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Young people urged to help reshape the youth service

Coun Robert Arckless
Coun Robert Arckless

Northumberland’s youth service will be asking its users to help them bring about new and improved changes for the future.

As reported by the Gazette earlier this month, the service has to save £240,000 from a total budget of around £1.2million in the next financial year.

However, planned changes are designed to help the service refocus on the children and young people who most need support and reduce costs in a way that avoids any detrimental impact on front-line services.

One of the other changes is to rearrange the county into three areas, grouping together young people who live in areas with similar characteristics – the rural north and west; the former coalfield areas, eg, Ashington and Amble; and other settlements in the southern part of the county, eg Morpeth, Ponteland and Cramlington.

Coun Robert Arckless, cabinet member for children’s services, said: “Although the newly-identified areas all present their own individual challenges, the development of the service will be guided by the same key principles as before, with the primary focus being on those young people who are most at risk of poor social and educational outcomes.

“Partnership working will continue to be at the core of everything the service does to allow closer links with charitable, community and voluntary groups to support their delivery of youth work and to make best use of reduced public funding.”

A consultation will begin with users in February to gather the needs and perceptions of young people living in each of the three new localities, with the aim of ensuring that the service offers a tailored programme to each area.

To complete the survey, visit myteens.uk
All participants will be entered into a prize draw to win £50.

The service welcomes views from all young people who live in Northumberland, regardless of whether they currently use the service or not, who are interested in finding out more information.