Every young person should have access to youth services in their area, all year round.

Youth services have been on the ropes for years, leaving young people without the support they need to stand a chance.

There has been a £1.1 billion real-terms reduction in local authority spending on youth services since 2010-11 leaving many young people without anywhere to go.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. Investment in youth clubs and support services can help young people realise their potential. It can provide those safe spaces to have fun and trusted adults to lean on.

Investing in youth services is investing in young people and the future of the UK.

Archie, Barnsley 

“When I come to YMCA it makes me feel so much more confident in my ability to speak to people, and it makes me feel really safe whenever I come which is important to me and every person.”

Rachel, Essex

It was around a year ago that I started to struggle with anxiety and depression and at first, I did nothing. My older sister was already attending the youth club at YMCA and invited me along. I love it here. I feel very safe and supported in the company of the youth workers.

The Report

Find out more about our On the Ropes report

Your Local Area

See how your local area has been impacted


Learn more about YMCA General Election Manifesto 2024


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What can be done?

Every young person should have access to youth services in their area, all year round. To help ensure that young people can thrive, YMCA England & Wales believe more needs to be done. Here are our recommendations:


We need to see long-term revenue funding for universal and open-access youth services, delivering for all young people, all year round.


We need a cross-departmental strategy for youth services, which takes a long-term strategic vision for the provision of youth services around the country.


There should be a duty placed on local authorities to ensure that all young people can access youth services in their area, with the support and resourcing from the government to enable it.