Tag Archives: Youth Zone

Investing in youth work and young people is an investment in the future

Alistair Dale, CEO of Youth Moves smiles in front of a wall covered in graffiti art.
Alistair Dale, CEO of Youth Moves

Did you know young people spend 80% of their waking hours in a year outside of school? So youth work services are vital for them to access the support they need during these times and we need the support of all city partners to make sure our young people can access great youth workers.

Youth Work is a profession that makes a difference to a huge number of young people across the city and nationally. That said it is often a hidden service, taking place in parks or youth clubs, on street-corners and with small groups or individuals.

Youth workers provide support to young people through their transition from childhood to adulthood, they help young people to deal with the huge challenges of growing up and navigating teenage life, and to find their place in the world and be active citizens in their communities.

Young people need somewhere to go, something to do and someone to talk to and youth clubs and youth workers are a vital resource to provide this support.

Nationally though youth work has also been critically under-funded, and years of austerity and covid have seen youth work decimated nationally with more than 70% of the national budget removed over the last 15-20 years.

Despite these national cuts Bristol still has a strong and diverse youth work sector. In recent years we have come together to develop a vision for youth work in the city and to work in partnership to help raise the profile of the impact that great youth work makes and therefore leverage more funding into the sector.

New national government funding from the Youth Investment Fund aims to address some of this funding shortage by investing in 300 new youth clubs across the country. As a part of this Bristol is bidding, alongside OnSide and Youth Moves, to develop a new state-of-the-art Youth Zone in the south of the city.

At Youth Moves for the last 17 years we have been aiming to provide outstanding youth work in South Bristol, working with a huge range of partners, schools, community organisations, other youth and play delivery groups, the Police, social care teams and much, much more.

So investing in a Youth Zone, which is a large secondary school/ leisure centre sized youth facility, open 7 nights a week, 364 days a year, and which has over 20+ activities going on every night helps to increase our offer to young people. It provides the very best facilities and equipment, is delivered by fantastic staff and partners, and shows the young people that we care, that they matter, that they are seen and that we are investing in their futures.

On International Youth Day it is great to be able to look ahead with such optimism for the future.