London Youth recently released their report:
“A Space of Our Own” – The role and value of youth organisations in strengthening communities
The research is based on interviews with youth professionals and young people from across London Youth’s member network, who were interviewed by five peer researchers.
Against a backdrop of destabilising forces, including funding cuts to the youth sector, poverty, unaffordable housing, and reduced investment in social infrastructure, youth organisations play a vital role in strengthening communities across the capital.
Our report shows that youth organisations have a powerful role in strengthening communities. They do this by:
Creating connections for young people and the community
Giving young people a sense of belonging and ownership over the local area
Being places of physical safety
Allowing young people to recognise and celebrate difference and cultural identity
Developing young people’s skills and confidence for community involvement
Being known and trusted within the community
The report concludes by reflecting on the ways that funders, commissioners, and local government in London could better support youth organisations and the important work they undertake in our city.
Rosemary Watt-Wyness, London Youth’s Chief Executive, said “We know that young people can feel disconnected and struggle to find their place in an adult world that is changing constantly. It is up to us to provide young people with space: space to be safe, space to be themselves, space to own and lead.”
David Kennedy, one of the peer researchers on the project, said “For years, I’ve wanted my community to become a better place, yet I hardly even know my neighbours. I definitely don’t know them in the way my grandma knew hers! My local area felt like a place of residence, not one of refuge.
This is why this research is imperative; it provides a genuine insight into the minds of young Londoners. If we can bridge this gap and help willing young people to feel connected, I have no doubt communities will be considerably stronger.”
You can read the full report here.