What matters most for young people

Written by Denise Hatton, Chief Executive

With less than two weeks to go to the Budget and the Chancellor already telling us to get ready for further austerity, YMCA is keen to make sure that the voices and needs of young people are not forgotten.

1% too far

Written by Denise Hatton, Chief Executive

The welfare reform and work bill gets its second reading in the Lords next week, and while the changes to tax credits have been the focus of much debate, another reform that has less scrutiny so far is the annual 1% reduction in social rents.

Six ways young people think job centres need to change

Written by Richard Hughes, Senior Policy and Research Officer

With youth unemployment stuck above pre-recession levels and the Government due to introduce a new Youth Obligation – the latest in a series of initiatives aimed at getting young people into work – YMCA went out and spoke to young people about the support they currently get and what they felt was needed to help them into work.

Young people are on benefits out of necessity, not out of choice

Written by Denise Hatton, Chief Executive

It may be an unpopular thing to say working in the charity sector but among those claiming unemployment and housing benefits there will be some young people who are taking advantage of the system. This would be the case with any system you could think to look at.

Rough sleeping report should act as a wake-up call for politicians

Written by Denise Hatton, Chief Executive

It should be unimaginable that any young person has to spend a single night on the streets. However the phenomenon of rough sleeping is seemingly becoming ever more entrenched in our society; and it’s affecting the younger generation in greater numbers each year.

Young people and politics – breaking the vicious cycle of apathy

Written by Richard Hughes, Senior Policy and Research Officer
I write this sitting on the train on my way up to Wellington in Shropshire for my second hustings of what is proving an exciting week across the YMCA in England. YMCAs from Newcastle to Norfolk and from Bournemouth to Bolton are holding events inviting in their local party political candidates to speak with young people about the issues that matter to them.

Growth alone is not enough

Written by Richard Hughes, Senior Policy and Research Officer
High levels of youth unemployment in the UK are not a new problem. While the recession saw a significant jump in the number of young people facing unemployment in the UK, in reality, the upward trend started long before the financial crisis, as far back as 2004.

Removing the safety-net for society’s most vulnerable

Written by Phillippa Lewis, Policy Support Officer

A Conservative Party win at the General Election on 7th May 2015 will see the lives of thousands of young people uprooted, as Housing Benefit is cut for unemployed 18 to 21 year olds “within the first few days” of the new government. The question of what will happen to those young people unable to find employment and those who do not have a family home to return to seems to have been ignored.

Expect delays

Written by Richard Hughes, Senior Policy and Research Officer

No-one should be forced to live in fear about whether or not they will have a roof over their head next year, next month or even next week. However as our research published today shows, this is the reality being faced by an increasing number of those living in supported accommodation.