Church calls for more investment in young people

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

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

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

"Often these are the groups that take over when the Government cutslocal youth services, but resources are very limited and theGovernment shouldn't assume that these groups will always be ableto step in when services are cut. It is easy for the Government tosay that they value young people, but the real proof of that claimwill be in whether they are willing to make a real long-terminvestment in sustainable youth services."

The Church itself has made large investment in its own YouthParticipation Strategy, which aims to get young peopleparticipating in the life of the whole Church, and involved indecision making at every level. The National Youth Agency reviewedthe Church's participation strategy and have awarded it the Hear ByRight Award. The Church is the largest organisation to havereceived this award.

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