Letter: Youth work restructure is a cause for concern

From: Mr D Hamilton MBE, Knaresborough Road, Harrogate.

I AM writing this letter because I have a genuine concern for the future of youth clubs in the district. A recent re-structure of the youth service, (now known as youth support service) has left practitioners such as myself being deleted from the structure. Youth workers across the county find themselves angered and upset by the re-organisation of youth provision.

Across the country youth provision is in decline, while across the county youth workers (many who have been involved in the front line delivery of youth work for several years, some of whom have served the young people for in excess of two decades) have been made redundant.

These front line workers have been part of a lengthy consultation process; however that seems to be a legal requirement rather than a listening/caring process. Youth clubs have formed part of our culture since the start of the 60s and possibly even earlier, and to date our clubs still provide inclusive and positive activities for young people. Obviously now is not the time to suggest that the provision of service delivered to young people will suffer due to the re-organisation, however by removing the long serving staff and with an unclear future for other youth workers that will be under another re-structure later this year, it does raise concerns.

I have been given redundancy notice and left my role as senior youth worker at Bilton Youth Club on January 31, 2012. I have been offered a role as youth worker at Bilton on three nights a week, very similar to the role I currently do, I will be considering this role, however the situation for other colleagues is not so positive. They have been left in a heartbreaking position, as they have no role within the new structure, neither have they been offered this demoted role as part of the redeployment process. I am aware that colleagues have thrown heart and soul into giving their best to the children and young people who attend the youth clubs. So, it is with great sadness and regret that I feel compelled to write this letter.

I am confident that my colleagues would support this letter and would want this issue brought directly to the attention of the public through your media. Unfortunately, it does not appear that the parents and youngsters themselves have had much of a say in this process and that cannot be right, can it?

What’s your experience of this re-structure of the youth service? Email george.hinton@ypn.co.uk or write to the editor at 1 Cardale Park, HG3 1RZ