UPDATE: Investing in Lambeth’s youth services

2 October 2019

Written by: Lambeth Council

Children and young people - News and announcements - Spending and transparency - Voluntary and community sector

Lambeth 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.

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UPDATE: Investing in Lambeth’s youth services

The way youth services are delivered in the borough have been reviewed and reshaped, with new arrangements being put in place ahead of the end of the Young Lambeth Cooperative’s (YLC) contract on September 30. Despite deep cuts to the council’s budget, front line youth services are being maintained at current levels by Lambeth.

Overall the new arrangements 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 Young Mayor and 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 financial challenges the council faces due to government cuts.

Lambeth is investing over £800,000 per year directly into 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.

To best direct this important investment the council has held talks with local play and youth providers, partner organisations, and the YLC. The aim is to make sure the running of youth services is more efficient, to enable better working with voluntary sector organisations, to allow the council to monitor progress effectively, and ensure services are more responsive to the needs of young people.

The YLC will stop delivering services in the borough and its staff have been working closely with the council over the summer to put in place the new arrangements. Many former YLC staff will now come under the direct employment of Lambeth council from 1 October.

Commissioning and assessing of youth services to meet local needs

This service has now transferred in house from the YLC to Lambeth Council along with a staff transfer to keep continuity for commissioned youth services. New contracts for the council’s partners are due to be released next month and will run for two-years. Lambeth is setting up a working group to review the impact of those services and give guidance on future commissioning arrangements.

Lambeth Youth Council

The running of the Lambeth Youth Council has been transferred to council management and it will continue to provide opportunities for young people to engage directly with decision-makers, create, promote and work on youth-led campaigns. Its central aim remains supporting children and young people to have a voice. Lambeth council is working to support, develop and strengthen the youth council while maintaining current campaigns and initiatives.

Engaging with young people

The YLC’s pathway co-ordinators are now part of the council’s Early Help Team and will continue to provide the support to young people so they can connect with services. They will also continue to work with schools, acting as advocates and working with educators, parents and carers, and children and young people to help resolve key community and personal issues.

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 to achieve more through opportunities and support. This will particularly tie in with the council’s community-led approach to tackling 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.