Responding to the Chancellor’s spending review announcement earlier today, Denise Hatton, Chief Executive of YMCA England & Wales said:
“YMCA is pleased to see in the full text of the Spending Review that the Government has brought forward an initial £100 million to invest in the National Citizen Service and youth facilities and £16.5million to support the youth sector. We look forward to more clarity on exactly how this is distributed and when.
“Youth services can be utilised to carefully and positively build young people’s confidence, provide much needed support and guidance, and ultimately help them to get back on track. However, since 2010 youth services have been cut by 70% across England and Wales which has had a devastating effect on young people.
“In 2019 the Government announced a £500million Youth Investment Fund which is yet to be delivered. We are disappointed that today’s Spending Review did not set out a timeline for its delivery. We will urgently speak a recommitment from the Government that it is committed to fully implementing the fund over the coming years as it initially set out.
“YMCA stands ready to deliver on the Government’s priorities and providing new mobile youth vehicles, refurbishing youth centres, and building new ones. We welcome the opportunity to continue to work with the Government on this vital fund and ensure that we deliver on the Chancellor’s priorities.
“The announcement of a National Living Wage increase is welcome, but should be expanded to cover under 23’s so as not to add additional barriers to the opportunities and advancement of young people.
“The additional £151million announced by the chancellor to tackle rough sleeping is also welcome and builds on the progress that the Government has already made towards their goal and bringing everyone in. It is vital to keep momentum moving, and YMCA welcomes the opportunity to continue to work with the Government in this area.
“We look forward to hearing more from the Government on their plans to invest in young people and ultimately the future of this country, and show them the vital support needed in order to recover from this pandemic and thrive into the future.”
YMCA is the world’s oldest and largest youth charity, supporting more than 33,500 young people each year through our youth work.
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