New research into the value of youth work by the Brighton and Hove Youth Collective (B&HYC) demonstrates that every £1 invested in open access youth provision results in £7.62 of social value.
“In a climate of youth services being decimated up and down the country and a national debate about Kids Company closing, Brighton and Hove City Council should be commended for their continued investment in youth services across the City” said Ben Glazebrook, B&HYC Development Co-ordinator.
Young people who participated in the research said they had increased self-worth, an increased sense of community belonging, and increased personal expectations, including better career and educational prospects.
The research also shows that young people are less likely to need mental health services because youth work helps them build positive relationships with young people and adults.
B&HYC works with 2500 young people every year, delivering activities that support young people to enjoy their leisure time, be active citizens, improve their confidence and help shape the services that affect their lives.
“This research confirms what fantastic value for money the City Council, communities and the tax payer are getting” said Mike Roe, CEO of Brighton Youth Centre.
Jo Martindale, Hangleton and Knoll Project CEO and member of the Youth Collective said: “with this work young people themselves were able to identify how community based, young people led youth provision impacted on their lives, not just for leisure but as informal education building their aspirations, resilience, future potential and supporting a cohesive and better integrated community.”
Nathan Gulliver, 21, said “I’ve used the service over the years; I have had many different ups and downs to do with a whole range of different things and throughout the years the service has been there and helped me, advised me, guided me or even just talked to me when I’ve needed it, especially to do with things like housing, benefits, services and just generally someone to talk to when I’ve been unsure of something”
Other young people said by coming to the sessions I have been able to work on my CV, application forms and got a job’, that ‘I feel more confident about myself and have stopped being shy here and also at school’. Another young person acknowledged that ‘By coming to the youth centre I have talked to workers about my anxiety and my OCD, which have both improved’
The Brighton & Hove Youth Collective research was supported by the New Economics Foundation and funded by the Big Lottery and was the first of its kind in the country.