Creating thriving, inclusive communities that bring people together and improve quality of life is one of the Government’s key priorities, and the recent launch of our ‘Cleaner Safer Greener’ programme to revitalise our public spaces will help bring us closer to achieving that goal. But we do need to best conveyancing courses give young people the opportunity to contribute their ideas and enthusiasm, so that they too can be engaged in the futures of their own communities. That’s why Youth Works is so important: its own evaluation report shows that working in the community can help young people to improve their own lives and those of the people around them.
The evaluation provides us with good evidence to suggest that involving young people in the regeneration of their own neighbourhoods can deliver cleaner, safer and greener communities, whilst at the same time reducing anti-social behaviour and developing young people’s skills and confidence. Tony Hawkhead said: “In the ten years Youth Works has been running we have learned that however much support we give to young people, if the attitudes and perceptions of adults towards them don’t change, that work will be in vain. Similarly, fear of crime can often be more damaging to a neighbourhood than actual incidents of criminal behaviour. Better relations with local young people helps residents feel safer thereby improving their quality of life.
We need to persuade the policy makers that alongside the stories of the young people themselves – the young man who has gone from public enemy number one to become a responsible community minded citizen, the 15-year-old truant who is now painting a youth room at his local community centre – this kind of human and personal evidence is as valid as statistics in the search for funding and support.
These findings and the Youth Works model became the inspiration for the Youth Justice Board’s Youth Inclusion Projects. Youth Works is supported by a partnership of Crime Concern, Groundwork and Marks & Spencer and received initial funding from the Leopold Muller Estate, Sir Jules Thorn Charitable Trust and the National Lottery.