Previous engagement phase of review

Other comments and suggestions

During the engagement phase of the review we asked you for your comments and suggestions. These are the responses we received:

96 comments on “Other comments and suggestions

  1. anon |

    its quite upsetting to see that theu are even considering making cuts to devon youth service. i had a very painful upbringing, i just wish there were services like this available to me when i was growing up, if there had been then maybe things would be a whole lot different for me now rather than being a statistic within a rather hppeless mental health service being managed by people who dont listen to the service users who know what works best for them….if only id had DYS around growing up to help and support me growing up then i wouldnt be such a mess now. please dont make any cuts to a detrimental part of a persons life, otherwise they will end up being caught up in a mental health system and get passed from pillar to post 🙁

  2. Dan Barton |
  3. anon |

    Devon Youth Service you are doing an amazing job, let’s celebrate the work you the do, youth workers go into youth work because they care and can make a difference. I have seen the changes in young people due to the support of DYS. Social education is important for our young people, and know one does it better than the youth service. All young people deserve and should have the right to a generic service that supports them on their journey , come on they are our future. We all know cuts need to be made but let’s not deprive our young people, there must be another way.

  4. Tammy |

    I can’t believe that they’re planning on shutting down the youth clubs just the thought of it makes gets me vexted man not even joking.. I moved down from north dullage in South Lodnon not knowing anyone and Must say got my fair share of kick in’s and had no-one to talk to until I found the about the youth club in ilfracombe which helped me out alot I can’t believe they’re planning on closing it i mean you must be pure gassin.. The amount of kids that will need help and people to talk to about things personal who they going to talk to now? They definatly won’t be going to the old bill about it now will they seriously.. What is going on..?!

  5. rose |

    There are many young people who use the services offered by Devon Youth Services. In places which are deprived areas, there are young people who wouldn’t have a safe place or the ability to have a meal, let alone the opportunity to talk openly and safely about issues they face. The real McCaf is one of those centres where young people have benefitted for many years. It would be a crying shame to lose such a marvellous facility

  6. anon |

    We have an excellent service provider DEVON YOUTH SERVICE. Which is staffed by a team of dedicated and professional workers who do an amazing job, working with young people to give them the tools and opportunity to make a positive contribution to their lives and communities. Remodeling is not the answer, funding and supporting is the answer. What we have is unique and is something we should be all proud of.

  7. Robbie |

    Devon Youth Service: Simply the best, support it don’t cut it. What you have is unique with some excellent youth workers who are do a fantastic job, making a difference to so many young peoples lives. Come on DCC you know it makes sense.

  8. a supporter |

    We should be celebrating the work of Devon Youth Service they do a fantastic job, and make a difference to the lives of so many young people. There needs to greater understanding of what is youth work. Devon County Council should be holding the youth service as a shining light to other councils, what they have got is unique service , with professional and committed workers which they should be proud of.

  9. Claire Wright |

    Last Thursday I spent a really touching evening at Ottery’s youth centre, talking to 15 and 16 year olds about why they like attending and what they would do if it closed.

    Their frank views were touching to hear and I wouldn’t repeat the detail as I wouldn’t wish to betray their confidences. What I would say though, is that it is my firm view that if the service was diminished, at the very least a spark would go out of their lives.

    They love attending youth club and find it a relaxing and fun way to spend a Thursday evening. Several said it was the event that they looked forward to most all week.

    Some of the teenagers were in the process of overcoming difficult personal issues. the warm social circle of youth club and the professionalism of the staff were cited as the main reason why progress was being made. Being at the club with their friends made them happy, they said. Several had made new friends and gained considerably in confidence since first attending youth club.

    It was also a good place to come to let off steam and frustration in a positive way, and the staff were always on hand to talk to about things that worried them. The club wasn’t supervised in an overt way, they said, but they felt safe in the knowledge that an professionally trained adult was around to keep an eye on things.

    What would they be doing if they couldn’t go anymore? The answers varied. Some said they would stay in and go on social networking sites, others said they would simply be bored at home, the boys thought they would be “gaming” and others said they would be out in Ottery, doing things that perhaps they shouldn’t.

    Their vulnerability shines out like a beacon and made me feel protective of them. The youth service supports and encourages one of the most vulnerable sections of our society – future lives are at stake and we should put our efforts into maintaining these services as much as we possibly can.

  10. Sandra Williamson |

    I have worked in partnership the youth service for the past 11 years as a School Nurse.
    The Youth service has provided immense support to all young people we particularly access the hard to reach rural young people through a weekly school drop in which has in the last 11 years rarely missed a week throughtout the school term. This Drop In has a Young People Youre Welcome Award which was only achieved throught the partnership working with Youth Worker and NHS. Feedback from the pupils attending the drop in has aways been positive through
    The Stockport investigation into Child Exploitation as well as risk factor of being in care also being in the wrong place at the wrong time and not having a place to go is a risk factor. With the number of young people attending local youth services has a clear plan emerged where these young people will go ..hid at home on their computers try? Will the other provisions in the areas manage with high numbers …am aware that one local church youth group is having significant difficulties with not having enough volunteers with the numbers attending now.
    Concerns that the plans are short sighted and we will lose the amazing relationships with all young people have with the youth service.

  11. Gareth Twigg |

    Devon Youth Service provides much needed support to some of our most vulnerable or potentially vulnerable young people. As a police officer I have been lucky enough to see first hand some of the valuable safety work youth workers have conducted and, more importantly, the positive impact this has had. Without the committed staff and resources that the youth service provides there will be a gaping void which many youngsters will fall into. If this is about cost, then consideration needs to be given to the wider community cost of not having an effective service in place.

  12. David Fallows |

    The government and other politicians keep saying that they want to invest in infrastructure. Our young people our the most important resource that we have in our country. Their energy and creativity will contribute more than the (necessary) road, broadband, rail investments put together. Young peoples’ services need to be easily accessible, seamless and integrated with education provision that meets their needs and aspirations. We are already sleepwalking into an economy and society that does not provide sufficient opportunity for all our young people to have warmth shelter and security, work that sustains them and provides them with the background to form strong relationships and have looked-after children. The market economy is not working.

    Please look to the long-term consequences of short term decisions.

  13. Dan Barton |

    thought it might be worth sharing this news

    “”from facebook”” updates to comments via this channel cannot be moderated so original posting below

    The demise of Wokingham Youth Service, very sadly this week has all become reality with 27 youth workers paid off to leave, 3 youth centres have shut their doors and the loss of the head of service.

    Workers, many of whom have degree level qualifications and long standing experience of delivering youth work are now part of a tiny team of six to cover the whole borough, and face a drop in salary of up to £5,000. The service has been de-professionalised and the requirement to do a skilled and targeted job is an NVQ 3.

    Workers have reported to us that it has been an incredibly sad week with many in tears and traumatised by what has happened to the service they have spent years building up. A significant amount of the 27 youth workers have been around multiple years, one of the professional team has been there 37 years. a

    One youth worker told us “There a few words of comfort to offer any of us and the countless young people who are now left with basically nothing, yet another youth service in the dumpster,
    These are such sad times for young people and youth workers, when will the powers that be see what damage they are doing??? It makes my blood boil!!”

    Sad times indeed …

  14. Aden Lerwill |

    Even before the youth centre in South Molton was even built I was because I was going to do everything in my power to make sure the youth centre was built because it was something we desperately needed. Then when it was finally built 4 years ago after being postponed for 20 years it made a gigantic impact by giving the youth of the town somewhere to go in the evenings. This made a lot of the older generations in the town feel safer because they weren’t feeling threatened anymore by some of the youth of the town and this came apparent to me by my work with the youth council of South Molton. After a few weeks I started to help as much as possible with the youth centre. I was and still are helping with things like advising on what we need, going and doing the shopping and fixing all the ICT problems we have. I have participated in setting up and helping run 2 community days and the opening day of the youth centre 4 years ago and the youth centre has only gotten much more busy as the years have gone on so it would be a real shame to see this youth centre go after all the good things it has done and is continuing to do. In my opinion this youth centre should be left open because there is so much good that it has done and i’m sure if it is aloud to continue will do so much more good things for not just the youth but everyone in South Molton.

  15. Logan |

    hi its Xsara,
    I think this south molton youth centre is a great place to go and hang out with your friends when it is raining or even when it is a fine lovely day out side and its also lovely people who run it I love coming here and talking to the people to run it they have a lovely sense of humour !! You also get to bake things such as cakes with one of the members of staff which is a wonderful thing to do and I am glad that this youth centre is being run !! 🙂

  16. Andy Carter |

    I come to the youth centre because I love playing pool against mark. I also like playing on the electric drum kit. its also fun playing footy and basket ball in the hall. and sometimes I play on the ps3

  17. Logan |

    I think the youth club should stay open because its a good place to meet new people, make new friends and have fun, there are also a lot of fun things to do here and its free, On a winters its a nice place to come an corporate with friends, this is a nice place to come and I hope it stays open

  18. josh passmore |

    ive heard the that the youth centre is closing and I attend here regularly and would like to be able to come here more often.

  19. aaron carter |

    you need to keep the youth centre open because without it we will left to socialise on the street which can lead to completes and annoyed people.

  20. Matt |

    South Molton youth club should be kept open because it’s a good place to go when its a winter day, as well as a summer day. Youth club keeps kids off the street and makes the town look a much better community

  21. lisa rutter |

    At some juncture, in this public and very interesting debate (community of ideas), where there is evident, I suggest, a common shared goal of, ‘What is best for the young people of Devon?’ – I would like to discuss Individual support and Group Work – cost and best value – and of course, social value, in the context of the impact of change?

    Social Value Act – social, economic and environmental wellbeing of an area

    Youth Work is a group work process. When consideration of how Youth Work skills are utilised in the future (within the DCC staff group) are we, talking about – youth workers working with individuals, or youth workers working with groups? Or even, a mixed economy? I guess these are the difficult decisions that need to be made.

    Draft Vision for the future (page on this website) :- There is opportunity along with Devon’s emerging Early Help Strategy, enabling a continuum of help and support to respond to different levels of need of individual young people and families, with services coming together to offer synergies and enhanced support for young people.

    Devon County Council Youth Workers are actively engaged in the Targeted Families Programme. As such DYS is currently coming together with services to offer synergies – joined up thinking and shared resources.

    ….. and enhanced support for young people.

    In Tiverton, one of the pilot areas, over 30% of young people living in the identified families attend the local DCC Youth Centre. The local, full time, Area Youth Worker and his team (of evening part time youth workers) work with these young people because they have chosen to engage with the service – each individual will have a different ‘starting point’, over 50% attend regularly – others, occasionally. The offer of engagement is the youth work (group) process. The youth work offer, can be extended by the team – within the youth work session. This is done in a subtle way and outcomes can be identified, offered, agreed and achieved. This is, working with individuals in large and busy group work settings. Individual successes can be evidenced.

    Prior to the last restructure (about 18 mth’s ago) where DYS lost a third of its full time Area Youth Workers (as a result, stretching our part time workforce significantly). We would have had more capacity and have offered – from open access to targeted time limited group work. Our ability to offer targeted youth work programmes and individual one to one support has already been greatly diminished.

    THIS is currently what is funded…. the opportunity to develop the early help offer to individuals and to reach them in their own time, by their own decision to engage (self identification / association) and by making available educational engagement, youth work interventions and programmes (personal and social development and improving wellbeing) that meet not only their individual but their common needs. Including the benefits felt by families and communities as a direct result of the positive development of young peoples capabilities – agency, resilience, creativity plus.

    We have to work out the cost value of youth worker interventions… my question is – now that we know Tiverton Youth Centre (which has taken 18 months to re establish – post re structure, as there was a period of closure, a change of Area Youth Worker and Team Leader) reaches out to 30% of young people in targeted families – how do we build on that potential? If the invitation, the offer to engage, does not include being with peers, do we believe young people would walk through our door or even engage with a youth worker? If there were a change of provider how big would the impact of change be and would it take another minimum 18mth readjustment period? Our DYS provision in Tiverton rose from 2792 annual attendance to 4811, during our 18mth period of readjustment. Not easy to achieve and a great credit to the local youth workers – skill set.

    In short – What would the impact be of DYS, NOT building on our current interventions and the solid partnerships that we already have – (social, economic and environmental wellbeing of an area). In Mid Devon, DYS Youth Centres hosts Targeted Family meetings and youth workers are actively engaged at steering group and practitioner levels.

    My end and starting point is this – over 30% of the young people (13 to 19) on Tiverton’s current list of Targeted Families – walk voluntarily, through the doors of their DYS Youth Centre? My ‘final’ question is, how much best value and social value do we place on that knowledge and can we afford to ignore it. I suggest, that it is a very telling ‘evidence base,’ that is likely to be echoed through the roll out of the targeted family agenda.

  22. ben |

    I am writing this on behalf of Ben, as he has difficulties with typing/spelling and has special needs…these are his words.
    South Molton youth centre is good because I get to see people I know. I like cooking and playing basket ball. If you shut it it won’t be good as there will be nowhere to go. My dad drives me here every week so that I can see my friends and do fun things. I live in a small village with nothing to do. Please don’t close it

  23. tom |

    it is fun and epic and you get to play ps2 at south molton youth centre please don’t close it is fun.

  24. quin |

    south molton youth centre. its fun! nice people something to do.

  25. megan |

    please I am begging you you cant close this place down it is a wonderful place even it is good for learning and it is the best place of your imagination it is just the best place ever in the whole wide world south molton youth centre .is fantastic

    Megan filled this in herself but on my email address as she couldn’t remember hers.

  26. josh phillips |

    if you shut youth centre off It would cause me to have no where to go and vandalism could be the other thing for me to do but I prefer the youth club

  27. Clare Tucker |

    I am still concerned that there is a lot of misinformation on the Community Profile areas of several Towns that I have knowledge of. This site is useful to inform anyone who has an interest in the review but if these are not right then it is difficult have a true understanding of what really exists for young people aged 11 to 19yrs (the age group that we work with). Please can someone inform me of what definition is being used to describe public sector in Cullompton, for example, because I am sure those listed are not true to the definition that I understand.

  28. Dean Kiff |

    ive been coming to the south molton youth centre since it opened. ive also been travelling into town to come to the centre and have recently moved into town. if the youth centre was closed I would have no other option but to hang around on the streets. all the youth workers are working really hard to keep the place open. DONT CLOSE SOUTH MOLTON YOUTH CENTRE!!

  29. Tom Keighley |

    Why should you close this place? it has just been built and keeps kids from hanging around the streets

  30. Ryan Lee |

    please don’t shut the youth centre as I find it a very good way to socialise with my friends with out getting extremely wet or cold.

  31. Julia Ryder |

    As the Community Safety and Anti-social Behaviour Officer for Mid Devon District I link closely with our Area Youth Workers. I know from 8 years experience in this role that the young people that come to notice within the communities who are causing anti-social behaviour, criminal damange or minor crimes come from challenging family backgrounds. In around 90% of these cases the youth services are linked with these young people and work with them to address their behaviours and attitudes.

    The young people find the youth service a safe and supportive place where they can receive guidance and peer support to overcome the challenges they face. This can often include family break-up, mental health issues, domestic abuse, financial problems, drug & alcohol and safeguarding issues within their own home environment. Their behaviour is often a reaction to what’s going on around them. DYS can provide a stable, supportive relationship for these young people and helps them to make more considered, positive decisions about their future. DYS work is already reaching the vast majory of the children and young people who need this support.

    DYS are a key partner to reducing low-level crime and anti-social behaviour within our communities due to their direct connection with many young people who are seeking support and guidance. If the Youth Services are cut then many young people will lose that friendship and guidance and I fear that it will extremely hard for any other agency to successfully fill that gap. It would be a sad day if enforcement action is the only option left, rather than intervention/prevention.

  32. JOHN lOVE |

    I was at your meeting in Okehampton and as I stated there feel that you are lost. The service needs to redesign its self ,starting with service for all. Then adding the vurnerable youth together with the identification and plan. I am not qualified to know the how you currently operate but would be pleased as an outsider to help formulate a forward plan.
    I am a involved as a trustee at North Tawton Youth and Community Centre. It seems clear that you need to divest yourself of your own premises and use the community premises. We offer our premises at a very keen rate and would save money and involve you in the community which seems lacking at this it.
    You also need to involve yourself from the top down,with other youth groups (scouts and so on).

    • simon.cohen |

      Dear John, North we do use North Tawton Youth & Community Centre and many other buildings across the county – in your area alone, Bere Alston, Horrabridge, Mary Tavey and joint DCC premesis Molly Owen in Tavistock and rent with large charitable assistance in Okehampton. We also operate from both senior schools. We had to reduce our usage in North Tawton as we could not justify a full time youth and office commitment in the community and take on some of the buldings general H&S maintenance and needs. I have worked closely with trustees to draw up the current agreement and explained at lenght the rationale. If you have any queries please do not hesitate to contact me.

    • simon.cohen |

      John in relation to other groups we co ordinate the Local Youth Network for West Devon. This group is made up of voluntary youth groups such as scouts and guides and charity / community run village youth clubs your local contact is Victoria Lloyd who can be contacted at victoria.lloyd@devon.gov.uk.

  33. Katie & Tiff |

    We love coming to are youth club, we come and Relax and hang out with are friends. It good because it give people somewhere to go if they feel lonely or even upset, The youth workers is always here for us with open ears and help us get though as much as they can. We cant lose are centre it to much to lose everyone comes there for all different reasons, with out this centre life would be pretty rubbish and we would have no support, we would have no courage to ask for help, no matter what it is. Please help Crediton youth centre…. WE CANT LOSE IT ..!!!

  34. James CORBEN |

    DEVON’S YOUTH OFFER
    Yet another review of Youth Service or do we mean work with young people,in Devon, as presumably the service sits today somewhere under the umbrella of DCC’s all embracing People Dept. whilst any future capital provision for it , if forthcoming at all, must come from a similarly cumbersome/overloaded{?} Place Dept. Well at least this is only the second in the time of our ‘integrated’ youth support service. now destined to become an integrated youth and children’s support service, if I read Devon’s visionary ‘Youth Offer: aright. But why, if this is to be the case and vulnerable families and children in distress are more and more to become a major centre of attention for the service do we we see no mention of Virgin, who we understood has already been awarded the county contract for this area of work? If a NEWLY CONFIGURED TARGETED YOUTH SUPPORT SERVICE ( page 5 of Devon’s ‘Youth Offer’) is to be a constituent part of an overall integrated youth support service in the count then does it not sit more comfortably within the existing Virgin remit leaving the 100 FTE valuable and skilled youth workers in the present County Youth Service to be more effectively employed in supporting the improvement of the existing ‘universal’ service?
    Targeted Youth Work:
    I certainly find the section ‘GOING FORWARD YOUNG PEOPLE CAN EXPECT’ (page 5 of ‘Devon’s Youth Offer;;) to be fully justified but cannot accept that the dwindling financial and human resources available to the so-called present Devon Youth Service should be largely diverted in the future to the unspecified ‘targeted ,youth work in the ‘Offer’. Targeted work needs to operate at different levels – some can effectively take place or be accommodated within a universal service,as can be shown for example in Young Devon;s Change Academy.or The Junction Youth Centre at Newton Abbot, to name but two of many and in a number of single purpose sports clubs in the county but all depends in the first instance in the one to one purposeful and accepting relationship established between youth worker/ sports leader and individual young person and the team spirit generated in the clubs/ centres concerned . It is true . of course, that much targeted work needs to take place often but not entirely:
    … on a one to one – worker/young person or even more life-experienced young person’young person level, and where young people are often presenting with multiple problems as in the case of the various YES centres in the county or in Young Devon’s Counselling and Psychotherapy service
    …or in organisations specialising in e.g work with NEET young people as e.g. in Prince;s Trust units or work with younger children e.g. Action for Children’ s Sure Start programme at Teignmouth.
    It is also worth noting that much of this work is currently being undertaken by voluntary organisations often without any direct or minimal funding from the County Council.

    Information.Advice and Guidance:
    Whilst not wishing to criticise rhe Careers South West website and other system already in place for careers guidance it is ;perhaps worth emphasizing that one.s experience of the YES services in the county suggests that many of the young people using the YESes
    are looking fpr more than careers guidance or employment advice – housinipg issues, personal and family relationship problems, drug and alcohol; issues often feature more often and indeed a number even of the NEET young people who present are NEET because there are often no jobs locally for them and they are bored and feeling at odds with society in consequence.
    Participation and Engagement: It is encouraging to hear regularly of the increasing number of young people taking part in Devon’s Youth Parliament, but still the majority appear to come from the more able and intelligent young people at school. Most major youth groups, too, provide an increasing number of opportunities for their young members to have their say and even to lead certain activities – Devon YFC and VOYC(Devon’s) Youth Awards ceremony come to mind but one would wish to see
    maybe county districts providing more opportunities for young people to share their participation experiences and to take the lead in the arrangement of district events, volunteering activities etc.

    THE REVIEW ITSELF
    One concern expressed by a number of us ‘oldies’ in the service is that , although professing otherwise, the review perpetuates the myth that Devon Youth Service primarily consists of the lofficers and youth workers, whose salaries are ;paid by the Coumty Council and the premises used for youth work , which are maintained by the county authority. The writers of the review need reminding of the in depth survey of the service conducted approximately 6 years ago for Connexions and the Youth Service discovered that even amongst the 15 -19 year olds of that year, the number of young people regularly atending activities provided by voluntary organisations far exceeded the number involve in county centre and other provision. I suspect from personal observation and participation in the management of local and county voluntary sector provision over some 30 years much is the same today, and that the quality of service provided remains of the highest order.
    That there is a need for a review at this stage, when serious financial cutbacks are still to be made and a degree of re-structuring essenrtal, one has little doubt, but it must be
    properly evidence based and not on the flimsy and sometimes partial even numberless information given in the area profiles. One would hope, too that it might take place under an independent chairperson supported by an equal number of key staff and young people appointed from both statutory and voluntary sectors. Its findings might then be examined by a similar joint body , who could then assess together as a group representative of the integrated youth support service as a whole how the service might be re-structured and the then available county financial resources allocated to address the priority needs identified through the review. These recommendations should then be put forward to the County Cabinet for action.
    From now on, I believe it to be essential that the Youth Support Service should move forward as a united subnitting its own proposals for action. As for the previously described Devon Youth Service (statutory) there may well still be ways of effecting major financial savings without further serious cutbacls in staffing levels and in ways which might ensure greater local community involvement in the service.
    For example one could envisage that:
    …that the management of all existing and future county youth centres be transferred to local management committees, which might include young people appointed by the membership. -such committees also to have responsibility for the preparatn of annual accounts, maintenance of the building and appointment of staff. The centres would then become voluntary organisations and eligible to apply to Big Lottery and charities for additional funding.
    …….. Area Team leaders to remain in post with responsibility for drawing up an area development plan, managing the area budget and arranging part-tim paid and volunteer youth worker and management committee/ trustee training.
    …..The area development plan wouild include provision for both universal and targeted work and be drawn up by the Area team leader after full consultation with staff of voluntary agencies operating in the area and subject to approval by the head of county youth support services
    …….The role of remaining area youth workers to be clearly that of supporting and encouraging voluntary youth work initiatives, targeted or universal, in each area. to record and review outcomes, and to worrk in partnership with VOYC and local CVS Funding Advisory officers to assist local groups with funding applications.

  35. liam freeman |

    the kids at the bungalow feel that it makes no sense to close youth clubs in towns like buckfastleigh cos there is nothing else here and there is no transport for us to go anywhere else in the evenings. We get the support from the workers to help us pull through problems throughout our lives. We trust the workers so are much more likely to talk to them about the issues that we have, with out them kids like us would not know what to do and would not be able to get help easily from a place we care about. i have been a senior helper for 3 years and i can honestly say that i look forward to every youth session at the bungalow and it really has helped me and i cant thank them for what they have done for me enough.

  36. anna & kate |

    I really like coming to my youth club ( ottery st mary ) because we get to socialise with our friends without our parents bugging us. also we can come here to relax and open up about things which any us which we aren’t comfortable with talking to our parents too.

    our youth club in ottery st mary is a great place to come because we get to meet new people join in all sorts of activities which we probably wouldn’t get to do if we came here!
    being here helps boost peoples confidents and helps them socialise better

  37. chris |

    the young people that use the youth clubs in devon really do value them and are shocked at the possibility of losing them. My friends and i have been going to the Bungalow in buckfastleigh for the past 5 years and dont know what we would do with out it. the workers there always treat us with respect and make us feel welcome. At one time or another we have all needed the workers to support us with issues that have effected our lives, just knowing that we can get support and advice 4 evenings a week from people that we trust is comforting and helpful. We are sure that with out the bungalow there would be much more trouble in Buckfastleigh as there really is very little to do here especally in the evening and weekends, so please keep it open as it is needed

  38. Owen Longhurst |

    I have worked as an Assistant Support Worker at Buckfastleigh for about 6 months now (4 nights a week). I have observed how important the service is to the local young people and their families. While the area has pockets of deprivation and high levels of illiteracy and innumeracy, I believe that the fact that the young people here often describe the youth club as a ‘safe place to go’ demonstrates that the service is valuable on both an educational and social/emotional level. In the local context in which I work, universal youth work appears to be vital to young people’s development.

  39. Reece Macdonald |

    Me and 3 other members of my family come to the youth club in Buckfastleigh. There is not much else to do here and there aren’t any buses out after 6pm. The youth club have helped our family and we all look forward to going after school.

  40. Dylan Macdonald |

    I am in Year 9 and go to the Bungalow Youth club in Buckfastleigh. I like to have fun with my friends and talk to the youth workers if I have any problems at home or school.

  41. Ben Wackley |

    Being part of DYS at a young age, I feel that the work of the Youth Worker is essential to the young people’s development. However, I do believe that the whole way the youth centre is represented and what they actually offer should definitely be changed. A lot of young people in my neighbourhood do go the local youth centre, but the question is what they actually do in the youth centre, and what they get out of being there. From my experience, looking back on it, I didn’t gain much. Its a place where young people can spend more time with their friends, after school. Offering the same limited things each week. Young people do need the nurture and the platform, that may be missing in their social backgrounds, families and communities. Young people, should be able to go into the DYS and feel inspired to be engaged with their communities at a young age, and progress by learning skills, and expanding their abilities. I live in Exeter, and coming from a point of view of a young person, I believe it would be a good idea, if your wanting to save money, to have one new bigger main centre in Exeter, for universal access as well as targeted groups. It will also be a chance for social cohesion, for community groups (such as, Young Citizens Academy at CHRSE CIC), to come together and use the facilities available. And then for the rest of Devon, have Outreach Youth Workers to come and update on the progress of the local youth, locate their needs, and collect their voices and opinions. Actually listen to the young people themselves, and take action! Perhaps do this in village halls around Devon, (for example Topsham’s Matthew’s Hall). Then Youth Workers can get an in depth understanding of what the youth really want, and need. Finally, DYS should work together with other local, specialist agencies to work with young people, who are in specific need, targeting each young individual directly. Going back to my point of social cohesion, DYS should be completely inclusive, to facilitate all groups, including young people from black and ethnic minorities and diverse social backgrounds. For example, I am Leader of Young Citizens Academy, at Centre for Human Rights and Social Equality CIC, and although I’m not in the category of black and ethnic minority myself, being a Leader at YCA, my role with other leaders, we facilitate the integration. For example, I am native Devonian, and a colleague of mine is Indian, my point is we need to work together. Social cohesion. This should be imbedded in the future running of DYS.

  42. Peter Brewer |

    There is a need to audit existing LA provision together with third sector provision and to develop a partnership that effectively meets the needs of young people.

  43. George |

    Ever since I’ve been able to I have been going to the John Tallack Centre in Cullompton. I’ve been volunteering 3 nights a week for most of that time and this is my 6th year as a volunteer.
    I understand that cuts are inevitable now but I really hope that they are made thoughtfully ensuring that the impact on young people is minimal and that decisions aren’t made without a fundamental understanding of how much this matters to so many.
    The youth service has become like a 2nd family to me and has become a huge part of my life; to lose it now would be like not being able to go to school or having to move away from home.
    The youth service and youth workers have done so much for me and it is shamefully unfair to think that future young people (those who will grow up to be our next generation of doctors, politicians and teachers) are going to grow up without the support they need from their youth service at their most changeably stage of growing up.
    The first session I went to was a Friday evening and i spent the majority of the two hours trying to avoid people and make it to the end of the session. When I first started as a volunteer I was working with ‘young’ people twice my age and have learnt that the main thing about growing up is pushing your boundaries on a daily basis. Now I am much more confident, I won the VYS Pride of Devon Award for it! Without the youth service I am positive that I would still be as I was at the age of 11 and cannot explain how much it has changed me.

    I am sure that I will look back on my teenage years in old age and what I will remember most will not be my school, my social life, my house or the difficulties I experience, but the youth service, its superb youth workers and the endless list of good times I spent in it’s centres.

    Obviously I’m not the only one. In the last 5 years I have seen so many young people flourish with the help of the youth service and this is what it is all about. Without the support, they all could have easily grown up to be incapable and unhealthy citizens if given the chance.
    Everyone values the service for different reasons. It offers a place for some young people to get away from other problems and have a good time in a safe environment. For others, it provides a confidential but most importantly friendly and understanding approach to issues such as drink, drugs, sex and bullying. For lots of the young people who use the sessions in Cullompton and in the other centres it offers a chance to stay out of trouble, have a good time, socialise with friends in a relaxed environment and develop their personalities and characters for a better adult life. The service allows young people to learn the things they need to know but in a casual way – the only way young people are going to face potentially embarrassing conversations.

    As we are all aware, there will be cuts and the service will be changed so we must do all we can to make the changes bearable?

    The only reason the youth service works and is valued by so many for so much is the mutual respect, casual atmosphere and understanding that is present in every centre I have visited or heard about.

    Such a respectful approach but most importantly a detailed understanding of young people and our needs and mindsets is what is needed now to make the new youth service useful for the young people not just for saving money!