Sea Cadets are disappointed to hear today that the campaign we, alongside other youth groups, supported to release £500 million from the Youth Investment Fund was not in the national spending review. While there was a welcome announcement earlier in the day of £16.5 million being released from the fund, we know, at least £500 million, is needed to help the youth sector respond to the needs of young people in this difficult time.
We would like to thank everyone who participated in the wider Back Youth Alliance campaign with us.
You can still help by writing a message to your MP, or re-sharing this blog post to raise awareness for youth group funding. This is also a great time for local youth groups and units to reach out either to their MP or their local council. One of the really key highlights of the spending review was about giving local communities, more say in how they respond to their local problems, and how to make the biggest difference to people’s lives. Now is a fantastic time for groups who are already respected in their communities to make the case for what a great experience Sea Cadets can be for young people.
Looking forward, Sea Cadets are calling for local youth groups to be recognised as a key part of the essential work that is going to be needed over the next few years to help the nation recover from the pandemic.
The spending review recognised the importance of providing more funding to schools and colleges to help young people get the skills they need. However, we think this ignores the very important role of uniformed youth groups like Sea Cadets. We provide training and a path to further education for young people with skills that you just can’t get in a school.
Sea Cadets exists in 400 communities across the UK. Young people most impacted by this will be from disadvantaged backgrounds, where Sea Cadets works to unlock these young people’s potential with access to the knowledge skills and qualifications they need to progress in life.
The Chancellor said we need to work to create communities that are healthier and happier, that show courage wisdom and kindness. Sea Cadets couldn’t agree more, but when looking at how to empower communities and families to achieve this, it is our 9,000 volunteers, who work on the ground to change the lives of young people. To achieve this vision it’s essential that youth work is properly recognised and supported during this pandemic, and we feel this has been sadly forgotten.
The next few months are going to be really challenging for young people, and without releasing new funds we know youth groups will have to spend their time focussing on keeping the lights on when they could and should be doing more work on the ground. At Sea Cadets we will continue to work with the Back Youth Alliance to make sure young people get the support they need during the pandemic, and in the years following it to repair the scars it leaves behind.
We invite you to join Sea Cadets in backing the Back Youth Alliance and write a letter to your MP to appeal for the essential funds that young people need right now.