Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities
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Eric Pickles: Volunteer push will create 10,000 youth group places for young people

A £10 million cash boost to train thousands of new volunteer leaders for national youth groups like the Scouts, Guiding and Police Cadets will give young people valuable skills and opportunities, Communities Secretary Eric Pickles announced recently.

Over the next two and a half years Youth United - a coalition of the major youth volunteering organisations - established by the HRH The Prince of Wales and supported by The Prince of Wales's Charitable Foundation - will recruit and train up 2,700 new adult volunteers to run 400 new youth groups in communities across the country that will mean over 10,000 more young people will be able to join a pack or troop.

Under the ambitious new programme, Youth United organisations will target funding to kick-start much loved youth and volunteering activities in communities where historically there have been limited opportunities, because the few adults with the right skills and experience have needed the additional support from new volunteers.

Eric Pickles said:

"Scouts, Guides and the Cadets have a tremendously proud and successful history of giving young people the kind of fun, life skills and experiences they can't get anywhere else.

"They rely on the goodwill and dedication of trained adult volunteers to provide this community service, which brings young people of all backgrounds and beliefs together.

"Over 1.5 million young people are regularly involved but many more want to join - with more volunteer leaders needed to bring waiting lists down - every young person in the country should have the chance to participate if they want to.

"The help we are giving today will mean Youth United groups can train a new generation of local volunteers to run a new cub pack or guiding patrol and make all the difference in fifteen communities that face some significant challenges."

The areas identified where this money can make the biggest impact are:

  • Birmingham
  • Bradford
  • Knowsley
  • Hackney
  • Haringey
  • Manchester
  • Middlesbrough
  • Newham
  • Redbridge
  • Rochdale
  • Tower Hamlets

Additionally, the four areas which will be targeted as HRH The Prince of Wales's priority areas for helping young people are:

  • Broadwater Farm Estate (Tottenham)
  • Burnley
  • Burslem (Stoke-on-Trent)
  • Redcar (Redcar and Cleveland)

Rod Jarman, the Chair of the Youth United Board, said:

"This is a wonderful opportunity for us to make a significant difference in youth provision in a number of areas across England. Through the unique partnership between a government department, a number of the charities of HRH The Prince of Wales and the network of organisations called Youth United we will be able to extend the opportunity for young people to volunteer and join one of our member organisations. We now have a real chance to engage more adults and let them experience and gain from volunteering to help others and to identify new ways of working to provide good accommodation from which the units can work."

Derek Twine, Chief Executive of the Scout Association said:

"We welcome the Government's investment in volunteering, and are pleased that the excellent work taking place in the voluntary sector to support young people and their communities is being recognised and encouraged."

The Prince of Wales's charities - including The Prince's Trust, which helps unemployed young people into jobs - will be working together to improve the prospects of young people. Last year, more than three in four young people supported by The Prince's Trust moved into work, education or training. The Prince of Wales's charity has helped more than 650,000 young people since 1976 and supports 100 more each day.

Ginny Lunn, director of policy at The Prince's Trust, said:

"Growing up without a positive adult role model can have a devastating impact on a young person's self-esteem and future prospects. At The Prince's Trust, we provide young people with role models to help them into work. A little guidance goes a long way, as these young people often inspire the next generation of youngsters to turn their lives around in the same way that they have."

Notes to editors

1. Youth United organisations work to co-ordinate and lead action across the coalition of the major youth volunteering organisations which collectively provides volunteer-led volunteering opportunities for 1.5 million young people. The Youth United member organisations are: Air Training Corps, Army Cadets, Boys' Brigade, Fire Cadets, Girlguiding UK, Girls' Brigade, Marine and Sea Cadets, Scouts, St John Ambulance, Volunteer Police Cadets. For more information on Youth United organisations please see (external link).

2. The funding announced recently will 'kick start' 400 new branches. Once established, these new branches are expected to be permanently self-sustaining, raising their own running costs through local fundraising activity and/or subscriptions, giving the programme a substantial and long term legacy.

3. This programme allows Youth United organisations to work with Government, Local Authorities and local volunteers to target those areas in most need, developing monitoring and delivery models that are consistent with their extensive experience of what works best and further support other expansion across the country.

4. The Prince's Trust helps change young lives. It gives practical and financial support, developing key workplace skills such as confidence and motivation. It works with 13-to-30-year-olds who have struggled at school, have been in care, are long-term unemployed or have been in trouble with the law. The Prince of Wales's charity has helped more than 650,000 young people since 1976 and supports 100 more each day. Last year, more than three in four young people supported by The Trust moved into work, education or training. In April 2011, Fairbridge became part of The Prince's Trust. The new united organisation will help 50,000 young people this year.


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