I have been lobbying hard in and around Parliament to increase youth volunteering in Hyndburn. It has been a struggle with much of what is on offer in the private sector, affordable to those with the ability to pay. Young people often enthused by the thought of such an experience. Those that would most benefit are those children from poorer backgrounds yet they are being left out. Particularly young people from Hyndburn.
I have been working with the British Council to begin an awareness campaign of volunteering exchange programmes with organisations in Hyndburn who are working with young people. As it stands now, Hyndburn's young people are missing out and it is important to find out why this is so.
Sent: 20 March 2013 16:37
To: Swanson, Nick
Subject: FW: YiA info for Graham Jones MP
My colleague Gordon has been looking into opportunities that might be available locally for youth volunteering through the European Youth in Action programme. The bad news is that there is no Youth in Action (YiA) or Training and Co-operation Plan (TCP) activity either within the town of Accrington, nor the constituency of Hyndburn. However, since 2007, 154 projects have been granted across the North West, comprising a total of €1,523,721 of YiA funding to young people and youth workers. I've attached a case study of one volunteering scheme. The Training and Co-operation Plan (TCP) is a strand of YiA that support training of youth workers, and is a springboard to enabling them to apply to the core YiA programme.
Towns and cities across the region that have benefitted from funding are: Blackpool, Bolton, Carlisle, Chorley, Coniston, Fleetwood, Liverpool, Lymm, Macclesfield, Manchester, Merseyside, Oldham, Preston, Rochdale, Runcorn, Southport, St Helens, Stockport, Thornton Cleveleys, Upton, Warrington, Wigton and Wirral. In 2012, there were 42 applications from the North West, representing 8.6 % of the total UK share; of these, 31 were approved, representing 7.8% of the UK participation. I've attached a case study of a project we're undertaking in Blackpool as an example of one of the schemes that can be funded through Youth in Action – it's more than a volunteering programme that takes people out to other European countries, it also enables local schemes for improving young people's vocational skills. There's more info on the YiA website http://www.britishcouncil.org/society/youth-in-action/volunteering
With many neighbouring communities benefitting from YiA I'll admit I'm a bit stumped as to why there's a gap for Accrington. My best guess is there's just no awareness of what's available. We don't have the presence on the ground to do nearly as much awareness raising of the opportunities available as we'd like. We're actually planning to issue an appeal to MPs to help us do just that next month. I reckon with the local intelligence that Mr Jones and your team have we can probably do some joining up. Gordon has offered to meet and discuss what's "out there" with local youth leaders which could really help to ensure young people in Hyndburn get the same chances as their peers in Rochdale and Preston. If Mr Jones is interested in following this up or we can help in any other way please let me know.
Alistair MacDonald│External Relations Manager│British Council│10 Spring Gardens│London SW1A 2BN│Telephone +44 (0)207 389 4636│Email Alistair.MacDonald@britishcouncil.org
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