Agenda item

Youth Offer Update


The Head of Service Youth Justice, AXIS, Adolescent Development and Youth Services introduced the report on the Youth Offer. A detailed overview of the report was provided and key aspects of the report were highlighted. A short video was played for the Committee that captured how a responsive, modern and dynamic youth offer could engage with children within the community.


The Committee heard about the Youth Offer Vision that encompassed services provided by the Local Authority, Universal and Targeted Services, work with uniformed, faith, sports and arts and culture groups. The Committee heard about the Summer 2022 Youth Offer and Holiday Activities Food Programme and had regard to the youth survey results from 2021. The survey was sent to all secondary schools across Hillingdon and there had been 600 responses.


It was noted that this was the first update in relation to the Youth Offer and the Committee would have an opportunity to comment further on this area once the consultation period had ended. The offer would also be presented to Cabinet in due course and the Committee would have an opportunity for further scrutiny.


Officers were thanked for the comprehensive report and welcomed the update and information on modernising the Youth Offer.


During Member discussions it was noted that the vision included a directory of opportunities and it was planned for this be digitally available for children, young people and families. The digital resource/app would enable residents to insert postcodes so that a list of all the opportunities available in different  localities could be clearly identified.


It was clarified that the term youth work meant delivering programmes and supporting children and young people through volunteer and other opportunities.


In terms of the mobile delivery service and locations, it was noted that the hots spots were in Hayes and West Drayton with six out of 28 services in the North of the Borough. It was confirmed that the mobile detachment team was a discreet service and aimed to work with those children and young people who were the hardest to reach. A comprehensive software system was used to capture crucial information such as reports of child criminal exploitation and this information was shared across police, health, education and social care agencies and enabled the Council to identify those with the greatest need.  As part of the Youth Offer there was an intention to ensure that there was a strong presence across the Borough and resource was maximised in the best way. The Youth Offer would help identify groups and how these arrangements could be facilitated.


It was reported that there was a need to increase digital visibility and make greater use of social media as this was used by children and young people. It was acknowledged that the way services engaged with young residents needed improving and this was still a work in progress.


It was requested that future surveys also captured data from local sports clubs and involve children and young people from these areas. The surveys were sent to all secondary schools and the Council fully engaged with schools in terms of the available offers and targeted programmes. Although at the present time there were restrictions around staffing resources, there was an intention to build on universal offers.


It was recognised that there were diverse communities across the Borough and programmes needed to be tailored to meet individual and local community cultural needed. This would include the need to have a diverse work force, cultural awareness and different methods of engagement.


During Member discussions it was confirmed that no youth centres had been permanently closed. There were some structural concerns and challenges around staffing.   Whilst the wider asset transformation programme was undertaken the decision had been made to utilise alternative venues as a temporary measure. It was noted that there was a recommendation for a second bus to be carried and used a transporter bus.


RESOLVED: That the Committee noted the update information.

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