Making sure Lambeth’s young people get the best chance to succeed in life is one of Lambeth Council’s key objectives. The council is focused on working with its partners and the community to make Lambeth one of the best places for children and young people to grow up and ensure they have the best possible access to the opportunities on offer in this thriving borough.
Lambeth is investing over £800,000 per year in direct youth and play services to deliver this, as well as investing over £1m in ongoing funding to address youth violence and committing nearly £500,000 of funding from the Community Levy on development sites for youth and play services.
The council has considered what is needed to deliver these priorities in the future, following discussions with local play and youth providers, partner organisations, and the Young Lambeth Cooperative (YLC). The package will improve efficiency, enable better working with voluntary sector organisations, allow the council to monitor progress effectively, and ensure services are more responsive to the needs of young people.
This was also an appropriate time to reconsider the structures that the YLC had in place, while continuing to meet the original objectives that the council and the YLC had when it was set up in 2014. These include working in collaboration with the voluntary sector and ensuring the voice of young people are at the heart of our decision-making.
The council has reached a joint agreement with the YLC, which had responsibility for commissioning and co-creating play and youth services in Lambeth, in partnership with young people and the voluntary youth sector. The current contract will end in September 2019 and YLC will no longer be delivering services in the borough. The council and YLC will be working together closely to ensure an effective transfer to these new arrangements.
We are confident that this move will boost youth and play services in the borough, by giving opportunities to the exciting range of existing organisations in Lambeth that support our young people and that are led by them, to get even more involved. We are keen to harness the wealth of talent, ambition and passion in our borough to benefit all of our young people and to re-energise the relationship between the council and the voluntary and community sector.
The changes will allow the council to meet the objectives in the Children and Young People’s Plan 2018-2022, which set out the need for improved emotional wellbeing and mental health in our young people and thriving to achieve more through opportunities and support. This will particularly tie in with the council’s community-led approach to tacking serious violence against young people. The brokerage service will be a key way for vulnerable young people to be supported and motivated to engage with the wider activities and provision available in their area.
The changes will come into force in October after a competitive selection process over the summer. We are keen to work with the voluntary sector and providers on what these changes will look like and are holding a meeting on 6th June. The details of time and venue will be sent to you shortly.
The changes, set out in a letter to stakeholders, will mean:
- Services for young people, including early intervention, summer holiday activities and youth and play will be commissioned directly by the council, working with young people to decide what services they need.
- A new focus to help all youth and play organisations to work together and share resources, bring funding into the borough and to work more closely together to help young people.
- Maintaining the voice of young people in the full range of young people’s services; including the continuation of a steering group and youth commissioners programme. We will be commissioning a new organisation to manage the Youth Council, including the Young Mayors Fund.
- Additional funding for services that work with and support vulnerable young people to access the services they need, as part of the council’s commitment to tackling serious youth violence.
- The direct funding for services will be maintained despite the council’s financial challenges due to government cuts and commissioned by the council.