Youth Action Network looks set to be the first casualty of the Office for Civil Society’s cuts to its strategic partner programme.
The umbrella body for youth volunteering groups announced today that it intends to cease operating in September 2011 and will hand its assets and members over to the National Council for Voluntary Youth Services (NCVYS).
In an announcement last August the OCS said it would be cutting the number of strategic partners from 40 to 15, in an overall funding cut of 40 per cent, which will take effect at the end of March 2011.
Youth Action Network's latest published accounts show that in the year to 31 March 2009, its OCS grant accounted for 15 per cent of its £1m income but other sources of government funding took this proportion up to 50 per cent.
Youth Action Network will hold a special general meeting on 9 March to vote on the proposal to pass its 100 members over to NCVYS. YAN members currently support more than 400,000 young volunteers.
Susanne Rauprich, CEO of NCVYS, praised the foresight of YAN to enable a “coordinated handover and the opportunity to engage YAN members proactively in the work of NCVYS”.
However, Davina Goodchild, CEO of YAN, estimates that of 792 jobs currently under its umbrella, only 170 will remain after April 2011. She added: “We are confident that NCVYS will be able to carry on our work, otherwise we wouldn’t have considered them” but highlighted that “the expertise that our members have built up over the years will be gone”.
In a survey of member organisations last August, Youth Action Network estimated that 91 per cent would see a reduction in funding, a figure that is proving to be accurate. Sixty per cent of the members are funded by v, which has been subject to a significant funding cut due to the new limit of £500,000 that the OCS has set for its strategic partners. Many groups are still waiting to hear whether they will receive a 50 per cent or 100 per cent cut in funding.
Strategic partners Volunteering England, NCVO and Navca have already announced they will be making redundancies as a result of the forthcoming cuts.
Youth Action Network has launched a final campaign called ‘Stop the youthquake’ which aims to draw attention to the effect the cuts will have on the volunteering oppoertunities available to young people.