I ATTENDED the Stakeholders meeting set up by Derbyshire County Council regarding the Youth Service, which they are about to dismantle, and I am alarmed.
The councillors and officers spoke as if the Youth Service was just a set up where a few young people play pool on a Tuesday evening – Wrong!
Twenty-eight per cent of young people use the Youth Service and yes it could be more, but among those 20,000 young people are some of the most vulnerable.
The Youth Service is part of the safeguarding children frontline. Part-time youth workers are often the first port of call for that.When I was a youth worker, I was the first person young people opened up to about sexual abuse, neglect, unwanted pregnancy, prostitution, depression, sexual orientation, I could go on.
Is that what you would have seen when you walked in to a Youth Club? Of course not. This is what’s happening while other things are going on. Am I alone? Of course not. Most youth workers could tell you the same story.
We need the service. Think again Derbyshire County Council.