Shropshire Council Announces New Youth Services Support Partner

A partnership of Shropshire Youth Association (SYA) and Energize Shropshire Telford & Wrekin (STW) has been chosen by Shropshire Council as its preferred partner to offer support and training to voluntary sector organisations delivering youth activities in Shropshire from 1 February 2015.

An invitation to tender was published in August 2014, and the council has confirmed that it intends to enter into a contract with SYA and Energize.

From 1 April 2015 Shropshire Council will no longer directly deliver youth services, but will instead give money to Local Joint Committees (LJCs) who will make use of local experience and knowledge to commission youth services in their areas that meet local needs.

Ann Hartley, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for children’s services, said:

“We’re delighted to announce SYA and Energize STW as our support partner and we look forward to working with them to develop a vibrant voluntary youth sector across Shropshire.

“Our aim is to ensure that as many young people as possible can continue to access a wide range of activities after school, at weekends and in school holidays.

“Alongside this we will be developing youth activities in the areas of greatest need, focusing on their specific local needs and encouraging greater involvement of local young people and their communities.

“We’re confident that – by working with Shropshire Council, Local Joint Committees and service providers – SYA and Energize STW will help the voluntary and community sector to grow in terms of capacity and capability.”

The SYA Energize partnership say they will take a hands-on personal approach, providing youth activity providers with their own dedicated support worker. This worker will spend time to get to know the provider and their needs, and tailor a package of support to help them to create the youth provision that they want – helping to create a ‘road map’ of where they are and where they want to get to.

Richard Parkes from SYA said:

“We’re proud to announce this new and exciting partnership between Shropshire Youth Association and Energize STW which will benefit young people across Shropshire.

“Through our support of youth activities and organisations we aim to help build stronger communities, and support, and improve the wellbeing of, young people.

“Young people are important. The quality of our future society depends on their experience now. Youth activities are not an end in themselves but should be a vehicle which will allow young people to face and shape their future positively. We believe that by providing this support service, more young people will grow up in Shropshire as capable, healthy and motivated individuals.”

Chris Child, Chief Executive of Energize STW said:

“We’re very excited about the partnership with SYA. All the evidence suggests that young people want to be more active and we believe providing informal sports provision will be key to meeting this demand and developing healthy habits for life.

“By aligning this contract with our existing Sport England resources we think we can create a multiplier effect and help even more young people in Shropshire find something which makes their heart beat faster in the years to come.”

Further information

Shropshire Youth Association is a registered charity working throughout Shropshire with young people, volunteers, and staff who are involved in over 100 affiliated community youth groups.

The aim of SYA is: “To help young people especially, though not exclusively through leisure-time activities, so to develop their physical, mental and spiritual capacities that they may grow to full maturity as individuals and members of society.”

Energize is the County Sports Partnership for Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin who will be specifically helping youth groups and leaders to incorporate innovative and new activity planning into their provision.

Source: Shropshire Newsroom

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