The Youth Budget 23 petition has now closed – with 3,081 signatures!
Huge thanks to all of you who supported young people by signing and sharing this petition. Over 3,081 of you used your voices to call on the Government to properly fund youth work in Budget 2023, and ensure that young people in Ireland get the support that they deserve.
We presented your signatures, along with the stories of young people whose lives were changed by youth work, to politicians and decision makers in Government.
Add your voice and call on our Government to support young people in Budget 2023 – by investing €12 million in young people and youth work.
Why is this needed?
Young people have been hard hit by the pandemic and now the cost of living crisis. In the last year, we have seen:
- Young people suffering due to cost of living increases across a range of areas including housing, education, transport and more.
- A serious impact on young people’s mental health and increased levels of stress.
- Young people disconnecting from youth work, youth clubs and groups during COVID, who need support to return.
- An interruption to education that has had a lasting effect for many young people.
- 12,000 young Ukrainians aged 10-24 have arrived in Ireland in recent months and need additional support to adapt to life in Ireland and make lasting connections here.
Ireland’s young population is growing all the time – we will have over 1 million people aged under 25 by the year 2025, a full fifth of our population. Young people are such an important part of our society, Government has to plan to ahead so they can get real, meaningful support.
What can be done?
Youth work services can support young people at this challenging time.
Youth workers were a lifeline to many young people during the pandemic, and are a vital support during this cost of living crisis, particularly for those who have the least. The wide range of activities provided by youth organisations support young people in their personal and social development, positive mental health, physical well being, job skills, active citizenship and many more.
The need for youth services is growing dramatically as young people and their communities feel the effects of the cost of living crisis. And despite some recent changes, youth work is still not adequately funded:
- Following the pandemic, youth organisations have taken a big financial hit, because fundraising campaigns by local groups and clubs and at national level had to be cancelled. They are still finding it very difficult to raise money, because of more competition with other causes and the cost of living crisis.
- The number of clubs and groups operating halved during the pandemic and the numbers of volunteers reduced to a third of pre-covid levels. Many young people disconnected from youth work. Often these are the young people with the biggest needs.
This has to change. We’re calling on the Government to invest an additional €12m in youth work services in Budget 2023, to provide more supports and activities for young people and meet the needs of a growing youth population hit hard by the pandemic.