20 December 2011

Church calls for more investment in young people

The Methodist Church has welcomed the Government's 'Positive for Youth' report, released yesterday, but has called for greater financial investment in youth services.

"We commend the Government for producing a report which is so positive towards young people and goes some way to creating a more positive attitude in the whole of society towards young people," said Sam Taylor, Youth President of the Methodist Church in Britain.

The report recognises the importance of faith groups, uniformed organisations (such as the Boy's Brigade), charities, voluntary and community groups and the work that they do with young people.

"Often these are the groups that take over when the Government cuts local youth services, but resources are very limited and the Government shouldn't assume that these groups will always be able to step in when services are cut. It is easy for the Government to say that they value young people, but the real proof of that claim will be in whether they are willing to make a real long-term investment in sustainable youth services."

The Church itself has made large investment in its own Youth Participation Strategy, which aims to get young people participating in the life of the whole Church, and involved in decision making at every level. The National Youth Agency reviewed the Church's participation strategy and have awarded it the Hear By Right Award. The Church is the largest organisation to have received this award.

"Our Youth Participation Strategy is a prime example of the value of investing in young people," said Mr Taylor. "We now have young people at the forefront of our Church, and it is so much better off as a result. They bring fresh insight and creativity, and we believe that they could have the same kind of impact on wider society if given the opportunity." 

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