This week is Youth Work Week, a time when we’re asked to remember all those people who are helping our young people to gain the confidence and the skills they need to move on in the world.
When I was first elected onto Crawley Borough Council, Northgate had recently lost its youth club and over the following months the rest of the county council-run clubs were gradually wound down. In response, we organised a rally which our recently-elected Tory MP Henry Smith attended to express his upset at the closure of youth centres, a decision which was taken by West Sussex County Council…at the time he was its leader. Funny old world.
Nonetheless, despite West Sussex ditching its role, young people in Crawley are fortunately still able to access a youth facilities in Gossops Green, through Crawley Community Youth Service, and West Green, at Crawley Youth Centre. Funding for this provision comes from a range of sources, including Crawley Borough Council, but be in no doubt: it is only due to the commitment and hard work of members of the local community that these services exist. Without these unsung heroes, young people would be unable to access such support through their formative years and the least we can do is recall their commitment once a year. If, however, you’d like to do more you can donate to CCYS on their website, here: https://www.ccys.org.uk/donations/