Protecting vulnerable children, Young people

Community groups welcome opportunity to run youth activities

Community groups have welcomed the opportunity to run activities at Surrey youth centres which will mean improved services for young people while also saving local taxpayers £1.8m a year.

Surrey Youth Consortium, which is made up of 12 local charities, and Raven Housing Trust will provide activities at 31 Surrey County Council youth centres.

Activities will be run by the youth consortium at 27 centres, with sessions at the other four run by Raven Housing Trust.

The move which will help save £1.8m is part of the council’s new ‘one team’ approach, which seeks out ways to harness the expertise of other organisations for the benefit of Surrey. The change will allow centres to realise their full potential, while ensuring maximum value for money.

Jenny Griffiths, Independent Chair of Surrey Youth Consortium, said: “Our long history of collaborative working, integrating with the wider community and providing fantastic value for money will assist us to do the best we possibly can in managing these youth centres.”

Angela Ellis, Head of Community Investment at Raven Housing Trust, said: “These centres are at the heart of the areas where we work, and we are looking forward to developing them with local young people, providing activities and access to services that they want and need.”

Kay Hammond, Cabinet Member for Community Safety, said: “By taking a one team approach, we’re all working in the best interests of Surrey. It means more activities can be offered to young people while saving money.”

The partnership is part of Surrey’s plans to transform young people’s services that were described as “constructive and forward-looking” by parliamentary Education Committee chairman Graham Stuart last year.

The plans include each of Surrey’s 11 local committees being given up to £200,000 a year for grassroots activities or projects agreed with young people and joining forces with further education colleges to run vocational courses at youth centres for 16 to 19-year-olds.

Notes to editors

Surrey Youth Consortium and Raven Trust will run youth centre activities for three years.

The council will continue to own and maintain the buildings.

Surrey’s 11 local committees are made up of county councillors and boroughs and district councillors.

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