Headlines: October 22nd, 1998

Home Office Minister Alun Michael has urged local authorities to continue backing youthful interest in communities as a way of encouraging positive alternatives to disaffection and social exclusion.And he told delegates at a Local Government Association and National Youth Agency seminar that partnership was key to giving young people the opportunity to make a difference in their communities.

Mr Michael said a particular initiative, the Youth Volunteer Facilitators, was a unique way of creating positive opportunities for young people.

He said: “Our young people have become increasingly dispirited, disillusioned and disengaged. This is a problem that Government cannot solve alone. Partnership working with all interested sectors is crucial if we are to re-engage young people.”

The Youth Volunteer Development programme started in 1997 with funding from the Home Office of 2.4 million pounds over three years. The 41 facilitators across Britain, in partnership with youth services, the voluntary sector, public authorities and business organisations, develop opportunities for young people to volunteer, raise their awareness of volunteering opportunities and help develop new volunteering opportunities.

The programme is administered on behalf of the Home Office by the National Youth Agency. For more information about facilitators the agency can be contacted on 0116 285 6789.