25 October 2019

Young people across Somerset and Mid-Devon will be leading social action projects from Monday 28th October, as Youth and Community Action Fortnight begins. With support from five charitable organisations, young people from local communities will be working together to create social change as part of an effort to showcase the positive impact of youth services.

Across Somerset and Mid-Devon, young people have been putting forward proposals for projects of social action, with some suggesting litter picks, coffee mornings and putting together packages for shoebox appeals. A number of communities will be involved, all of which have youth services funded by the Youth Investment Fund (YIF) within their local areas.

Five local charities will be working together on this project, all of whom have received funding from YIF to provide youth services within their localities. YMCA Dulverton Group, YMCA Mendip, YMCA Taunton, Young Somerset and Minehead Eye are collaborating on a joint Youth and Community Action fortnight, rather than previously independent projects, where it is hoped that more people will get involved than before.

YIF funded youth services are at the centre of each community project and young people who access these will be taking part, with projects planned for towns such as Cullompton, Bridgwater and Weston-super-Mare amongst others. The fortnight will offer young people from each location a chance to make an impact on where they live, alongside many others in towns and villages across Somerset and Mid-Devon.

Youth services funding has recently come under scrutiny as figures released by YMCA England and Wales show that funding is set to reach the lowest levels in a generation, with a 69% decline nationally since 2010. Across Somerset and Mid-Devon, YMCA Dulverton Group provide a range of vital youth services, from youth clubs to young carer support. These services encourage positive community inclusion and space for young people to learn, create and access advice.

Kevin Lilwall, Director of Early Years and Communities at YMCA Dulverton Group said: “Young people are such a hugely important part of our communities and we so often think of them as dependants rather than a valuable resource with an enormous amount to offer. I am always heartened to see how so many young people are passionate and driven to make their communities better for everyone, and I think this project will showcase exactly that.

“Youth and Community Action Fortnight will see a collaboration of charities from across the county, to facilitate young people in bringing about positive social action. The projects will occur across the two weeks and will help to illustrate the impact young people are having in communities throughout the south west.

“YMCA Dulverton Group provide youth services across Somerset and Mid-Devon, and although national figures show a stark picture of youth funding, we strive to ensure they are sustained within our communities. We are fortunate to have funding from the YIF, and working collaboratively with the other organisations enables us to continue providing a wide variety of support and opportunities for young people in many communities.”

Although this project is based around each of the five charities working locations, other communities that would like to get involved can, by contacting us on 0333 200 1616.

For more information, please speak to Lauren Easterbrook, on email Lauren.Easterbrook@ymca-dg.org or by phone 07394568321