Witney Town Council commits £30k to support Youth Services

A £30,000 fund is one of the ways in which Witney Town Council is aiming to support children and young people in the town.

The money will go towards supporting sustainable youth work and services.

Early in 2019 the Town Council held meetings with key professionals from youth service providers and followed up with direct consultation with the town’s youth through a young people’s survey. This enabled them to identify problems and issues in the town, available provision and resources, and current and future need.

While existing provision in the town is of high quality, there are gaps and barriers to access that need to be addressed.

Based on the information gathered the Town Council resolved to set a budget to support Witney-based projects and collaborations working with local children and young people and to strengthen the town’s youth sector provision.

Cllr Luci Ashbourne, Chair of the Youth Services Working Party commented;

“Young people and their lives are shaped by, and help shape, our community as a whole.  Government cuts to local authorities, schools, policing and mental health services have had a significant detrimental impact on the support and services available for children and their families.

As a grassroots authority, Witney Town Council have the ability to help understand, bring together and share – visually and accessibly – what the town’s offer is: From birth to adulthood, in terms of recreation, leisure and learning, to open access and specialist support.

Knowing this will also enable us to know where the gaps are, to look for solutions, and indeed to help positively promote the lives of a generation and beyond.”

Witney Town Council will also be working alongside agencies at Oxfordshire County Council and West Oxfordshire District Council, reviewing and adding to existing directories to create an accessible and definitive ‘asset map’ of services within the town.

The twin offering from the Town Council consists of the services directory and a fund that could be used to support existing services, create new projects or remove barriers to accessing existing services, such as funding discretionary rates.

The consistent message is that the promotion of positive experiences and opportunities for 0-21-year olds demonstrates that the towns young people are valued and that investing in them will have beneficial outcomes.

The Town Council is continuing to gather information for its Youth Services asset map and you can help by filling in the section that focuses on this in our Annual Resident’s Survey which can be found at this link and in our Spring Newsletter.