Published: Wednesday, 10th July 2019

Youth services across Oldham are to receive a £100,000 boost, creating new opportunities and support for young people in the borough.

Following consultation with thousands of young residents, Oldham Council and the local Community Safety and Cohesion Partnership will focus funds on projects that build young people’s confidence as part of our community, raising their aspirations and expectations, and reducing violence.

The investment will be used to develop youth services across our districts tailored to local needs, with every part of the borough benefiting. 

The money will also support further consultation work with young people, led by Oldham Youth Council, allowing them to work with the council and partners to design a youth service that is right for them.

In addition, the Council is working with partners in the statutory, voluntary, community and faith sectors to identify additional funding opportunities to expand provision for young people even further.

Sean Fielding, Oldham Council Leader, said: “Oldham’s young people are our greatest asset and they deserve investment to help them achieve their potential.

“Over several years in Oldham, and across the country, there have been cuts to youth services. Like other local authorities, we’ve had to make difficult decisions because of unprecedented financial pressures over the past ten years. But as a council, and as a community, we have to step up. We must make our young people feel included and feel valued.

“This investment is about increasing resources in the areas where our young people need support the most. We’re taking a new, targeted approach to how we provide youth services.

“The resources build a diverse offer reflecting our diverse communities, and with the voices of young people at the heart. We believe this is the best way to reduce violence and grow confidence and aspirations.

Oldham Youth Council revealed the findings of their survey of 2,167 young people at this month’s Full Council (July 10). Taking place within the national 2018 Make Your Mark ballot, where over 196,000 young people aged 11-18 from across the UK chose their priorities, Oldham voters made their number one issue ‘Put an End to Knife Crime’.

Cllr Fielding added: “Thousands of young people have spoken, and we must listen and act upon their wishes where we can. We cannot thank Oldham Youth Council enough for their fantastic work as an extremely important voice for our young people.

“For the future of our borough, the views and ideas of our young people must be heard and acted upon. Earlier this summer, our care leavers demanded free prescriptions, explaining passionately the difference it would make to their lives. We were pleased to be able to make that happen, and I’m delighted to be able to respond positively to our young people again here.

“We’re committed to working in constant partnership with our young people to identify areas for improvement across the whole of the borough and ensure services are co-designed and co-developed to ensure we meet their needs and obtain the best possible value from the resources we have available.”

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