Youth services to be run by volunteers?

By Emily Pearce

Friday, April 18, 2014


Youth services to be run by volunteers?

Cllr Luisa Hillard.

PLANS to outsource youth services to community groups have been approved by Isle of Wight Council bosses — despite concerns volunteers may lack the skills and motivation to deal with potentially troublesome teenagers.

The council’s executive agreed this month it would no longer provide services directly, run youth clubs or employ youth workers.

Instead, the authority will allocate £200,000 of funding in 2014/15, rising to £400,000 in the following two years, enabling town and parish councils, community and voluntary groups to take on services.

The proposals will shave £200,000 off the £943,000 the council currently spends on providing services, such as youth and homework clubs and support services for vulnerable young people.

Executive member for children’s services and education Cllr Richard Priest said although savings were being made, the reason for overhauling youth services was to ensure they were fit for purpose.

"We accept there might be some buildings people are attached to but we have focused on provision that’s comprehensive for the whole Island — rather than hold a service together that’s perhaps not fit for purpose and not designed for the children that are supposed to be at the heart of it," he said.

But Cllr Luisa Hillard questioned whether volunteers could replace trained youth workers.

She said the youth club in her ward, East Cowes, failed because the volunteers could not cope with teenagers with 'challenging behaviour’.

"Volunteers did not have the skills or motivation to do it for free. We are really going to have to push parish and town councils to ensure an experienced youth worker is there to give volunteers the confidence to provide this service," she said.

Cllr Priest said volunteers would be supported and some funding would be made available to provide training.



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Displaying the last 10 of 17 comments - Show All Comments

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by Dave Dawson

21st April 2014, at 18:26:49

All wrong councillor priest. This is like Pilate washing his hands.

Who picks up all thd potential issues as a direct result of this careless vandalism?

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by Colin Russell

19th April 2014, at 19:54:47

Mike sadly thats life, there is the have,s and have nots, and the do,s and the dont,s, i remember when i was a lad my old dad said to me God helps them who help themselves, but God help you if i catch you, and over the years i found it cost nothing to help someone out who needs help,

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by Mike Crowe

19th April 2014, at 15:26:03

One day, just one day way in the future, Keven Baclay-Jay will post something praiseworthy of what someone or some group has done, until then he will sit at his keyboard, not do anything worthwhile himself, and knock at what others do or have done.

Just perhaps one day some good will come from his keyboard. But I won't hold my breath.

My mother in law could see no good in anybody.

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by Kevin Barclay-Jay

19th April 2014, at 14:04:20

Mike Crow....WHAT...Shanklin Theatre was run into the rebirth was down to a few business professionals that raised the funds and lobbied the council for change..they saved the theatre, so the Friends could come back and work their. Youth Services are essential for our towns and having hobbyists run them is not a good answer. Some of our Youth Clubs have been run very well outisde of the Council (Shanklin) by professionals (well versed amateurs) This is simply a cost cutting exerciseand towns like Sandown will suffer.

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by Carol Jones

19th April 2014, at 13:59:18

* Meant to say, "most of which I would say were not beneficial to anyone except the council's coffers"!

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by Carol Jones

19th April 2014, at 13:55:54

I do not believe this should be considered a parish council issue - in Ventnor or any other town on the island. These are the IOW council's cuts, some of which have been threatened for years. I worked for several years as a youth worker on the island and watched all the cost cutting changes - most of which I wouldn't say were not beneficial to anyone except the council's coffers. On the point of volunteers, I believe we do have a very successful boxing club in Ventnor which has been run for some years now by individuals giving freely of their time and energies against the odds. However I find it slightly alarming that it seems our drug services, youth services and other vital systems of support are seemingly going to rely on volunteers due to the IOW council's insistence on financial cuts. This short sighted, potentially dangerous idea may only be truly recognised when there is an inquest into some catastrophe - who will be accountable then? Skilled workers are essential...

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by john jones

19th April 2014, at 11:58:13

of course volunteers are vital and hats of to them. we have to provide everything to the do with the skate park at ventnor without any help from the council. even after the storms blew down our wind and sea barrier they wont help. reason? they want the land for car parking spaces and will do all they can to get the skate park shut down. we have groups of teenage boys walking round and although they don't primarily do much, they are intimidating to a lot of people. we do have a youth club but it has limited opening times due to the fact it is run by volunteers. we also have a thing called 34 but despite its good intentions it also only opens for a very short time. if ventnor parish council doesn't give our teenagers something to do that will stimulate them on a regular basis then these teenagers are going to be tomorrows trouble makers on a much grander scale.

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by kevin froment

18th April 2014, at 22:23:01

iwhen i wrote "what are the young people supposed to do" i meant where are the young people supposed to go when the youth clubs are closed and probably sold off. as for the bike rides and sandwiches and pop, that was parodied by the comic strip programme, 5 go mad in dorset, set 40 or so years ago, the modern teenager wont do those things, i worked alongside some great volunteers when the pavilion first opened, and for a number of years it was a great success, i also volunteered at island volunteers on and off for 10 years, i know volunteering works ive seen it but some of the behaviours that youth workers have to put up with now are not for the feint hearted and im not so sure volunteers will stick it out, hopefully im wrong, we will have to wait and see

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by Mike Crowe

18th April 2014, at 18:34:23

Robert just as a matter of interest and for your information, look at what the volunteers have dome with Shanklin Theatre.

Shut when the Friends and the Trust took over on April 23rd 2010 and now ...


volunteers wont work/?

By the way, since then 4 people have been employed and work under the direction of the Trust and the Friends

It works, no matter what you think

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by Mike Crowe

18th April 2014, at 17:39:10

Robert before you come back and open you mouth and spout your rubbish, either go to Shanklin Theatre or Havenstreet Railway and ask about training, safety and many other things which you are so negative about. Don't forget the paying public come to use these facilities and are covered by Health and Safety

It works. Honest. Not in theory, but in practice.

Someone mentioned scouts, how about Guides, Brownies and did you see the article in the County Press about the Beavers and their Blue Peter badges? And how about Sea Cadets who go to sea with volunteers?

With regards to Shanklin Theatre, go and ask the volunteers what skills they have, Lots and Lots have been on the stage and have retired to the Island, some are still working but volunteer their time for the benefit of the Theatre.

Sorry sir, you don't know what you are talking about and shooting from the hip, with an empty gun.

Any views or opinions presented in the comments above are solely those of the author and do not represent those of the Isle of Wight County Press.

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