Wiltshire Council leaders have announced further funding, which is to be made available this year, to support community led youth activities.
The funding of approximately £300,000 is in addition to a £270,000 budget for youth activities which is being devolved across Community Area Boards from October. The money, which has largely been raised through local events and funds earmarked for repairs and maintenance, will be used to support local youth projects and help the transition to the new community-led model.
Cabinet member for children’s services Laura Mayes said:
“I am pleased that this locally raised money will be spent within our local communities. The money can be spent by the community on projects which will really help young people in this transition period.
“The new model will be led by the local community with local young people having a say in what’s provided.
“For many young people this is a time of change but I’d encourage them to be involved so we can ensure the youth activities in their area are what they enjoy and like to do.”
The first community youth officers (CYOs) have already been appointed, and will co-ordinate activities and help support young people in each area. This is part of the new model to ensure as many young people as possible are able to access community activities while the service gives taxpayers value for money.
The CYOs will help communities, particularly young people, develop what they would like to see in their area.
The boards will be working with their own CYO, young people’s representatives and community partners through newly formed Local Youth Networks (LYNs). These groups will provide the opportunity for young people to get involved in determining what activities are needed in their area.
The activities themselves will be provided by a range of organisations, including voluntary and community groups. Many of these groups are already running activities, often using paid staff. Part of the new service model will mean they will be able to apply to their area board for funding.
Area boards have been allocated their funding grant for the period 1 October 2014 to 31 March 2015 and the next steps will be to work with communities to develop appropriate activities to meet local needs.
The council will also be working with the area boards and communities to find suitable locations for activities as part of the review of existing buildings.