will work with Somerset's voluntary and community sector organisations and town and parish councils to identify alternative sources of support and funding to help sustain provision for young people. Our Youth & Community Officers will be in touch with affiliated groups to discuss the implications of the closure. We will circulate updates via our newsletter and do our best to help all our groups.

A series of meetings provide the opportunity for voluntary groups and stakeholders to discuss the options for the future and to build the local support networks, and we'd welcome your participation in this process.

  • Monday 29th Oct - Victoria Park Community Centre, Bridgwater TA6 7AS at 7pm
  • Tuesday 30th Oct - Minehead Eye, Minehead TA24 5BJ at 7pm
  • Wednesday 31st Oct - YMCA Taunton, Taunton TA1 2LB at 7pm
  • Thursday 1st Nov - Yeovil Town Council, Yeovil BA20 1PQ at 7pm
  • Friday 2nd Nov - Street Youth Centre, Street BA16 0AS at 7pm.
Please email aderry@somerset.gov.uk to let us know if you plan to attend.

SCC will maintain its support for the Duke of Edinburgh's Award and the Youth Equipment Store.

undefinedIf you would like to discuss the closure of the service, please contact me.

Jeff Brown, Service Manager, Children's Commissioning
Somerset County Council,County Hall, Taunton TA1 4DY
jbrown@somerset.gov.uk