Charities for children and young people are suffering from a lack of funding, a lack of influence and a lack of skilled staff, a report from UK Youth has revealed.
The report from UK Youth, a charity which is committed to empowering young people through high quality services, found that regardless of an organisation’s method of delivery, the top three challenges were the same. These are: lack of funding and sustainability; lack of voice and influence at a national level; and a lack of skilled, experienced staff.
UK Youth merged with another national youth charity, Ambition, in September 2017, forming the UK’s largest youth charity dedicated to supporting the youth sector and helping all young people to build bright futures. The report concluded that that there is a need to ensure a “united voice for the sector on a national level”, which it said is something UK Youth is in prime position to deliver post-merger.
Its UK Youth State of the Membership 2018 said it is also “imperative that the correct infrastructure, support and training is on offer for organisations to be able to support both their paid and volunteer workforce, and ensure the best service possible for all beneficiaries, whilst supporting young people”.
Reliant on volunteers
The report also found that that youth facing organisations are increasingly relying on volunteers to maintain services, and said that there is an “urgent need to put in place the right infrastructure, support and training, to ensure that volunteers are being maximised to deliver the best services possible for all beneficiaries, whilst safeguarding young people”.
UK Youth used a sample of its membership to come to the conclusions it made in its report.
It said that its data does not show a clear relationship between regional change in government funding and the income of members, which it said was surprising. However, it said that this may be due to the nature of its research taking place within a paid membership base.
It said: “It would be fair to assume organisations who have continued with their paid membership in a time of reduced funding are those who have diversified their income streams”.
The report also suggested the need to work collaboratively with local and central government, other third sector organisations, and the private sector to:
- Embed social entrepreneurial approaches and secure additional income for the sector, for example through supporting access to social investment opportunities.
- Identify collaborations and consolidations with complementary service providers, and support partnership development through the brokering of relationships and identifying duplication of services.
- Realise new finance through the cultivation of long-term partnerships with private sector organisations.
- Share innovation and best practice
- Provide advice, guidance and training to build the capacity of members
22 Sep 2017 News