“The Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) has provided discrete funding for young people to control – the Youth Opportunity Fund and the Youth Capital Fund. These funds will enable local authorities to develop new approaches to strategic investment in youth activities and facilities, particularly in deprived areas.”
As a local authority managing the YOF & YCF we have worked extremely hard to ensure that the funding has gone to grassroots level and engages with as many young people as possible. To this extent we have 24 young people led forums which are true to the nature of the fund where young people have the responsibility for bidding into and allocating such funding. What I am confused by is the second part of the statement concerning the use of such funds to strategically invest in youth activities and facilities? This leads to some interesting conversations concerning who has control of such funding and how we involve young people in making decisions that are truely theirs or token only? Or indeed how do we influence and encourage them to make strategic decisions? It just leads me to wonder whether there is a true and clear understanding of how these funds are managed across the country.
I was also interested in the section about Empowering Young People . It mentions social networking but doesn’t seem to know where to go with this. There is discussion regarding the work of the Young Advisors charity and some emphasis on developing this work. Whilst I am not trying to dilute their work or the impact it has I believe recognition should also be made of the many fora currently available for young people to show community leaders and decision makers how to engage young people in community life, regeneration and renewal. It seems that much of the participation work that many, many people are involved in has been overlooked and I would be disappointed if funding and the way in which this work should operate is driven by one model.