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YMCA England & Wales

YMCA is the oldest and largest youth charity in the world. In England and Wales, we intensively support 572,000 young people every year, ensuring each young person we meet has an opportunity to belong, contribute and thrive.

www.ymca.org.uk Fundraise for us


Registered charity no. 212810

Member since March 2021

Latest News

Devalued: the latest picture of youth service funding

Devalued: the latest picture of youth service funding

Devalued by a decade of cuts, dramatic fall in spend per head and a debilitating postcode lottery

Research by YMCA reveals that not only have funding cuts now reached £1.1bn (a real-terms fall of 74% since 2010/11) but annual spend per head on 5-to-17-year-olds in England has plummeted from £158 in 2010/11 to just £37 in 2020/21.

And looking at local authority spend per head across the two countries, YMCA discovered a postcode lottery of funding variations.

Denise Hatton, Chief Executive of YMCA England & Wales, said:

As the longest provider of youth services in England and Wales, YMCA has tracked the real-terms decline in youth services funding over the past several years. However, these latest figures from 2020/21 are especially significant in not only highlighting the localised fallout of a new global crisis, but also the harsh reality of a generation and sector repeatedly devalued by devastating cuts.

“In addition to a decade of funding failures, young people have spent the past two years adjusting to periods of staying at home, limited social interaction, education anxieties, and a whole host of worries like no generation before. Simultaneously for the sector, the pandemic meant a shift in how youth services operated, placing significant pressure on their ability to support young people through these difficult transitions.

“All young people deserve access to the services capable of empowering them to achieve a bright future. We cannot let location dictate these opportunities, and we must no longer expect youth service providers to remain in survival mode as their funding streams continue to be squeezed, or worse still dry up entirely. Crucial and proportional investment is needed now.

As the Government releases the first £10m of its long-awaited £500m Youth Investment Fund (YIF), YMCA is urging them to unlock further finance for areas in most critical need, thereby breathing new life into this vital sector through targeted programmes, universal youth services and experienced youth workers across England and Wales.

Each year YMCAs provide a safe space for 41,960 young people through their extensive youth services work, welcoming almost 20,000 young people through their 79 youth centres in England and Wales.