Have your say on the future of Hillingdon's Youth Services
Monday 3 April 2023: Hillingdon Council is inviting young people, families, carers, partner agencies and community organisations to have their say on its new proposals for the youth offer in the borough.
The proposed new Youth Offer sets out the council's commitment to creating a wider programme of more modern, relevant, flexible and digital services for young people to receive the support they need, in their communities, to help them reach their potential.
The borough's current youth offer is mainly a static, single-use buildings-based model from which programmes and activities are delivered. Attendance rates have decreased, and young people have told the council that they would prefer services to be brought to them, close to where they live and spend recreational time and be in different formats which would encourage them to participate.
The Youth Offer Strategy outlines plans for a new youth offer underpinned by the needs and wants of the borough's young people which will continue to evolve to meet emerging trends. The council will closely work with young people to co-produce services that are dynamic, culturally aware, more efficient, and accessible - both digitally and at a range of locations across the borough. The number of services will be increased, and the aim is to appeal to and reach even more young people during their leisure time to support their personal, social and educational development and improve wellbeing.
Detached street-based youth work will continue and be supported with outreach youth work and more flexible location-based sessions and activities at a range of buildings within local communities, including schools, sports facilities, community centres and family hubs. The plans also include increasing access to outdoor learning and volunteering opportunities.
The council will extend co-production of the youth offer to its partners and other community organisations that work with young people to maximise opportunities and ensure the offer is comprehensive and joined up. In addition, a youth service directory will be created.
Cllr Susan O'Brien, Hillingdon Council's Cabinet Member for Children, Families and Education, said: "We know that over time, the needs of children and young people have evolved and how they engage with the wider community has changed.
"Our young people have told us that our current youth services model is outdated. We have listened to this feedback and are putting our young people right at the heart of this strategy. I encourage them to share their valuable insight and help to shape the design and delivery of new youth services that can benefit even more young people.
"We also want to develop innovative ways for young people to access early advice and support when they need it, to help prevent needs escalating and include programmes which will enrich their lives and support them to move successfully into adulthood and be ready for work."
To view the strategy and have your say visit www.hillingdon.gov.uk/youth-offer-strategy before the closing date on Monday 5 June 2023.
The council's Cabinet will consider all feedback and the final Youth Offer Strategy later in the year.