Demand for youth services hindered by cuts

Data from UK Youth has highlighted a 66 per cent rise in the demand for youth services which are battling rising costs and a reduction in funding.

Data gathered during the application process for the UK Youth Fund – Covid Relief reveals that: 66 per cent reported an increase in demand for their services; 83 per cent of youth organisations reported that their income decreased; and 57 per cent of youth organisations report that the cost of delivering their services to young people has increased since coronavirus hit.

In total, 1,759 youth organisations took part in the data collection. Collectively these organisations reached more than two million young people per year before the pandemic. The overwhelming ask was for funding to prevent permanent closure, helping organisations to survive and adapt to the UK’s latest lockdown.

Ndidi Okezie, CEO of UK Youth, said “The Covid-19 pandemic has hit youth organisations in the shadow of 10 years of extreme cuts. The impact of the pandemic has had a devastating effect on young people and the safe spaces that support millions of them. Many organisations across the youth sector have shown great resilience, trying to adapt and deliver vital services for young people but they still need help.

This data shows us two thirds of respondents are at risk of closing over the next twelve months. The gruelling consequences of Covid have gone on for longer than any of us could have imagined. As a sector at the front line of supporting the most vulnerable young people, more funding support is needed now. We cannot let young people fall through the net because crucial services were allowed to disappear.”

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