Over the next fortnight, we are taking part in Youth & Community Action Fortnight, in which young people work together in the Somerset area, to make our communities better.

Young people across Somerset and Mid-Devon will be leading social action projects from Monday 28th October, as Youth and Community Action Fortnight begins. With support from five charitable organisations, young people from local communities will be working together to create social change as part of an effort to showcase the positive impact of youth services.

Across Somerset and Mid-Devon, young people have been putting forward proposals for projects of social action, with some suggesting quiz evening to promote an intergeneration community, litter picking and planting bulbs within the community to promote the impact of environmental wellbeing. A number of communities will be involved, all of which have youth services funded by the Youth Investment Fund (YIF) within their local areas.

Five local charities will be working together on this project, all of whom have received funding from YIF to provide youth services within their localities. YMCA Dulverton Group, YMCA Mendip, YMCA Taunton, Young Somerset and Minehead Eye are collaborating on a joint Youth and Community Action fortnight, rather than previously independent projects where it is hoped that more people will get involved than before.

YIF funded youth services are at the centre of each community project and young people who access these will be taking part, with projects planned for towns such as Cullompton, Minehead and Weston-super-Mare amongst others. The fortnight will offer young people from each location a chance to make an impact on where they live, alongside many others in towns and villages across Somerset and Mid-Devon.

Youth services funding has recently come under scrutiny as figures released by YMCA England and Wales show that funding of youth services are set to reach the lowest levels in a generation, with a 69% decline nationally since 2010. Across the county, Young Somerset provide a range of vital youth services, from youth clubs to young carer support. These services encourage positive community inclusion and space for young people to learn, create and access advice.

Zara Scott-Davies, Youth and Community Programme Manager at Young Somerset said:

“At Young Somerset, we know that putting young people first will improve Somerset – and we believe that a youth work relationship with young people is powerful: we take time to build a relationship with young people that is open, honest, trusting, respectful and led by the young person.

“We know that it is hugely important that young people have a voice in their community and are recognised as valued and valuable assets. We want to make sure that young people are active citizens in the spaces and places that they live and can work to make a difference in the lives of others. Young Somerset youth workers work within the context of young people’s lives – their families, friends, peers, communities and the institutions they inhabit. We can support their personal, social, economic and educational development so that they thrive in Somerset."

“Our core youth work is developing in the county – with a clear focus on emotional wellbeing and mental health; benefiting from the Youth Investment Fund has meant that we have managed to keep youth work and its values at the core of Young Somerset.”

Although this project is based around each of the five charities working locations, other communities that would like to get involved can, by contacting us on 01278 722100.

For more information, please contact:

Chris Bucksey: Lead Youth Worker [email protected]

01278 722100

07966 991446